Posted by Big Fan on April 07, 2011 at 12:28:19:
Blast from the past: Casey’s Top 40 countdown back on WLS-FM
April 6th, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Zeroing in on the oldies boom in Chicago radio, vintage episodes of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 from the ’70s are on their way back.
Starting this weekend, the godfather of pop-music countdown shows will air from 7 to 10am Sundays on Citadel Broadcasting oldies WLS-FM (94.7). Distributed by Premiere Radio Networks and spanning the years from 1970 to 1978, each three-hour program will air in its original broadcast form.
“People will hear what it was like to first experience songs that are classics today when Casey (pictured left) originally introduced them,” said Michael Damsky, president and general manager of WLS. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
Thirty-nine years after he launched American Top 40 — on its way to becoming one of the most successful syndicated radio shows of all time — the 77-year-old Radio of Hall of Famer called it quits in 2009. “Hosting various versions of my countdown program has kept me extremely busy, and I loved every minute of it,” Kasem said on his retirement. “However, this decision will free up time I need to focus on myriad other projects.”
The show’s return is part of an overall realignment of weekend programming on WLS, under Damsky and program director Michael La Crosse, including the addition of live, local personalities during middays and afternoons.
While Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel will continue to air from 6 to 10am Saturdays, Tom O’Toole will host locally from 10am to 3 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Danny Lake, who has been hosting from 7pm to midnight Saturdays, will add a Sunday shift from 3 to 7pm. A local Saturday afternoon host is expected to be named soon. John Records Landecker’s syndicated Into the ’70s will continue to air from 7pm to midnight Sundays.
Damsky said the moves are in line with a strategic plan developed late last year in partnership with media consultant John Parikhal to improve the format. “The weekends give us a chance to play songs that people would not normally hear during the week,” he added.
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