What’s with the bullshit on WGN Radio?

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Barely 20 minutes into Carol Roth’s very first show on WGN-AM (720) Wednesday, her first guest dropped the S-bomb. Specifically, the word was “bullshit,” uttered by a female psychologist who was talking about how difficult it is for many people to change.


Maybe Roth didn’t hear it. Maybe she thought listeners didn’t hear it. Or maybe, being the radio rookie she is, she didn’t know how to react. (Hint: Learn where the “dump button” is.)


In any case, Roth offered no explanation, no apology and not even an acknowledgement that the barnyard epithet had gone flying out over the 50,000-watt airwaves of the Tribune Co.-owned news/talk station.


Roth’s debut as host of WGN’s new Noon Show was otherwise unremarkable and unmemorable. The best that can be said of her is that she provides a one-hour break from midday mediocrity Mike McConnell, whose recently expanded, four-hour split shift — from 10am to noon and again from 1 to 3pm — is four hours longer than it should be.


A former investment banker who’s now a business strategist and author, Roth grew up in north suburban Deerfield. But you’d never know it from the generic hour she hosted Wednesday. The only truly local parts of the show were the news and traffic reports.


Her other guest was a pal from the Fox Business Network, where Roth appears as a frequent contributor. Their topic was privatizing government assets — from highways to employment services — in order to reduce the national deficit. When a caller challenged Roth to explain how well the privatization of Chicago’s parking meters was working out, she hemmed and hawed and spoke in the generalities of an uninformed outsider.


Roth is one of two new women on WGN’s weekday lineup. The other, Turi Ryder, will debut Monday and originate her 10pm-to-1am show from her home in San Francisco.


The Voice of Chicago? Bullshit.



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