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Johnny In The Morning?

By Scott Smith in News on Oct 10, 2005 3:46PM

First it was a new “Loop Rock Girl.” Then it was the return of “Joey Bag O’ Donuts.” Now, in its bid to return itself to its former glory, The Loop 97.9 is bringing back one of the men who made it all possible: Jonathon Brandmeier.

2005_10_10_johnnyb.jpgOn Friday, Robert Feder in the The Sun-Times broke the story that Brandmeier would return as The Loop’s morning man on October 27th after four and a half years away from the Chicago airwaves. Though the Chicago Tribune is reporting that nothing is official until the head of Emmis Communications signs off on the deal, it would be a remarkably stupid decision not to bring back one of Chicago’s best-known radio personalities, especially with an audience that seems hungry for local radio again.

Originally from Wisconsin, Brandmeier arrived in Chicago in 1983 after a stint on KZZP in Phoenix. In a city that often views transplants with suspicion, Johnny B. quickly became one of the best-known Chicago radio personalities of that era due to a persona that was part everyman, part class clown. Though he was last heard here on 105.9 WCKG, Johnny’s tenure at The Loop helped make that station a ratings powerhouse in the 1980s.

In the last few months, Chicago radio has seen the departure of Dick Biondi and Oldies 104.3 as well as The Zone. As a result, Chicago radio has seemed a lot less familiar and a lot more…well, shuffled. Though many blame rock radio’s decline on iPods and satellite radio, most listeners turned to those options because local radio stopped being local. It’s no coincidence that the top five Chicago stations in the last ratings book have significant local content.

Chicagoist loved Johnny B. back in the day so we’re excited about his return. Especially if it means our slightly used copy of Almost Live from Johnny and the Leisure Suits will fetch a hefty price on Ebay.