"Murphy in the Morning" returns to Chicago


Robert Murphy, the former WKQX (Q101) Chicago morning man whose recent comeback was supposed to be only a two-week stunt, is about to make it permanent: He’s just been hired as morning host at Hubbard Broadcasting’s WILV-FM (“Rewind 100.3”), reports Robert Feder on his Time Out Chicago blog.

Starting 9/8, he’ll be heard from 5:30-10am weekdays on the adult hits station.

“Once among the highest-paid and most popular personalities on Chicago radio, Murphy put the former WKQX on the map as an adult-contemporary powerhouse in the 1980s. When new owners Merlin Media took over Q101 this summer and prepared to switch to all-news, they brought on Murphy to bridge a two-week gap between formats in July,” said Feder. “To the delight of his fans, Murphy, 60, didn’t miss a beat after 18 years away from Q101. Among those who liked what they heard were executives of Hubbard Broadcasting, including senior vice president of programming Greg Solk. An ideal spot for him, Solk figured, would be on a music-intensive station specializing in hits of the ’80s — the era in which Murphy dominated young adult female listenership.”

Murphy says he retired in the early 1990s from WKQX because he wasn’t comfortable with the music as it changed from AC to Alternative. Eric “Mancow” Muller ended up taking his place there.

“Greg and I are thrilled with the success of Rewind 100.3 but are always challenging ourselves to find compelling ways to take it to the next level for the listeners,” said Barry James, PD at Rewind 100.3. “Murphy’s personality and style are a perfect complement to a station designed to let the listener ‘feel good’ — and there’s never been a more important time to offer them this sort of escape.”

Susan Wiencek will continue as morning news anchor after Murphy steps in. Under the station’s new lineup, Brian Peck moves from mornings to afternoons, Brian Middleton moves from afternoons to evenings, and David J moves from evenings to part-time/fill-in. Megan Reed continues to host middays.