Family guys: Ponce Brothers get tryout as talk show team on WLS

Could the first family of Chicago television be adding radio to its media dynasty?

Reporters Dan and Anthony Ponce (pictured above), the sons of veteran Chicago news anchor Phil Ponce, will make their debut as a talk show team Monday when they fill in for afternoon hosts Roe Conn and Richard Roeper on Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890).

To make it happen, the Ponces first had to secure permission from their respective bosses at Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9, where Dan has been working as a general assignment reporter since last September, and NBC 5, where younger brother Anthony just renewed his contract after four years as a general assignment reporter. Dan previously spent three years as a reporter at ABC 7. 

Drew Hayes, operations director of WLS, said he thought it “should be fun” to hear the brothers on the air together as a Memorial Day treat. The show airs from 2 to 6pm.

While nothing is set beyond Monday’s pairing, the Ponces could be under consideration for the Saturday night slot at WLS vacated by Eddie Volkman (son of another famed Chicago broadcaster, meteorologist Harry Volkman) and Joe Bohannon, who left last March to join CBS Radio classic hits WJMK-FM (104.3) as morning personalities.

A second vacancy opened last week when Tom Roeser announced his retirement after 17 years at WLS. Saturday morning host Jake Hartford filled in during Roeser’s former 8-to-9pm slot last Sunday.

All appearances to the contrary, the Ponces insist they never set out to build a dynasty.

“Believe me, I’m not that good of a planner,” patriarch Phil Ponce, host of WTTW-Channel 11’sChicago Tonight, once told an interviewer. “This was not planned. It’s completely accidental and funny and great at the same time.”

(Photo by Nick Infusino)


1.Terry Salad
May 25, 2011 at 8:15 am
Note to Hayes: It won’t be fun.

2.Dance Music Authority
May 25, 2011 at 9:02 am
Thanks for the hump day heads-up, Feder; this is huge!
We’re definitely gonna try to get on the line and pitch the idea of doing a few Straight No Chaser remixes. “Straight No chaser”–the actual song–is aserious bebop jam and the perfect vehicle for their powerful, yet agile, vocal ensemble. This could be off-the-scale!
Wish us luck in getting on the line… 

May 25, 2011 at 9:47 am
Is this photo, used in a WLS story, taken outside of WGN’s studio? Very sneaky, Mr Feder! LOL

4.Ponce-y scheme
May 25, 2011 at 10:37 am
They get to audition AND celebrate Memorial Day with their family! Those boys know how to work it. Maybe dad can do the traffic and grilling.

5.Shakes the Clown
May 25, 2011 at 11:15 am
When the World ends, The only ones left will be…Keith Richards and Them damn Ponces!

6.Straight Chaser
May 25, 2011 at 11:57 am
Enough of the nice-looking Ponce men, are there any good-looking women in the family?!

May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Great idea- put on two guys who have no radio experience together just because they’re brothers. Neo-nepotism.

8.bozo, a clown
May 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm
Gosh. I won’t be able to sleep ’til monday i am so nerved up about this. I will have to try to calm down. I will need to visualize boring peaceful boring time. Now I feel better.

9.bozo, a clown
May 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm
On second thought, why don’t they just put Blago back on? That might be a more interesting show.

10.Shakes the Clown
May 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm
Bozo, while you are up all night in you mothers bedroom, Visualize the thumb where you stuck your thumb.

11.Bob From Berwin
May 26, 2011 at 8:57 am
So this is a big deal? Only in the third city.



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