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Even Randy Michaels admits his Chicago FM news experiment is not quite a success

Randy Michaels

Randy's FM news station has about this many listeners.

Here’s some news that should be absolutely no surprise to Radio Survivor listeners: Randy Michaels’ new FM news station in Chicago WWWN-FM is tanking in the ratings. In fact, the former Tribune chief‘s station sits at number 48, a mere 45 spots below its main competitor, the news-talk stalwart WBBM, which not coincidentally has added its own FM simulcast.

However, the surprising news is that Randy appears to be actually acknowledging that maybe there are some kinks in the execution of the station’s programming, if not the concept. The idea for WWWN is target women listeners with news more suited to that demographic than the typical news talker.

Chicago media reporter Robert Feder has a source who was in on a staff meeting held Wednesday at the station, and according to the source Randy acknowledged that, “[t]here was a feeling that we’d gone too far in focusing on women.” Feder adds that perhaps part of the problem is due to “the assumption of what women wanted to hear on an FM news station, as conceived by Merlin Media’s chief operating officer, Walter Sabo.”

Having listened to the station myself, I agree with Feder. The station’s news sounds watered down and the overall sound is unpolished. I’m not sure that’s what anyone wants, whatever the demographic.

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