Revolving radio: Sherman & Tingle split, Brooke & Jill reunite

Robservations on the media beat:

  • The end of the year means the end of the line for Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle. Although the popular morning duo had been off the air since Q101 changed owners and dropped its alternative rock format last summer, fans had been hoping for a reunion. But after five years together, they’re going their separate ways. “We have exhausted all of our connections, agents and places to find work as a team,” Sherman wrote on their Facebook page Thursday. “Tingle and I as a show are no more.” The Tribune reported that Tingle would be joining WRDW-FM in Philadelphia as solo morning host next month. Sherman said he plans to continue his voice-over business and do some work for WLUM-FM in Milwaukee. “I wished we could [have] hung around here a little longer,” he added.

  • The news is a lot better for another former Chicago radio morning team. Brooke Hunter and Jill Egan, who last worked together in 2003 at the alternative rocker known as The Zone, are reuniting to launch a weekly, one-hour podcast. All talk and no music, The Brooke and Jill Show is set to debut January 3. Until then, fans can follow them on their new Facebook page. Hunter has been off the air since August when CBS Radio dropped Fresh FM and switched to a simulcast of Newsradio 780. Egan has been free since October when Merlin Media eliminated her position as Pete McMurray’s morning news, weather and traffic sidekick on the Loop.

  • Monday marks the premiere of Early Start, the CNN morning show hosted by former NBC 5 news anchor Zoraida Sambolin and Ashleigh Banfield. (Here's a must-see video introducing them.) Debuting from the CNN Election Center, it will air from 4 to 6am weekdays, followed by Soledad O'Brien's new Starting Point from 6 to 8am. No word yet on a permanent replacement for Sambolin on NBC 5 News Today, which she anchored for five years.

  • Maybe people weren’t in the mood because of Chicago’s unseasonably warm weather, but Lite FM’s flip to all-Christmas music this year wasn’t quite as popular as last year. Arbitron Portable People Meter figures showed the station jump from 14th place to first — but its overall audience share was down 20 percent compared to last December. The Clear Channel Radio station switched on The Holiday Lite November 9 — more than two weeks before Thanksgiving.

  • Imagine what it must have been like for Fox Chicago investigative reporter Dane Placko to call the office of Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely before he and the Better Government Association broke their blockbuster story about Neely’s use of Chicago police security detail for personal business. Neely’s spokeswoman happens to be former Fox Chicago reporter Lilia Chacon, who sat next to Placko for 16 years at the station. (Can you say awkward?) Chacon can be seen in one of the shots getting into the car with Neely.

  • Tonight marks the farewell — at least for now — for Ebert Presents At the Movies. Roger Ebert joins critics Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky to list their best and worst movies of the year. While Ebert and his executive producer/wife Chaz continue to seek funding for a comeback, it’s over and out after one year at 8:30pm on WTTW and public television stations nationwide.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)