Robert Feder skewers Emmis for WLUP changes


Veteran Chicago newspaper columnist turned blogger Robert Feder has been observing the radio scene (and other media) in the Windy City for over 30 years. He ripped into Emmis Communications, following its move to pull Jonathan Brandmeier from WLUP-FM.

Feder, who spent 28 years at the Chicago Sun-Times, is now an Internet blogger operating under the umbrella of Chicago Public Radio. In his latest online column, Feder ridiculed Emmis for programming the Rock station from St. Louis, after major layoffs in Chicago back in March.

The Loop had been a major force in Chicago since Jimmy de Castro was running it under the Evergreen/AMFM ownership, according to Feder, and he wrote that even the conservative management of Bonneville International didn’t mess it up. Not so, he says, of Emmis.

“Under current management, the Loop has done nothing but cut, cut and cut some more. The only thing it has handled worse is its other Chicago station, alternative rock WKQX-FM (101.1). For the record, general manager Marv Nyren is also the man who fired Mancow Muller in 2006. Q101 has never recovered from that blunder,” Feder blogged.

Yes, ratings for highly-paid Brandmeier had been falling, but Feder blamed that on the lack of promotion by Emmis. “Losing Johnny B. may enhance the Loop’s bottom line temporarily, but it will render the station irrelevant in the long run,” he concluded.

RBR-TVBR asked Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan if he wanted to respond, but he declined in an email from a company spokesperson.