CHICAGO — Monday, Sept. 18, something entirely new is hitting the radio airwaves when Q101 (WKQX 101.1FM) launches its new morning show, combining news, entertainment, opinion and humor, with a uniquely Chicago flavor. The program, airing 5:30 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, will feature an ensemble of talented on-air personalities providing humorous takes on the news and pop culture, as well as regularly scheduled sports, weather and traffic updates. The program also will feature music and interviews with political newsmakers, celebrities and musical guests.
“We are really excited about the team we have assembled for the show,” said Mike Stern, program director of Q101. “We’ve crossed the nation to bring together an extraordinarily talented mix of individuals with ties to some of the most respected comedy institutions in the world. The group is really gelling, and we’re looking forward to a great launch on September 18. Our show will be completely unconventional, and each member of the ensemble has distinct talents to contribute.”
“Chicago should prepare itself for something completely fresh and new,” added Marv Nyren, vice president and general manager of Emmis Radio Chicago. “This is the morning show for a new generation, mixing news, comedy and commentary. It’s timely, topical, and is being tailor-made specifically to suit Chicago’s sensibility.”
Since changing the station’s music to encompass “Everything Alternative” and putting it all “On Shuffle,” the station has been attracting a growing audience that is demographically broader than the station had been previously. This morning show is designed to appeal to a wider demographic and complement Q101’s programming throughout all dayparts.
Michael McCarthy will lead the morning show’s team of writers and previously wrote for and performed with numerous comedy institutions around the country including Saturday Night Live, the main stage of the Second City in Chicago and Hollywood’s IO West (formerly Improv Olympic). He won critical acclaim for IO West’s sketch comedy show Big News. The Los Angeles Times raved that the show was “a marathon of mockery…that shows no sign of slowing down.” His other staff writing credits include: The Drew Carey Show, Sesame Street, and many projects for Comedy Central including Comedy Central on Trail: Bobbit vs. Bobbit, Spunk: The Tonya Harding Story, Beat the Geeks and Battlebots. McCarthy has recently made guest appearances on The Gilmore Girls, Cold Case, According to Jim, Jimmy
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Kimmel Live and Curb Your Enthusiasm. From 1995 to 1999, McCarthy created and produced Ireland’s first comedy festival in Kilkenny, Ireland, “The Murphy’s Cat Laughs.” The festival’s participants included Bill Murray, George Wendt, Rachel Dratch and Eddie Izzard.
The host of Q101’s new morning show is Chicagoan and Northwestern alumnus Alan Cox. Cox began his radio career at WLUP on the Jonathon Brandmeier show, rising through the ranks of radio, ultimately landing the morning drive slot at Pittsburgh’s WXDX-FM, one of the country’s top-rated alternative radio stations. The show quickly rose to the top of the radio ratings, was consistently voted “Best Radio Show” by a number of Pittsburgh publications, and earned him the 2001 Achievement In Radio award for “Best Afternoon Host.” Cox’s popularity earned him a weekly spot on PBS affiliate WQED’s nightly news/entertainment magazine “On Q” and later a spin-off “Off Q.” Building off his stand-up comedy background, Cox’s unique brand of acerbic humor, acclaimed recorded comedy bits and self-deprecating wit have made him a natural choice to anchor the morning show.
Sharing the microphone with Cox is co-anchor James Engel. The New York City native has spent the last five years in Los Angeles, where he worked in television, film and commercials. He recently appeared on the series Stacked, staring Pamela Anderson, and was a frequent voice contributor on Premiere Radio, where he impersonated Larry King, Dick Vitale, Ray Romano and others. Engel, a graduate of the Upright Citizens Brigade and the IO training programs, became an IO featured performer and his sports anchor character Steve Stevens in IO West’s Big News won the Los Angeles Times “Critics Pick” twice.
Also co-anchoring the program is Ginger Jordan, who originally hails from Schaumburg. After earning her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from University of Illinois (where she had a Q101 banner hanging in her dorm room) and her master’s degree in journalism from Marquette University, Jordan became the morning show co-host and newscaster at WXSS-FM in Milwaukee. Most recently, Jordan has been a news writer at WFLD-TV and a traffic reporter on numerous Chicago stations, including WMAQ-TV.
Steve Tingle joins the ensemble as a news correspondent. Tingle began his career as a winner of Phoenix’s EDGE 106 “Who wants to be a deejay” contest in 1998. In less than 18 months, he moved from the Sunday overnight deejay to the nightly spot and then on to afternoon drive. In August 2000, Phoenix station Power 92.3 offered Tingle its morning personality spot, the position he leaves to join the Q101 morning show ensemble. Known for his voice and parody abilities, which won him on-air time on the Howard Stern Show, Tingle will bring a whole host of characters to the program including Skip Newton, a career newscaster with a knack for inappropriate sexual innuendo; Ramon Jaworski, a French Spaniard who is unsure about his sexuality; Jaime Jennison, a beautiful narcoleptic traffic reporter; Tommy Munson, a precocious 4-year-old from Arlington Heights; Blanche Horowitz, a 68-year-old Jewish woman, who had a good time with the boys back in her day; and Clairissa Jenkins, a hip-hop diva whose streetwise personality allows her to always speak her mind; along with countless others.
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David Anthony Ball will be the “Man on the Street.” He has studied at The Second City and performed around Chicago in various improv shows and independent films. Putting his improvisational wit to the test, Ball will travel all over the city – to the Loop, Daley Plaza, movie theaters, Millennium Park, new restaurants, train stations, sporting events, or anywhere else exciting things are happening – to interview everyday Chicagoans about the hottest topics of the day.
Award-winning producer Ned Spindle has worked on-air and in production for a variety of radio stations, most notably an eight-year tenure at Q101. Spindle was recognized nationally in 2005, winning $10,000 and the Best in Show honor in the HD Radio National Promo Competition. Also during his time at Q101, Spindle earned numerous accolades including Chicagoland A.I.R. Awards for Best Station Image Promo, Best Public Service Campaign and Best On-Air Audience Contest Promo; Silver Dome Awards for Best Self-Promotion Series, Best Single Station Self-Promotion and On-Air Spot; and Radio and Production Awards for Best Feature Production (All Markets) and Best Promo (Large Markets).
Q101 veteran Jim Lynam joins the Morning Show team as executive producer after serving as executive producer of Mancow’s Morning Madhouse for the last 10 years. With his vast experience, Lynam will bring the celebrity element to the program, arranging for daily on-air interviews of rock stars, comedians, Hollywood actors, pop culture icons and political leaders. Lynam’s contributions are not limited to behind the scenes. Q101 listeners will know Lynam as the on-air personality Jim Jesus. The Columbia College graduate will leave the Mancow persona behind as he brings his sardonic wit to the sports desk for the new morning show..
Chicagoan Aemelia Scott will join McCarthy as part of the writing team. She is a graduate of Columbia University as well as Second City Conservatory and IO Chicago. Locally, she has performed with Second City Theatricals, The Annoyance Theatre and IO’s resident improv ensemble, Baby Wants Candy, as well as with Chicago Light Opera Works and Bailiwick Theatre. She is an associate editor of the online politics and culture journal Flak Magazine, where she maintains the regular podcast, Sit Down Comedy.
The new morning show team will make their debut Monday, Sept. 18. The program will air Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 10 a.m. on Q101 (101.1 FM).
Q101 is owned by Emmis Communications, an Indianapolis-based diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing operations. Emmis owns 21 FM and two AM domestic radio stations serving the nation’s largest markets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as well as St. Louis, Austin, Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Ind. In addition, Emmis owns a radio network, international radio interests, three television stations, award-winning regional and specialty magazines, and ancillary businesses in broadcast sales and publishing. In May 2005, Emmis announced its intent to seek strategic alternatives for its 16 television stations, and the company has sold or announced signed definitive agreements to sell 14 of them.
For more information about Q101 and the morning show, visit Q101.com.
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