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Chicago Airwaves Now Dick-less

By Scott Smith in News on Jun 6, 2005 4:57PM

2005_06_06_biondi.jpgFor the first time in 21 years, Dick Biondi is not being heard over Chicago’s radio airwaves, a victim of the “try anything once” style of radio management that’s sweeping the country.

In a surprise move, Biondi’s station WJMK 104.3 FM switched from an oldies format to a Jack FM-style playlist. The Jack FM format has become immensely popular in the last year as radio stations across the country are hoping it saves them from the popularity of iPods and satellite radio. Nine FM (heard on three stations here in Chicago) and Q101 have both experimented with this “we play anything” style of programming. Even 101.9 the Mix has gotten into the game by appending the phrase “...and anything we want” to their positioning statement.

The problem here is that the Jack FM format IS a format. It’s not just playing “anything.” And if there is one lesson to be learned from the Michael Keaton film Multiplicity, it’s that a copy of a copy tends to come out looking (or sounding in this case) a little cockeyed. A media marketing strategist discusses some of the myths of the format in a PDF here.

But whither Biondi? For now, the legendary DJ who came to prominence on WLS in the ‘60s when he was known as the “Wild I-tralian” can be heard online at along with other staffers. Chicagoist’s parents often told us the (possibly apocryphal) story of how Biondi was fired for making comments about the length of miniskirts on women and the increased need for hair-combing this required so we’re hoping Biondi will take this as an opportunity to work a little “blue” from now on.