Johnny B., Eddie & Jobo rise and shine after all these years

Jonathon Brandmeier still has it. So do Eddie Volkman and Joe Bohannon.

Nearly three decades after they first signed on in Chicago, some of the biggest radio stars of the ’80s are proving their popularity once again. An analysis of Arbitron Portable People Meter results for January, released last week, showed significant gains for stations that hired Johnny B. and Eddie & Jobo as morning drive personalities in 2011.

Among listeners between the ages of 25 and 54 — the prime demographic sought by advertisers — WGN’s audience shares between 6 and 9am weekdays were up 44 percent over the previous January. Brandmeier replaced Greg Jarrett on the news/talk station in early December.

Adult audience shares for Eddie & Jobo, the iconic duo who helped launch the K-Hits brand on WJMK last March, were up 23.5 percent in the same time period over the jockless Jack FM format they replaced.

One of the market’s biggest 25-to-54 winners was Kiss FM’s Christopher “Brotha’ Fred” Frederick, who replaced Kevin “DreX” Buchar in January 2011 and was up 70 percent year-to-year. Other gainers were the Loop’s Pete McMurray (up 63.2 percent) and WLS-FM’s Dave Fogel (up 28.6 percent).

Reflecting the rise of sports/talk in Arbitron’s PPM measurement, double-digit jumps also were posted by the Score’s Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley (up 17.5 percent) and by ESPN Radio 1000’s syndicated Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (up 22.2 percent).

But in radio as in business, past performance is no indicator of future success. Among those whose adult audience shares declined year-to-year were: Lin Brehmer, who marked his 20th year in mornings at WXRT (down 42.1 percent); Don and Roma Wade, in their 23rd year in mornings at WLS-AM (down 40 percent); and Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, still leading the market after 16 years in mornings at the Mix (down 5.4 percent).

The most precipitous decline was at Rewind 100.3, where former Q101 star Robert Murphy signed on as morning personality in September. His new station’s adult audience share in January was down 42.9 percent from January 2011.

Chicago radio’s morning line

Here, according to Arbitron, are the top 25 stations in January — followed by average share of listeners between 25 and 54 — from 6 to 9am Monday through Friday:

  • WTMX-FM (101.9) 8.8
  • WBBM-AM (780)/WCFS-FM (105.9) (simulcast) 5.6
  • WSCR-AM (670) 4.7
  • WMVP-AM (1000) 4.4
  • WOJO-FM (105.1) 4.3
  • WDRV-FM (97.1) 4.3
  • WGN-AM (720) 3.6
  • WUSN-FM (99.5) 3.5
  • WKSC-FM (103.5) 3.4
  • WXRT-FM (93.1) 3.3
  • WBBM-FM (96.3) 3.3
  • WLUP-FM (97.9) 3.1
  • WGCI-FM (107.5) 3.1
  • WVAZ-FM (102.7) 3.0
  • WLIT-FM (93.9) 2.8
  • WLS-FM (94.7) 2.7
  • WLEY-FM (107.9) 2.7
  • WBEZ-FM (91.5) 2.7
  • WSRB-FM (106.3) 2.1
  • WPPN-FM (106.7) 2.1
  • WJMK-FM (104.3) 2.1
  • WLS-AM (890) 1.8
  • WRTO-AM (1200) 1.6
  • WNUA-FM (95.5) 1.6
  • WILV-FM (100.3) 1.6
  • WCPT-FM (92.7) 1.6


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)