As Radio Listenership Falls, an Ode to Chet and Mongo

The New York Times last weekend noted radio’s crisis:

While more than 9 out of 10 Americans still listen to traditional radio each week, they are listening less…Radio revenue growth has stagnated and the number of listeners is dropping. The amount of time people tune into radio over the course of a week has fallen by 14 percent over the last decade, according to Arbitron ratings.

Could the lack of localism on radio be a reason? It seems that AM sports is the practically the only programming that features local voices. Last year, on fall Sunday mornings, I had each radio in the house tuned to a different AM station for the Bears pre-game marathon: The Score in the bathroom, BBM in the living room, WGN in the kitchen and AM 1000in the bedroom.This year, I’ve settled on what may be the best Chicago duo in quite awhile: Chet Coppock and Steve McMichael on AM 1000 (I just can’t call it “ESPN Radio”). They spend almost as much time talking about the glory days of the 80s as they do the ’06 team — but ain’t nothing wrong with that. They also demonstrate an anti-McCaskey bent that always plays well– but is strangely absent from WGN’s pre-grame, not so strangely missing from Bears flagship station WBBM. I’m still hopping around, catching the Three Bears on GN and Thayer on BBM during commercials, but I’m not even sure who is on 670 now, and I have yet to find Hub Arkush. Two weeks into an undefeated season, Coppock and McMichael– Chicago media stars for quite awhile now– are the tandem to beat.

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