Wesley South dead at 95


WVON-AM Chicago reports the death of Midway Broadcasting Chairman Emeritus Wesley South, a pioneer of Black Talk radio. He was 95.

South was host of a nighttime public affairs talk show on WVON when he and station colleague Pervis Spann formed Midway in 1975 to acquire the station. In 1986, South changed the format from music to Talk, making WVON a powerhouse for community activism and empowerment in Chicago.

According to the WVON obituary, South was one of the first African-Americans to graduate from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He wrote for a number of prominent publications before his career in broadcasting.

South played an active roll in Chicago politics, pushing the campaigns of such prominent politicians as Mayor Harold Washington, Rep. Gus Savage and Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. He also worked hard to get his daughter, Leslie South, elected a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Illinois Appellate Court, from which she has now retired.

Wesley South died of natural causes at home on Saturday, January 9th. A funeral service is set for Saturday, January 16th at Church of the Good Shepherd in Chicago.

WVON is now owned by Clear Channel Communications, but is LMA’d by Midway.