Friday, July 14, 2006

"Mancow" Exits Chicago's WKQX-FM

Katy Bachman

JULY 11, 2006 -

Following difficult negotiations with Emmis Communications, Mancow (Erich) Muller, morning man on WKQX-FM in Chicago since 1998, will be exiting the station July 14, Emmis announced Tuesday. Muller’s contract with Emmis expires on Aug. 25.

Emmis positioned the change as part of its plan to modify the format from Alternative Rock to Everything Alternative in order to appeal to a broader 18-49 audience. A new morning show for the station is in development and set for a Sept. 18 launch.

“We’ve decided that the time has come for us to develop a morning show that will better serve the needs and sensibilities of this audience,” said Marv Nyren, vp and general manager of Emmis Radio in Chicago.

But Mancow, claiming dominance among the Male 18-to-34 and 18-to-49 demographic, described a different story. The host of the now syndicated Mancow’s Morning Madhouse, announced Tuesday his intent to seek a new Chicago flagship “to expand my audience without interference.”

“I wish Emmis management didn’t frown on my relationship with Fox News Channel and my success in national syndication,” said Mancow who has appeared regularly on FNC’s morning TV program, Fox & Friends for the past seven years. “I’ve enjoyed working with Emmis, but they’ve wanted me to talk only about their narrow music world and related issues despite the fact that my track record and numbers are growing consistently as I broaden the subject matter of the show.”

In the recently-released Winter 2006 ratings, Mancow’s morning show was the highest-rated daypart on the station among Persons 12 and older. The show was ranked third among 18-34-year-olds and No. 6 among the 18-49 demo. According to Mancow’s press release, the show brought in about $7 to $10 million annually for the station, about half of the station’s annual revenue.

Despite its change of format in April 2005, WKQX hasn’t moved up in the ratings, still ranked No. 21 with a 1.9 overall audience share.