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Charlie Wheeler: knowledgeable journalist emeritus

Charlie Wheeler, a former Chicago Sun-Times reporter who is currently a professor at the University of Illinois Springfield and director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program, talks about what makes a good reporter, his career at the Sun-Times, covering the Illinois constitutional convention and the state government in Springfield, what it was like to be a reporter in the 60s and 70s, how newspaper bureaus have changed, how he got into working for newspapers, his father and grandfather's...


Mike North: radio boxer

Mike North got into radio via an interesting route, and has worked in TV and digital as well. He talks about money, the Vietnam draft, what he thinks of smartphones, his radio and TV career; his online endeavors including Bears Barroom and Mike at the Movies; why former WSCR/The Score Program Director Ron Gleason is wonderful, how Mike got The Score job in the early days and why he left; what Mayor Daley I was like; meeting famous people at his hot dog stand; why honesty is important,...


Ryan Burrow: excellent radio reporter

Ryan Burrow is a reporter for ABC Radio and WGN Radio. He talks about how he prepares for interviews all over the country, how he juggles his news responsibilities, how he maintains objectivity and standards, stories he's covered, working in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at WRAC in Memphis, Tennessee, at Clear Channel News Network and Tribune syndicate in Chicago, at WLS Radio, what FM News was like, doing multimedia journalism, doing sports radio at Valparaiso, interning at C-Span, how he got...


Esmeralda Leon: radio geek?

Esmeralda Leon is on the air at WGN Radio doing traffic and being part of Nick Digilio’s show. She talks about how she got into radio, why she prefers doing traffic to news, what she thinks of her hometown Joliet, what it was like to work for Jonathan Brandmeier’s show at The Loop, what she’s learned, how she got into traffic, being a podcasting pioneer with Brandon Wetherbee and the live show, "You, Me, Them, Everybody," briefly working with Roe Conn and Bill & Wendy on WGN, then Nick...


John Siuntres: radio broadcaster and podcasting pioneer

John Siuntres is a radio broadcaster (currently at WBBM Newsradio) and is one of the pioneers of podcasting...he started way back in 2005, when there weren't many podcasts at all (now there are lots of them), with his popular Word Balloon podcast. He talks about how he got into radio, covering boxing on Chet Coppock's show on WLUP The Loop; being part of the early staff when WSCR The Score started; writing about boxing for Boxing Illustrated; working on Dan McNeil and Terry Boers'...


Craig Dellimore: dignified reporter

Craig Dellimore has been the Political Editor, City Hall reporter, and host of At Issue on WBBM Newsradio for several years. He talks about getting started at WBBM around the time Harold Washington became Mayor, what City Hall was like when he started reporting in Chicago, what Harold Washington was like, diverse newsrooms, covering crime, racial issues, dealing with doubters, covering Springfield, issues in the suburbs, simplifying story lines, New York vs Chicago, working at WCBS in New...


Rey Diaz: decent sports radio guy

Rey Diaz has the dream job for a lot of guys (and some gals) working in sports radio as a content producer for 670 The Score’s (WSCR) morning and midday shows and as a studio producer for Bears Radio on WBBM. He talks about how he got into radio, WNTD, being Mexican, Polish, and Italian (he looks Puerto Rican); working for the Mancow show at Q101 and digitizing his carts (and deleting people from audio bits whom Mancow didn’t like); what Mancow was like, how much Mancow does during and...


Elliot Abrams: having weather pun fun

Meteorologist Elliot Abrams has made a very good life out of being nerdy. He is one of the co-founders of AccuWeather Radio, and does weather on WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, WADK Radio in Rhode Island, four stations in College Park, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, in addition to doing lectures and lots of other things. He's a witty meteorologist who's also in the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame and the National Meteorologist Hall of Fame. He talks about how he got into weather...


Duffy Atkins: a duffinately good meteorologist

Duffy Atkins talks about her career as a meteorologist at CLTV (part of WGN-TV) in Chicago, working in sunny weather at an ABC station in Santa Barbara, why she loved working at KHQA-TV, which broadcast to the tri-states via Quincy in Illinois, Keokuk in Iowa, and Hannibal in Missouri; being a chief meteorologist in Reno Tahoe, how moving around is inevitable for TV, her twin sister, why she became a meteorologist, what classes are needed to be a meteorologist, changes in the media, why...


Neil Fiorito: pump up the volume

Neil Fiorito does traffic on WBBM Newsradio and hosts "Neil’s News" for the Marriott in River North, and has done traffic at US99 WUSN, WIND Radio, for radio stations in Houston, Minnesota, St. Louis, and more. He started doing music radio at Triton College, and he talks about his varied career that includes working for his dad’s business, being on the air at Loyola’s WLUW Energy 88.7, Lite 103 in Rockton, WXLC in Waukegan, WRXQ and Star 96.7 in Crest Hill, and WCCQ 98.3. He also talks...


Bill Cochran: his own beat

Bill Cochran's voice is everywhere in Chicago, even on the west coast. After graduating from Northwestern, where he was on the air at WNUR, he was on the air and was the production director at WXRT for a decade, then joined Rick O'Dell at WNUA Smooth Jazz for over 20 years, went online with WLFM Smooth Jazz, then returned to WXRT to do more production. He talks about: why he left WXRT for his current production job at MeTV-FM, understanding what listeners want, his approach to talking...


Josh Liss: sports dream achieved

Josh Liss is living the sports radio dream: he’s spent his entire career in sports, and has been the sports director and morning sports anchor on WBBM since 1998. He talks about how he preps, how he writes effective stories, how the internet has changed his reporting, how he deals with superfans, how he got into radio, playing sports and dealing with obstacles, working at WVVX Radio and WSCR The Score in the early years, advice for getting into sports media, how sports reporting is...


Bob Kessler: radio and more

Bob Kessler does news at WGN Radio, and he does a lot of other things, including writing and producing Green Sense Radio and the Greensense Minute on WBBM, and doing news with Rivet Radio. He talks about why he likes doing broadcast radio and why he loves radio; being a musician and how he got interested in music, writing and arranging music, recording piano and performing harmonica; how he became ordained as a lay Buddhist teacher, what obstacles he has overcome, how he got into radio,...


J Niice and Showbiz Shelly: B96 mornings

A lot has happened since the last time I interviewed the stars of the B96 morning show: Julian Nieh left Chicago, and J Niice and Showbiz Shelly are the main hosts (with producer Gabe, who wasn't interviewed at this time). First, Showbiz Shelly talks briefly (because she had to leave, just like last time) about her celebrity-filled life, including spilling a drink on Miranda Rae Mayo, the daily smackdown, yoga, relaxing, going out in Chicago, cohosting on WCIU’s morning show and...


Scott Miller: passion personified

Scott Miller has been working as a radio host and producer for years. He describes his beard pursuits: how he got into national and international beard competitions; how he got into radio doing the weather for Dick Biondi; working at NPR and another local station while at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; getting fired, dealing with being out of work, and persevering without a job; doing mornings on Rock 105 WTAO; starting in Chicago at WCKG with Pete McMurray; why he loves radio...


Ryan Arnold: voice of the century

Ryan Arnold is on the air at WXRT every weeknight and on Saturdays. He talks about visiting the station while he was growing up; how he got on the air; how he ended up working overnights for the railroad (CSX); hosting New Noise at Nine; his favorite kinds of music; his live music regret; why he adores Joe Shanahan; working at KBXR in Columbia, Missouri, 105.5 Triple M (WMMM-FM) in Madison, Wisconsin (which he says is a great music town), and WDRV "The Drive"; how working in small markets...


Bob Roberts: on the right track

Bob Roberts has been a reporter for several years at WBBM Newsradio, and he talks about covering stories, violence in Chicago (1974 was the worst year), being a reporter with City News Bureau; his passion for trains; how he got into radio and news; being on the air at WIUS Radio at Indiana University and even WNUR Radio (Northwestern); being a music DJ and doing news at WMET, WDHF, and WMAQ; reporting news on WYEN with his biggest exclusive ever: John Wayne Gacy; working in New York at 1010...


John Calhoun: positive guy

John Calhoun is on the air weeknights at K-Hits (WJMK-FM), and he talks about his successful music radio and voiceover career, including his early days in Mason City (at KRIB, where Bob Wittnebel was his program director and is a listener to this pod) and Cedar Rapids in Iowa; how technology changed music radio; working in Oklahoma City and Kansas City before going to Chicago; how he got to Chicago at WEFM; how he’s stayed motivated and positive; why he left radio after working at The Point...


Dave Kerner and George Ofman: extreme sports fun

Dave Kerner and George Ofman do sports at WBBM Radio in Chicago, and I interviewed them for this same podcast because they consistently have a great time on the air and off the air; I've never seen them express negativity or take themselves seriously. First up is Dave Kerner: he talks about working in Buffalo, downstate New York, northeast Pennsylvania, and Scranton before coming to Chicago; working at The Score (WSCR), then WBBM; the difference between working at an all-sports station vs a...


Jim Turano: the real deal

Jim Turano is a creative guy who's a Chicago native, and has also spent his career and entire life in Chicago. He talks about acting in local theater; how he got into radio and how much he loves it; why he’s a huge Elton John fan; meeting Steve Dahl and Kevin Matthews; working with Garry Meier on WCKG and WGN; how imitating Cubs great Ron Santo opened doors; working at WGN, and more. Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and...