Morning Radio

Does anyone else get annoyed by most morning radio? Here in Chicago there are a handful of decent radio stations, but only one of them seems to have gotten it right, at least for me. I listen to more modern music, mostly rock, some hip-hop, some top 40 type stuff so there are really 3 radio stations that are tuned into my radio. Now usually I listen to my iPod while I’m in the car, but if you’ve been reading the blog for a little while now you would know that I got in a car accident a few weeks ago and I just now got my car into the shop to be fixed which means no more iPod in the car until Friday. So I am now forced to listen to the radio (or CDs of which I don’t really feel like burning one to use for another 4 days). The 3 radio stations that I’ve tuned into the car are Q101 (101.1), B96 (96.3), and KISS 103.5 (103.5).

Q101 is rock music, I guess it would be modern rock even though if you listened to it today you would think that Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins were the biggest bands in the world right now. This station seems to actually know what people want in the morning, or at least people that listen to Q101, they want music. There was a period where they had some lame morning show guys just talking the whole time and they’d occassionally play a song. Then they fired those guys and went to an all music format, which was great. Now they’ve brought the afternoon guys, Sherman and Tingle to the morning, but still kept the mostly music format and I think they’ve found a good median. There’s not a ton of talking, there’s traffic updates, gossip for about 5 minutes, and the rest music. This is the only station I can truely stand to listen to in the morning. Way to pay attention to what people want, except for the phone taps, those are stupid, please stop doing them.

B96, supposedly the most listened to radio station in Chicago. It’s top 40, pop music, but not in the mornings. In the mornings we get Eddie, Jobo and Erica talking most of the time with about 2 songs somewhere in between. Eddie and Jobo have been with B96 for like 100 years now, they even got fired, went elsewhere and then came back! This one is a little more tolerable than the last one I’ll mention in a few minutes, but I still can’t stand listening to Jobo do his stupid voice impressions. At least these guys seem to have a little more common sense and are a little more knowledgeable than the group over at 103.5, but some of the stuff is just dumb, like their prank calls. The only people laughing at the prank calls are themselves…. just stop.

This brings me to KISS FM 103.5 DreX in the morning with DreX and Mel T and some other people. These guys I can’t stand at all. The only time I’ll even go to this station in the morning is if the other 2 stations are on a commercial break and even then I’d rather listen to commercials. Supposedly this radio station has the lowest ratings of all the stations in Chicago, something like a 3 share (or something like that), but they still stay on the air so I guess some people like listening to stuff like “The Wheel of Trash”, which is just made up topics by Mel that are so ridiculous sometimes it’s a wonder people even call in. My biggest issue with them is that they don’t seem to have much common knowledge or street smarts. They will be trying to argue points about topics they seem to know nothing about. Then when a listener is on the phone trying to argue the right point, DreX doesn’t seem to pay attention, or get what they are trying to say. It’s so irritating that I have to go back to Q101 and listen to commercials. I could deal with them if they seemed educated on the topics they try to discuss, but they don’t. I’m still pissed they took Opie and Anthony off the air in Chicago, they may be more of the “shock jock” type, but at least they knew what they were talking about most of the time and had interesting/funny guests on the show.

I’m sure this isn’t just limted to Chicago and I know different people look for different things to listen to in the morning, I just felt like writing a bit based on what I’ve been hearing this week since I have no iPod. So if you actually read this entire thing and live in Chicago, or a city that has a similar situation, what are your thoughts on morning radio? Should there be more music or more talking about bullshit topics that have nothing to do with anything?

Update: 11/21/08: Looks like Eddie & Jobo have been let go from B96 here in chicago. You can read about it here if you really care.

Update: 12/15/10: Looks like Drex in the Morning is no longer on 103.5 since Drex has been fired. You can read about it here if you really care.