I'm Spiritual, Dammit

Mary Schmich's article is right on...

I was excited when I got an email from Tribune columnist Mary Schmich yesterday.

"I'm writing a column on the dearth of women in Chicago talk radio and just stumbled on your recent blog item on it..."



When I called her back, we had a lovely conversation.  Her article could only be 575 words, so out of a ten minute chat, I had one quote in the finished piece.  I was just honored to be included.  

Longtime media critic Robert Feder wrote an article about this very topic in 1985.  "Never in my wildest dreams," he told Mary "I couldn't have conceived things would be worse for women."

I listen to Eric and Kathy in the morning, Steve Cochran from 1-3 on WGN, and Roe and Rich on WLS from 3-6.  (Even if they do talk about farts.)  These are the only shows I feel I can relate to.  But if Carol Marin and say, Mary Ann Childers were the new morning drive duo in town- I wouldn't miss it.  

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"So why do you think there aren't any women in talk radio?"  Mary asked me.

"Well- that's the million dollar question," I said.  

"Do you really think women would listen to a woman host?"  She asked.

"Well- we watch Oprah.  We watch The View.  I know that's television, but these shows get ratings, and it's all women talking about issues, current events, politics- whatever they want."

"Mmmmmm hmmmmm," Mary said. 

"Nobody has bothered to give women a chance," I added.  "They try every combination on the planet of different men.  They even bring in men who aren't from Chicago.  Yet I received several emails after I wrote my blog from female broadcasters who have recently pitched radio shows, and they can't even get 2 hours on a Saturday."

One woman told me that when she was hired just to do news for one of the biggest talk stations in town- the program director at the time told her, "I'm only bringing you in because I was told I need more broads to work here."

Broads?  Great.  

Then there's the ancient argument that a woman's voice isn't soothing.  Well if that's the case- why did Kathy and Judy- whose voices sound like the breaks on my old car screaming to a halt- reign supreme for decades on WGN?  

Because they were the only female game in town, I'm guessing. 

I think Rush Limbaugh has a high pitched voice that sounds like someone stuffed a bunch cotton balls in his cheeks, and he has listeners for some God knows why reason. 

So if you have an opinion on this subject- do what Mary asks in her article- add a comment at the bottom.  Tell her if you would listen to women on the radio.  I told Mary that while I joke these stations should hire "anyone with tits and a v-jay-jay" I want my hosts to be educated and intelligent.  I want to hear discussions about spirituality along with my news and information.  I don't want to hear some gum chewing idiot go on a rant about their nails, telling me if they got laid over the weekend.
  
What do you want to hear?

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2 Comments

Sally M. said:

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I am in total agreement Jen. If a woman is on a major radio station she is always paired with a man. Steve & Johnnie, Don and Roma. What happened to Kathy & Judy? Gender? Age? I would like to hear about issues from a woman's point of view.

KHoffmanNaperville said:

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I have kind of given up on radio in Chicago..........there is no one out there like "me". There also does not seem to be any of "the guys" on Chicago radio who have someone like "me" on there as guests.
I dont know what WGN has done with their programming But I do not feel at all welcome. There fore, I have taken my ears and my dollars elsewhere.

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