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John Howell Show on WLS in Chicago Picks Up an Extra Hour

Howell has been on the Chicago radio scene for more than three decades. He previously hosted morning drive on WLS from 2014-2018.

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Cumulus Media announced that WLS afternoon drive host John Howell will add an hour of broadcast time for “The John Howell Show.”

Howell has been on the Chicago radio scene for more than three decades. He previously hosted morning drive on WLS from 2014-2018. Over the course of his career, Howell has had experience hosting a nationally-syndicated show for Westwood One from 1998-2006.

“For 97 years, The Big 89 has been a source of information and entertainment for our Chicagoland audience,” said Stephanie Tichenor, 890 WLS-AM program director. “And in 2021, 890 WLS-AM is serving up more local programming weekdays for our listeners, with more John Howell who will start an hour earlier at 4pm weekdays. Howell’s ability to break down the news of the day while engaging our listeners with his no-nonsense style is what makes his show an audio afternoon delight. We are thrilled to have more Big John in 2021!”

“With the new year, new administration, new vaccine and new lineup comes new opportunities,” Howell said. “I’m happy to have the additional time to serve our listeners and clients. In the age of COVID, it’s best to keep moving.”

Howell’s show on WLS will air from 4-7 p.m. central time Monday through Friday.

News Radio

Nielsen Braces Clients For Potential Challenges As Covid-19 Surges

“Some delays in recruitment and slight volatility in intab levels could occur over the next month.”

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All Access is reporting that Nielsen has alerted its clients of potential difficulties due to the COVID-19 surge. The measurement company which works with the majority of the radio broadcasting business has also relayed details of how it plans to handle the situation in order to deliver accurate and consistent audience estimates.

In the letter, Nielsen says it will continue executing in-person field work while using its established multi-mode recruitment and remote installation and maintenance procedures. However, the company cautioned that some delays in recruitment and slight volatility in intab levels could occur over the next month.

Nielsen further shared that it expected to have intab levels stabilized and back to current levels by the end of February or early March, depending on Omicron recovery rates. In-tab levels are expected to be closely monitored and field resources will be evaluated and adjusted if necessary.

Being able to rely on accurate radio measurement is important to radio stations and their advertisers. Though Nielsen says it is actively monitoring COVID infection rates in key panel markets, and any possible impact to its PPM inventory due to global supply chain challenges, the admission of potential challenges in executing as expected is likely to give radio executives and sales professionals a few extra headaches. The company says that it is confident that its contingency plans will mitigate risk, allowing it to move swiftly to ensure the accuracy and representativeness of its audience estimates. Whether that holds true or not will be depend on a myriad of factors over the next month.

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Chicago Public Media Board Approves Sun-Times Merger

Last October, the two parties entered into a non-binding letter of intent to have the Sun-Times become a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media once they finalized the deal. 

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The Chicago Public Media Board of Directors, the parent company of news/talk WBEZ (91.5), gave the green light to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Last October, the two parties entered into a non-binding letter of intent to have the Sun-Times become a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media once they finalized the deal. 

“I’m deeply grateful to the Chicago Public Media Board of Directors for their work in leading us to this milestone,” Chicago Public Media Board Chair Piyush Chaudhari said in a release

“This new venture will be on its best path forward as we bring together two of Chicago’s most respected news organizations in our city and our region.” 

With the two forms of media coming together, it will create one of the nation’s largest local nonprofit news organizations and operate as a national example for the future of local journalism.

“This is an important step to grow and strengthen local journalism in Chicago,” Chicago Public Media CEO Matt Moog added. “A vibrant local news ecosystem is fundamental to a healthy democracy, informed citizens, and engaged communities.”

“Together, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times aim to tell the stories that matter, serve more Chicagoans with our unbiased, fact-based journalism, and connect Chicagoans more deeply to each other and to their communities.”

The merger is expected to be completed by January 31.

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Howard Stern: Unvaccinated Shouldn’t Be Admitted to Hospitals

During “The Howard Stern Show,” a caller named Aaron went back and forth with Howard Stern over hospitals using resources to treat the unvaccinated.

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The United States has seen an uptick in Covid-19 cases coming off the holiday season as various states see a spike in patients coming into their hospital to treat the virus. 

California’s hospitalization rates are up 109-percent in the last two weeks, and southern states are also seeing a surge over the past couple of weeks, per NBC News

During a segment on Sirius XM’s “The Howard Stern Show,” a caller named Aaron went back and forth with Howard Stern over hospitals using resources to treat the unvaccinated. 

“If it was up to me, anyone unvaccinated would not be admitted to a hospital,” Stern said. The radio host went on to belittle the beliefs of the people who have decided not to get vaccinated. 

“[People who] don’t trust our government. They think that there’s some conspiracy to turn them into a magnet or something like this. They think they are going to become magnetized if they take the vaccine.”

“I’ve taken this vaccine three times, and the worst side effect is for a day, I had a little bit of a headache.”

Furthermore, Stern went after those who labeled the vaccine as part of some conspiracy, which is why they chose not to take it. 

“No one’s sitting there conspiring against you. Americans don’t want to create a vaccine that’s going to turn you into a robot or magnetize you,” Stern said. “There’s enough Americans now have taken it. Look at us as a sampling where nothing has happened to us. It’s time for you to get it.”

“Now, if you don’t get it, in my America, all hospitals would be closed to you. You’re going to go home and die.”

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