Eddie and JoBo replacing ‘Jack’ at 104.3 FM
Lewis Lazare Media & Marketing Columnist firstname.lastname@example.org March 10, 2011 1:26PM
Photo file of Eddie and JoBo
Updated: June 14, 2011 6:17AM
It’s out with Jack and in with Eddie and JoBo. Chicago radio personalities Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon will join WJMK (104.3), which is dropping its no-host “Playing What We Want” format.
At 1:04 p.m. Monday, CBS Radio Chicago’s WJMK-FM (104.3) will switch to featuring classic hits from the 1960s, ‘70’s and ‘80s that management believes will improve the station’s ratings. The new format, to be known as “K-Hits,” replaces the adult hits format the station called Jack-FM in place since 2005. There were no hosts to take requests, so listeners heard only what the station chose, mainly hits from the 1960s through the 1990s.
Eddie and Jobo are returning to the CBS Radio Chicago fold to anchor WJMK’s new morning show from 5:30 to 10 a.m.
They were famously dumped from CBS’s Top 40 WBBM-FM (96.3) just three years ago to cut costs when the economic downturn hit the radio industry hard. It was an easy decision for management to make because the duo also had outgrown B-96’s core 18- to 34-year-old audience demo.
At the time of their exit from WBBM-FM, Volkman and Bohannon were part of the city’s small, elite corps of so-called “million dollar mouths” — on-air talent that earned a million dollars or more a year for their services.
CBS Radio Chicago market manager Rod Zimmerman wouldn’t discuss terms of WJMK’s deal with Volkman and Bohannon, but their new salaries are believed to be considerably less than a million dollars a year.
Speaking as one, Eddie and Jobo said in a statement: “To be rookies again, starting on a brand new radio station in our hometown is, well who said ‘you can’t go home?’ ”
Joining Eddie and Jobo at WJMK will be Bo Reynolds, another former WBBM-FM jock who had a show there from 1987 to 1990. Reynolds will anchor afternoon drive from 3 p.m to 8 p.m.
Another WBBM-FM alumnus, Gary Spears will host mid-days on the WJMK from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting March 21. Broadway Bill Lee, a talent from New York, will fill in until Spears starts. Spears was on air at B96 from 1982 to 1984 and again from 1990 to 1994.
Zimmerman said another host will be named soon to anchor WJMK’s evening show starting at 8 p.m.
Zimmerman said the new format will be “high energy, music intensive and locally driven.” Added Zimmerman: “The CBS Radio network is very familiar with this format, and we have had a lot of success it in other markets.”
But success is not assurred here in Chicago. WJMK will face considerable competition from at least two other local stations with similar formats, including Emmis Communications’ WLUP-FM (97.9) and Bonneville International’s WDRV-FM (97.1). Zimmerman, however, believes WJMK’s new line-up of local talent and its local focus will make it competitive in the market.
For a while the low-overhead Jack-FM format pulled decent ratings, but the numbers began to slump over the past year.
In the most recent January Arbiron ratings report, WJMK ranked 17th among adults 25 to 54, the demo advertisers most covet. WLUP ranked 14th and WDRV was third.