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Media: November 2019

| October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

For seven months, Jenniffer Weigel occupied a co-host chair in Mancow’s studio at WLS. She already knew him socially but was impressed by seeing Mancow work firsthand.

“He works very hard on his show,” she says. “He’s the first one there every morning. Watching him run the board is like watching someone with ADD fly an airplane. It’s really impressive. I have great respect for what he’s accomplished with his career.”

And yet, after trying to mesh their styles and approaches for a few months, they realized it wasn’t the perfect fit. “We had very different ideas about content, so I thought it was best to go our separate ways.”

Luckily for Jenniffer, the management at WLS didn’t want to lose her, and they gave Weigel her own show. It debuted in October, and it’s a little different than the other shows in the station lineup. Jenniffer definitely has a vision for what she wants the show to be.

“I’m Chicago through and through,” she says. “I think deep-dive conversations on the radio are interesting and compelling. I’m looking forward to having in-depth conversations with people who are making a difference. The content is everything from authors to entertainers to lawmakers to chefs. We’re not going to be a blow horn about things people want to complain about. I want to be positive, to make people laugh, to really connect with the listeners, and let them have their say. I’m super-excited to connect with the listeners. I’m them. I’m a single mom, and when I was getting up at 4:30 to go work, there wasn’t a community to get involved in. I want to be that community for the hours my show is on, and I want it to be compelling for the people who listen to it on demand. I want people to be inspired, laugh, contribute, and go to bed. That’s my goal, and that’s what I’m working hard to create.“

Focusing is on the positive will come as no surprise to people who have followed Weigel and her career.

“My brand is all about being positive and lifting people up, and that’s what I try to bring to everything I do. To look at what is working, as opposed to focusing on what is broken. Research proves that when you hear something inspiring, it makes you want to inspire others. It’s science. Why wouldn’t people want more of that?”

She also plans on having lots of guests on the show.

“Every week, I’m going to have as many people live in the studio as possible. Pam Zekman, John Landecker, Bill Kurtis. There are so many people who helped create this town. I’ve worked at just about every station in town, both on TV and radio and [at] both newspapers. I’m going to tap into my Rolodex from all of those places and give everyone a platform. It’s going to be Chicago through and through.”

Even though WLS is a conservative political-talk station, don’t expect a lot of political talk on Jenn’s new show.

“You are not going to hear me talk about Trump this or Obama unless something is breaking. I did a show called “Jen and Mary” during the Bush years, and we gave people an oasis to laugh and relax, and that’s the type of environment we tried to create. I’d like to do that again – a break from the mayhem, and an attempt to find solutions. I know it sounds like I’m running for office, but heck no! I am not running for office!”

If she had to choose one thing she is striving to avoid, it’s anger. And she points out that anger is not just the domain of one side of the political spectrum.

“I interviewed Deepak Chopra years ago, and he said, even the people who are protesting for peace are angry. They are adding anger to the pot. Even if you think you’re right, if you’re angry–you’re still angry. There will be nobody screaming their opinions.”

Weigel is, of course, considered broadcasting royalty in this town. Her father Tim was a beloved sportscaster, and her brother Rafer also works in the business–he’s with Fox 32 in the morning. I asked Jenn what her father, who passed away many years ago now, would think of his children’s careers.

“Lately, Rafer and I were on the same schedule. We both started the morning shift at 4:30 on March 4th, which was my dad’s birthday. I felt like that was a little wink from my dad. When that happened, Rafer and I were on the same clock, and we began to text and call each other a lot more. It was fun to have someone you know and trust that well on the same schedule. We emceed a gala together a few months ago, and people were coming up to us saying–Why aren’t you two working together? I had to say, ‘You know, that’s a great question. I have no idea. We have to rectify that.”

Consider it rectified. You can hear Jenniffer Weigel’s show on WLS (AM 890) every weekday from 10 pm–Midnight.

– Rick Kaempfer

 

 

 

 

 

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