Friday, May 5, 2017

Chicago Radio: Kathy Hart Walks, Hubbard Scrambles

The working relationship between WTMX 101.9 FM The Mix morning show superstars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart has been a terrible one, according to Chicago Radio& Media website.

While the two seem to have incredible chemistry on the airwaves, when the microphones are turned off, the duo simply cannot stand each other.

Eric and Kathy
According to CR&M, the problems behind the scenes have only worsened over the years and Hubbard Radio Chicago management has done little to smooth over the problem or end the highly toxic work conditions that have long existed.

According to insiders at WTMX-FM, the problem is so bad that the two hosts will only communicate with each other through producers. They will not even say a word to each other.

Many of the insiders side with Hart, claiming Ferguson's ego, entitled attitude, and harsh treatment of others makes it difficult to be around him.

No longer able to handle the negativity of working alongside Ferguson, Hart left the station this week on what appears to be a mental health leave of absence. Hubbard Radio Chicago is now scrambling to try and save their "golden goose" morning show that has produced record-high ratings and revenue for them for so many years.

The "Eric & Kathy Morning Show" has boasted strong listenership among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old females for most of their tenure at the station. The key to the success of this entertainment based, lifestyle driven show has been its ability to keep the content edgy enough to engage grownups but with enough tongue in cheek humor to sail right over the heads of kids.

Ferguson and Hart have been on-air partners on WTMX-FM since September 1996, creating one of the most successful and consistently highest-rated morning shows in Chicago radio history. This past November they were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame to honor their radio successes. In January, the duo were given a multi-year contract extension to stay on WTMX-FM.

45 comments:

  1. If Kathy is really leaving the show I don't think I will stay a listener. I feel she's the glue holding it together.

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  2. The only glue is having her name attached to the show. She's proven that she can't handle the show herself in the past. If Eric was gone, the show would have pre-recorded clips without Kathy taking over, If Kathy is gone.. The show goes on without any problem. Seems like someone has been riding the entire show's coat tails for a long time. In my Opinion, Good Riddance.

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  3. Eric comes across on air as even a snooty stuffy elitist and maybe she just got sick of his BS and talking about gold everyday after work.........I saw this happening years ago and I disagree, I thought she could handle the show fine by herself! Any updates on this?

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  4. Kathy Hart sucks. Show has been so much better since she left! Eric and Melissa in the morning!

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  5. Agree Eric is witty and smart but he's also rude, condescending and patronizing.

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  6. I don't miss her. I resent the fact that her absence has been vague. Is she in or is she out, don't really care. Melissa rocks.

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  7. The Eric and Melissa show sounds good to me. I don't miss Kathy as Melissa has stepped up and filled the female role with ease.

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  8. The show is Eric & Kathy- she needs to take a break and suck it up! Or leave the show. The rest of us have to manage with personal problems while working. Melissa has been great- unfortunately the show must go on...or rather "fortunately". I am a long time listener-Eric is funny, talented & is able to ride out the storms- The Show Must Go On!.....

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  9. I like Kathy and I hope she is ok. If the reason for her absence is her dislike for Eric, then she needs to make a definitive move. To be gone for so long with no explanation shows she cares little about her fans. Good for Melissa for stepping up to the plate!

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  10. PEOPLE JUST NEED TO LEARN HOW TO GET ALONG! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TILL IT IS TAKEN AWAY!

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  11. I am all for Eric & Melissa (and Whip). These three appear to work good together and the longer Kathy is away the less she is missed. In my opinion, Kathy brought nothing to the show. However, you know what they say about opinions. I really don't miss her and I have been listening since 1999.

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  12. Any update as she has now been off the air for over 2 months and with no explanation from the station it is a joke at this point and I turned off the station and now listen to a combination of the Score and Satellite Radio (the new Chris Carter morning show on Sirius channel 18 is great)! I think the earlier comment was how Eric talks about golf (not gold) all day......I really think she is trying to get out of her deal and WTMX is playing hardball!

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  13. Glad that she is gone. She was very opinionated and self-righteous. No reason or basis for it. Wasn't she married & divorced three times! She should keep her opinions to herself.

    Eric and Melissa (and Whip) has a better ring.

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  14. Kathy Self Righteous? A show fronted by Eric Ferguson and the other co-host is called self righteous? Kathy you can do better- Adios WTMX I say!

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  15. Kathy was not too bright.. comments were dumb but she thought she was expert and know it all.... rather have Melissa and Whip and be done with it

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  16. I liked Kathy. But I truly don't recall her ever hosting the show solo. I'm shocked at hearing so many call Eric 'elitist'. I don't hear it and I've been listening for 20 years. It's his shtick. The longer Kathy is gone, the less I miss her. And Melissa and Whip are a hoot. I won't stop listening.

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    1. Eric does come off as very pompous and elitist. Not exactly the doting dad-seems all her cares about is the golf course and his Cubs and Black Hawks season tickets.....

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  17. The longer she is out, the more nobody cares. She will not have this opportunity again with another station. She cannot carry a show by herself. When Eric is out, they play tapes from previous shows. Hope she saved her money, because she will never have this type of opportunity again. For her to just walk, things must of been really bad or she is too thin skinned. Either way, have fun reading the news for Mancow in the future.

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  18. We are now approaching 3 months that she has been out. Where are the reporters in this town to "dig" a little and find the story. Clearly Kathy is tired of Eric's pompous attitude. The fact that WTMX has said nothing is an insult to the millions of Chicagoans who listen to their show...or like me "used" to listen...Adios WTMX!

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    1. I agree! WTMX's silence is unacceptable. I think Eric, Melissa and Whip are great, but feel that the station has insulted their listeners. I'm out!

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  19. I vaguely listen every morning on my drive in to work, and just now realized (as I heard them discussing it) that Kathy has been gone since April?! I didn't realize it had been nearly that long, but I like the show as it is. Everything seems to flow, and I really like Melissa. The show must go on :)

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  20. Still love the show without Kathy, they have all picked up the slack very well.

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  21. Never liked the contributions that Melissa made, always seemed to be riding on Kathy's coat tails. This is a joke now and I really hope many die hards don't sit by like sheep while WTMX says nothing and takes us for granted. Plenty of options on satellite radio as well! BTW-Don't like the show at all without Kathy............

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    1. Kathy was a snotty stuck up b. Hey Kathy, NOBODY cares about your damn boobs, your bratty kids, your dumb dog and your even-dumber husband! The show is BETTER with her gone. I LOVE the chemistry between Eric, Melissa and Brian! LOVE IT. BUH BYE, SOURPUSS HART.

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    2. Melissa was the traffic girl, not really part of Eric and Kathy. I think she has stepped up really well.

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  22. I've begrudgingly listened on and off for 20 years. Not a fan, but it's the most innocuous morning flavor. I say 'begrudgingly' because I find the bits too contrived, lacking creativity. They've made an awful lot of money asking the audience to share similar experiences to web/magazine articles and polls. Eric misses so many opportunities for spontaneous, genuine humor. Rather, he's so focused on keeping the show moving like it's his main job/focus. Kathy on the other hand...I never heard the contributions on air, so I thought she contributed more behind the scenes. But I tend to agree with most here...the show is better when Whip and Melissa play a more prominent role...it seems more fluid, more natural, and Eric isn't being quite as jerky to Melissa, which I think was a bit that ran its course 10 years ago. Makes me really question what Kathy's value ever was. All signs point to this being permanent.

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  23. We are now at the 3 month mark and nothing from WTMX, nothing from any reporters, nothing from Ferguson or the staff and most importantly nothing from Kathy herself. I am done with WTMX, 3 months of sitting in limbo...done done done......as someone said it is NOT a better show without her and I feel bored listening. Hello Satellite Radio morning shows!

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  24. I think it's an insult to us long time, loyal listeners whenever Eric gives us his non updates on the Kathy situation. When he "swears on my kids lives" that he doesn't know anything, it's total B.S. He may not know how this will be resolved, but he knows what happened to cause it. Seems to me that WTMX should start calling it The Whip Show being as Eric never works a full week any more. How many times do we have to listen to the same old tired clips!

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    1. Eric is probably at Wrigley or the golf course. I noticed too before I stopped listening. I said to myself if this a "Monday thru Thursday" show now????? A complete joke, shame on WTMX!

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    2. I've been noticing that alot lately....today too and it's only tuesday. what is going on with him now !!

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  25. Generally, I don't find it necessary to 'google' or search for information about Eric or Kathy, but happened to come across this site. I have been a listener since before Eric joined Kathy (mid 90's). Overall, my feeling is that Eric carries the show. He prepares for the next day. It's often seemed to me that Kathy would just show up and respond to his promptings for banter. I am sorry if Kathy is experiencing a family issue, and if that's the case, I offer prayers (although she's new-'agey' and probably won't accept Christian prayers). From the post that Eric doesn't work a full week, well, it is Summer and his family has a place in Lake Geneva (where the waverunner accident occurred). MANY people take Summer hours. I enjoy the show just as much as when Kathy was there. People leave jobs and after a hiccup, things often are better after.

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  26. Melissa has really stepped up. In fact, it seems Melissa plays easier into Eric's show humor than Kathy did at the end - and she does not seem to mind it. The real question is whether Melissa wants to/enjoys being in this spot for the long term. I actually like it better.

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  27. I find the show just as enjoyable with Melissa and Wip. Kathy was not adding anything at the end and Melissa has stepped up to the plate. I think Eric is enjoying it.

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  28. I think the fact that all of us long time listeners are not questioning WTMX or Ferguson is a joke. It is now August and nothing....as people have said it is an insult. Where are the reporters in this town to dig a little for a number #1 radio show? If it was health reasons, I feel someone on the show or on the website would say something along the lines of "Kathy Hart will be on temporary leave of absence"...simple as that......she wants out and her patience over Ferguson and WTMX is clearly done.....bye bye Eric and Kathy show.....

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  29. I think I'm done with the show, and I like what Eric, Melissa and Whip has done. But most reports indicate that Eric is an ass, so I give Kathy credit for standing up, How many of us work with an assortment but only stay because we need a job?

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  30. Wow, the "Eric and Kathy Radiothon" is still billed as such, but clearly Kathy has no part in it. WTMX has also changed it from the old 36 hour radiothon to just 6-10 each day this week. I guess this way it does not disrupt Eric's Cubs or Golf schedules????

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  31. Wow you people are harsh. Give Eric a break. He takes some time off in the summer....big deal. Don't we all? I feel it is a bit strange that they are still giving Kathy an advertising presence by continuing to call the show Eric and Kathy when it is clear that she will not be returning. Buy out the balance of the contract and move on..Eric and Friends has a nice ring to it.

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    1. yeah i was wondering why they are still calling it the "eric and Kathy" show. She hasnt been on since the end of april. She's done !! Hope this isnt some kind of joke or publicity stunt !!

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  32. I completely agree with "AUG 16, 11:10pm" (we're all posting anonymously :) ). Everyone takes time off in Summer, especially 'Summer Fridays'. And, great call with the name Eric & Friends. Can there please be a resolution...soon !! Also, the Radiothon was not 36 hours last year.....same as this year: a full week to call/pledge, then four hours on final day.

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  33. I WILL AGREE with the first post on 8-16. The radiothon has become a bit of a joke and I always assumed it was Eric who also did not want his summer schedule disrupted. I have moved on as I feel WTMX is really to blame here for the lack of info to the shows millions of fans. This was handled very weakly and amateurish. Shame on WTMX. Someone else said it earlier, I have also moved on to satellite radio!

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  34. Just found this site. I listen and like Eric. I also turn on at least 2 other radio shows in my ride to work. ( 1 1/2 hour ride). Not interested in all of this drama. Good luck to all.

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  35. How to destroy a #1 morning drive show in a major market-See WTMX! 100% to blame!

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  36. How about an update Hubbard/wtmx.....is kathy gone for good or what ?? Your listeners deserve an explanation. Eric saying he doesnt know is a bunch of BS. Let's all move on to the Eric, Melissa and Whip show ;)

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  37. I miss Kathy and feel she was an asset to the show. I think she got shafted. She was why I listened! Eric is such a name dropper! Egotistical jerk. Personally, I liked hearing about her family life, showing she is a regular person and devoted mother. Not like Eric talking about what game he was at and with whatever famous person he knows through his job! I can't believe his wife puts up with him.

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