Thursday, February 11, 2010

WLS's Mancow for Cotto = Cubs' Brock for Broglio

A few hours ago WLS 890 AM announced that it would replace super shock-jock, Mancow Muller, with former Moody Bible divinity student and traffic news reader, Cisco Cotto in its 9 to 11 am morning slot.

WLS station manager, Michael Damsky told the Chicago Sun-Times that the move was designed to give the station a more consistent conservative talk sound.

In that he certainly succeeded as the diminutive Bible thumper, Cotto is certainly more consistently dull.

To be sure, WLS thoroughly misused the flamboyant talents of Mancow by pairing him with the wearisome, middle-aged former WBBM-AM newsreader, Pat Cassidy. In fact the odd couple of the Chicago airwaves almost came to actual on-air blows on several occasions during their stormy year and a half together.

Cotto is the darling of the religious right-to-life mavens of the Illinois Review and certainly will provide a predictably conservative lead-in to Rush Limbaugh at 11 am. But Mancow may have provided the most incisive and witty libertarian-conservative critique of the Chicago Way ever to have been heard here. He once almost had leftist Congressperson, Jan Schakowsky in tears.

And with the exception of WGN's Garry Meier and WCPT's Jake Hartford (both of whom also were cut loose by the dour WLS), Mancow was the only genuine funny AM presence in Chicago.

The CST's media critic, Lewis Lazare, wrote that the sacking of Mancow was an attempt by WLS to shore up its flagging ratings among 25 to 54 year old adult listeners.

Oh, yea, this is going to work.

Just as it did for Cubs' General Manager, John Holland who in 1964 set out to shore up the Cubs shaky starting rotation by trading a young left fielder by the name of Lou Brock for an ailing right handed starter by the name of Ernie Broglio.

That season, Brock (whose talents were underutilized by the Cubs, much as Mancow's by WLS) sparked the Cardinals to a World Championship with 20+ steals and a .315 batting average.

That same year, Broglio posted a 4-7 record with a 4.04 ERA for the Cubs who finished a dismal 8th place in the then 10 team NL. He was out of baseball in a year and a half.

Brock, of course, went on to have a stellar career and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1985.

I trust that Bruce DuMont has Mancow's niche ready at the Radio Hall of Fame at the Museum of Broadcast Communications on North La Salle St., because the nationally syndicated superjock will almost certainly end up there.

And Cisco Cotto can be hired to dust off Mancow's plaque and conduct tours.


  1. Wow, WLS sure knows how to attract the 25-54 age group. Me being 27 loved listening to something entergetic leading into Rush. I will be happy to have Mancow's extra hour back on his Syndicated show that way I don't have to listen to all the crap that WLS is trying to pitch at me with their commerical breaks every freakin 5 mins. WLS can suck it, I will listen to Rush on my local AM station from now on.

  2. Good points. Sometimes when listening to WLS it seems that the actual show is just something they reluctantly stick in between massive numbers of commercial spots. I heard the old Mancow slot this AM on WLS and it was truly grim. If Rush is dragging or getting too didactic some day, check out Garry Meier on WGN in the 1 to 4 slot. In his dry Chicago way, he is getting funnier and funnier and you can get WGN down in Champaign.


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