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Bob Sirott Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Radio Debut

“My early radio career allowed me to adapt to television.”

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June 8th, 1973. That’s the day Chicago media legend Bob Sirott got his start on WLS-AM.

In a tweet, the WGN Radio morning host shared a picture of his time at what was then The Big 89, and shared that it was the 50th anniversary of his debut on the Chicago station.

Sirott originally began his radio career on WBBM-FM in 1971 as a fill-in DJ before moving to WLS in 1973. He worked there until 1979 before joining WBBM-TV. In 1989, he shifted to a role at WMAQ-TV, before ultimately returning to radio in 2019.

“Radio is a lot more creative than television,” Sirott told Barrett News Media earlier this year. “It’s harder. My early radio career allowed me to adapt to television. It goes the other way, too. I think the television work has made me better at the radio the second time around.”

He replaced Steve Cochran as the morning host on WGN Radio. The 73-year-old saw his contract extended in 2021 to remain with the station.

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News Radio

Joe Thomas to Launch Talk Format on Newly Purchased WTON on May 25th

“We’ll bring you coverage of the local stories from this wide area we’ll be covering as we develop the best local shows alongside an all-star lineup of shows all day.”

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A photo of Joe Thomas and the WTON logo
(Photo: Joe Thomas)

Former C-Ville 107.5 host Joe Thomas is set to launch a talk format on WTON and a pair of translators he purchased in March that led to his departure from his longtime radio home.

On Saturday, May 25th, Thomas will launch the talk format on the Staunton, Virginia station he purchased for $275,000, alongside FM translators on 98.9 in Harrisonburg and 101.1 in Crozet, VA.

“We want to hear your voice,” Thomas said in a statement to the Staunton News Leader. “We’ll bring you coverage of the local stories from this wide area we’ll be covering as we develop the best local shows alongside an all-star lineup of shows all day.”

After Monticello Media learned of Thomas’ purchase of the station in Staunton — which is roughly 45 minutes west of Charlottesville — the station ended its relationship with the morning drive host and Program Director. He had worked at the station since 2007.

Since his departure, Thomas has been hosting a digital program in preparation for his new station and program to launch.

With the new lineup on WTON, Joe Thomas will host the morning show that begins at 6 AM. The rest of the station lineup has yet to be finalized, he told the newspaper, stating that he’s still interested in formulating local programming before turning to nationally syndicated offerings.

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Eric Von Haessler: Why Do We Even Need Debate Moderators?

“The moderator does not need to be a part of the debate and they always are. And it’s insane.”

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A photo of Eric Von Haessler
(Photo: 95.5 WSB)

CNN and ABC News have announced plans for presidential debates, with moderators yet to be announced. 95.5 WSB host Eric Von Haessler wonders why the position is even needed.

As reports surface that CNN will tab Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, while ABC News is considering using David Muir and Linsey Davis, Von Haessler said the mere idea of a moderate feels like a foreign concept.

“First of all, they’ll be terrible. I would rather have nobody. They’re all prima donnas. Prima donnas,” Von Haessler reiterated. “And it just turns out that anybody that you pick out of 24-hour news buildings, just full of prima donnas. Why do we need two moderators? That’s number one. And then number two, why do we need any moderators? I don’t think that Lincoln/Douglas, I don’t think they had a moderator there. There used to be a way of debating that each side knew how to do this. Or just have like, Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, Bert Kreischer, I don’t care.

“The moderator does not need to be a part of the debate and they always are. And it’s insane. I think that there’s got to be some way that there’s somebody there who just sort of kicks it off just randomly. “But whoever moderates the debate should have gotten the short straw.”

Eric Von Haessler continued by joking that the job would be a perfect use of AI technology while adding that the likelihood that each moderator shows up to the debate with a mindset that the evening isn’t about them is incredibly low.

“We need someone who doesn’t have an agent. How about that? No one is allowed to moderate a presidential or vice presidential debate if they have an agent.”

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Bill O’Reilly: CNN Doesn’t ‘Have One Person On Their Roster That Can Do An Incisive Debate’

“And that’s the problem.”

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A photo of Bill O'Reilly
(Photo: Bill O'Reilly)

CNN and ABC News have both announced plans for a presidential debate in the coming months. Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like the prospects of what he’ll see, though.

While joining 77 WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Friday morning, Bill O’Reilly shared his belief that neither network is equipped with the correct talent to host a debate of this magnitude.

“They don’t have one person on their roster who can really do an incisive debate,” O’Reilly said of CNN, as Rosenberg agreed. “And that’s the problem. ABC is gonna have to throw up (George) Stephanopoulos because (David) Muir, the anchor of their nightly news, I don’t think he’s got the ability to do something like this.”

O’Reilly continued by pointing out past statements from CNN’s Jake Tapper, who many assume will be included as one of the debate moderators for the network’s June 27th event, where he was overly critical of the then-President.

Despite the insinuation by Bill O’Reilly that Muir would be over his head during such an event, a report from TVNewser claims Muir and current ABC World News Tonight Sunday anchor Linsey Davis will helm the moderator chairs in September. The same report says Tapper and Dana Bash will serve as moderators for CNN.

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