It took more than four months to pull off, but iHeart Media Chicago finally completed one of the biggest radio talent raids of the year Thursday.
At the stroke of midnight in a special live broadcast from Adrianna’s in Markham, urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 officially announced the hiring of Frankie Robinson to host middays and Tone Kapone to host afternoons, effective immediately.
Until last May, Robinson and Kapone were the midday and afternoon stars, respectively, of Crawford Broadcasting hip-hop competitor WPWX FM 92.3.
Although their expected move to WGCI was first reported here May 20, sources said, both were bound by noncompete agreements that expired October 1.
“I’m thrilled we were able to recruit two of the hottest on-air personalities in hip-hop,” Matt Scarano, market president for iHeartMedia Chicago, said in a statement released Thursday. “They live and breathe the lifestyle and thanks to their vast community ties, Frankie and Tone are plugged into what’s happening in Chicago. They are committed to being No. 1 and I have no doubt they’ll get the job done.”
Starting Thursday, Robinson will be on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Kapone will be on from 2 to 6 p.m. They succeed Loni Swain and U.B. Rodriguez, who were released from WGCI last May. DJ MoonDawg (real name Michael Muniz), who’d been filling in during afternoons, returns to 6 p.m. to midnight. Rob Nice, who’d been filling in during middays, returns to part-time and weekend duties.
For Robinson the move marks a homecoming to WGCI, where she began as a reporter for Clear Channel Total Traffic Network more than 10 years ago and later co-hosted evenings, first with Victor “The Diz” Blackful and then with Leon Rogers.
“My life has truly come full circle,” Robinson said in a statement. “With God’s help, I am about to make history. Not just for me, but the entire city of Chicago – my city.”
Kapone (real name Anthony May) began as an intern at Power 92 and later co-hosted weekends and evenings with Shag Nice (as “The Hot Boyz”) before moving up to afternoon personality. He also appeared on the Fox syndicated series “Dish Nation.”
“This is something that has been a long time in the making, and words cannot explain my excitement to be a part of the 107.5 WGCI FM team,” he said in a statement.
In the latest monthly Nielsen Audio survey released this week, WGCI ranked fifth overall with a 3.7 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 1,410,900. WPWX ranked 23rd with a 2.1 share and 982,500 cume.