OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Chicago radio changing, but Dick Biondi's voice stays strong

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2012-11-21T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Chicago radio changing, but Dick Biondi's voice stays strongPhilip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

After I wrote about Chicago radio legend Dick Biondi attending this month's National Radio Hall of Fame Gala in Chicago, reader Carolyn Moore of Valparaiso wrote me with the following question:

"Dear Phil: I read your column about Dick Biondi with great relish. I'm glad to read he is "still on the air" since he turned 80-years-old this year and I am 72. The mention of his name brought back lots of memories from the early 1960s and my college days. I went to a small college of just 2,000 students in Northwestern Pennsylvania. When it was a clear night, we could receive Dick's broadcast and we were delighted! I would like to write him and share a fan story. Could you provide his mailing address? Sincerely, Carolyn Moore of Valparaiso."

Thank you for your letter Carolyn.

Biondi is a favorite voice of many, including myself. For years, he was the signature voice (starting with the launch) of what was then billed as "the new Chicago Oldies Station," WJMK 104.3 FM, where he was heard until the station switched formats in June 2005. Biondi was let go in July 2006, along with all other on-air personalities. Fortunately for us, in November 2006, Biondi started on WLS 94.7 FM, where he hosts his True Oldies Show from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

You can write to him in care of:

WLS-FM

190 North State Street, 8th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

I think we'll have night owl Biondi broadcasting for many years to come. In fact, at this month's National Radio Hall of Fame Dinner Gala, which you referred to, one of the inductees was radio personality Luther Masingill, who is 90-years-old and still broadcasting as a Chattanooga, Tenn. radio great on WDEF, where he started in 1940! Biondi and his distinct pipes are destined to follow Masingill's vocal longevity.

Oh, and for the "record," Biondi was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1998.

More radio news

For the many readers who have called and asked about WGN Radio's John Williams upcoming departure from the popular news talk station, he won't be leaving 720 AM until the end of next month.

As announced by the station a few weeks ago, Williams opted not to renew his contract at WGN to move to Minneapolis, and concentrate on his hosting duties for the Minnesota radio station WCCO-AM.

What many listeners likely didn't realize is that Williams, 53, has been doing dual hosting duties and is already hosting the Minneapolis afternoon radio show remotely from the WGN Chicago studios since 2010.

"John is a great broadcaster and has been a valued member of the WGN Radio family," said Bill White, WGN Radio's program director in a released statement.

"While we are sad to see him go, we are happy for John and his family that they are able to return to Minneapolis, where they lived before moving to Chicago. We wish him all the best and know that he will continue to shine in his role at WCCO."

Williams said in a note released to WGN staff: "After a great deal of thought, after the 1st of January, Brenda and I have decided to move to Minneapolis and my time here will come to an end. I decided some time ago to do just one show -- as well as I can -- and that one will be at WCCO. Both stations and staffs deserve as much. We've had a lot of Bright Sides here. I never got to be King, but you've always made me feel like royalty." WGN has not yet named his replacement.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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