Feder: Can Steve Cochran save WLS AM 890?
When Steve Cochran opens the mic on WLS 890-AM at the crack of dawn today, he'll become the fifth morning host in 10 years at the Cumulus Media news/talk station. And he'll have nowhere to go but up.
"It's no secret that this morning show has a huge hole to climb out of, and I believe we will," Cochran, 61, said Tuesday. "I'm not getting up at 3 a.m. to lose."
In the just-released Nielsen Audio survey for May, WLS tied for 27th place in mornings with a 1.0 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 92,900. Overall the station tied for 27th with a 1.0 share and 201,600 weekly cume.
Closing in on his 30th year on Chicago radio, the native of Ithaca, New York, began here on the former WCKG (where he hosted mornings for one day) and later worked at WLUP, WMVP and WPNT. In 2000 Cochran joined WGN 720-AM as weekend and fill-in host, moving up to midday host in the talent shuffle that followed the death of morning star Bob Collins.
Following a three-year detour at Salem Media news/talk WIND 560-AM and KTRS in St. Louis, Cochran returned to WGN under new management in 2013, where he hosted mornings until 2019. Now he'll be competing against the Nexstar Media news/talk station, where Cochran's successor, broadcast legend Bob Sirott, currently ranks ninth in mornings.
Initially at WLS Cochran will be joined by another former WGN personality, Andrea Darlas, who'll fill-in as a contributor while a search is under way for a permanent teammate.
"I'm a lucky guy," Cochran said. "I've sat in the same chair as Wally Phillips, Bob Collins, Spike O'Dell, Jonathon Brandmeier and now Larry Lujack and Don and Roma [Wade]. I don't take that lightly."