Thursday, February 15, 2007
Radio in Chicago has its ups and downs. The downs I'll get to, but the ups are what I'm listening to. On my feet, or on my crate all day, and keeping it low-key at night, I listen a lot to WGN.
Milt Rosenberg (Extension 720) might be my favorite. He's smart, and where is he isn't as knowledgeable, he's done his homework. I can tell when Charlie Rose hasn't read the book he is interviewing the author about, but not with Milt. His guests aren't just some wannabe, but real authors. He's upfront about his biases, but I get the impression he tries to remain objective and ask questions that his all sides fairly. Charlie's less open about his biases.
Spike O'Dell gets a few listens a week, though he's on when I'm busiest. John Williams and Steve Cochran are more my style, though. Funny guys.
Of all those on WGN, I'm bound to listen to Kathy and Judy the least. They are fun, but witless. I feel like with them, I have already heard what they are going to say five years ago, and from someone in a bar.
Rick Kogan has one of those great radio voices, though he has that cigarette smoker's roughness. Along with Milt, I think he ranks as a defining voice for WGN. I can see both them winning awards and plaques.
Dean Richards is in the same camp of intellect, but seems less unique. Sounds occasionally too reviewerish. Rick comes off less scripted.
Nick Digilio came off, in the beginning, as terribly annoying, but grew on me. I can't explain it. I couldn't stand listening to him. I thought he sounded like the know-it-all at the coffeeshop. He knows a lot about movies (what he does best), but, and this is part I like, doesn't get stuck in the art school mindset. It took a while, but I am on board, and actually enjoy listening.
If I could stay up late enough, I'd listen more to Steve and Johnnie. I'm a guitar fan, and learned about Tommie Emmanual from an interview Steve did. Friendly. Johnnie, his wife, is not playing any games of "look at me, I read a book." That's how I feel with Kathy and Judy. With Johnnie, she's every day warmth. You know she's met some incredible people, as Steve, but I never feel as if they present their friendships any differently than I would mine.