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Thumbnail image for dave2.jpgIt's been on WGN Radio. It's made the message board circuit. Now, as promised, here are some of the e-mail responses to Dave Gathman's WGN column, "WGN: A loving radio family turns into angry arguers."

Nice work, Dave.

Kevin Metheny
Program Director | WGN Radio

Mr. Gathman:

Thank you for mentioning my name in your column about WGN. It's so nice to be remembered.

It's truly sad to see what they're doing to a once great radio station.

Obviously, I'm happy to be retired.

Thanks again,
Tom Petersen
(NOTE: A former WGN newsman, now residing in the Elgin area.)

Dear Dave Gathman,

Thank you for so eloquently expressing the feelings my husband and I have about the changes at WGN-AM.

We have listened to all the "oldies but goodies" that you mention and we have become increasingly distraught at the new programming. For years, WGN was the background to our breakfasts, with interesting and often amusing topics put forth by commentators we felt we knew intimately--Wally Phillips, Bob Collins, Spike O'Dell and Kathy and Judy. Of late, the only ones we appreciated were Steve Cochran (gone) and John Williams (and even he has gradually moved into the assertive and annoying mode that characterizes the "new" format.)

The notion of infuriating the audience to increase viewers, raise ratings and revenue is lost on us...but then we are in the less-desirable senior demographic, not what WGN is interested in. Any suggestions for a substitute--one that doesn't turn our morning cup of Joe into a bitter brew?

Joan Colby

Read more reader responses, add your own, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for dave2.jpgThe column I wrote for Tuesday's Courier-News, condemning the recent change in talk-show hosts and attitude at the previously beloved WGN Radio, really tapped into a vein of emotion. It has incited more reader responses than anything else I've written during a 30-plus-year career in journalism.

The weirdest experience has been hearing myself discussed on WGN itself. On Tuesday afternoon, new WGN host Garry Meier, whom I slammed in the column, read the lede paragraph, in which I say that the on-air changes feel like a member of my family has died.

"My God!" Meier said. "This isn't a pet. It's a business!"

(AUDIO: Listen to afternoon host Garry Meier and veteran host John Williams discuss Dave Gathman's column on WGN Radio.)

I hear that before I tuned in, he also called me a "clown" and said the column should have been printed in The Onion (a satiric humor magazine).

Meier's comments show that he still just doesn't get it. WGN listeners kept the station at No. 1 or No. 2 in the Chicago ratings for so many years precisely because the people we listened to on air did feel like a family to us.

More responses to Dave's column from readers and other media outlets, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgIf you believe this rap video, Elgin is pretty much the Compton made infamous by NWA and Snoop Dogg, as our own Mike Danahey said.

(WARNING: It is NSFW. Really, really NSFW. No REALLY, the chorus alone repeats the F-word four times. There's nothing we can do about it, since it's out there on the Internet, but don't click on it if you're under 18.)

It's called "Welcome to Elgin" by Madd P, and it's reportedly the first single off his mixtape, "MELTDOWN."

P tweeted last week the entire "mixtape" soon will be available online for free download. And while we all are waiting on pins and needles for that to happen -- and "comin' down 20 with our Glocks" -- we launched a newsroom-wide effort to count the rap cliches and Elgin references in this video (mostly, so you don't have to brave the language).

My favorite characterizations are the downtown neighborhood where The Courier-News building is located as full of "crack fiends and drug dealers with them rocks / mixed in with corporate owners, casino and crooked cops" and "studios, liquor stores and laundry on every block / that's why those alphabet boys say we're the City to Watch." Also, you "never know when it may be your final day" here.

Count them all, add your own, tell us where the eff do you come from, after the jump!

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