CHICAGO (AP) — Wally Phillips, the most listened-to Chicago radio host for
two decades, has died. He was 82.
The longtime broadcaster, whose skillful blend of information and humor made
him a pioneer of talk radio, died Thursday after suffering from Alzheimer’s
disease, according to WGN, where he spent 42 years.
Phillips dominated Chicago’s radio airwaves after taking over WGN’s morning
show in 1965.
Mixing audience participation, public service and breaking news, his
broadcast was the No. 1 morning show in Chicago from 1966 until he left to
take over the afternoon program in 1986, according to WGN.
At the height of his popularity, he had an audience of nearly 1.5 million —
about half the listeners in the Chicago area.
Phillips returned to the air in 1999 to host a two-hour weekly talk show on
WAIT-AM, a station in suburban Chicago.