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I’m Worth It with Chicago Radio Legend Bonnie “Hey Baby” DeShong

I credit Bonnie with helping teach me the ropes when I was a radio rookie at WGCI in the early ‘90s. By then, she was already an essential part of Chicago Urban Radio, co-hosting mornings with giants like Tom Joyner and Doug Banks.  She had shifted her dream of a full-time career in theater to performing behind a microphone. What I love about Bonnie is that she is absolutely herself in everything she does. 

JS:  I remember you doing plays and things. I mean, the Goodman, ETA, all these all these institutions of arts, the theatre arts in Chicago, you’ve been on those stages. So you didn’t actually give up that dream. It just looked a little bit different, right?

BS: Yeah. That’s exactly it Jeanne. I always felt that whatever I wanted to do I needed to do to fulfill how I felt, okay? And that even came down to being with the listeners that we would greet. And being on stage or being out in the public eye and someone coming up to you. It’s how you feel about yourself, it comes out to the people who you are greeting. You know what I’m saying?

JS: You’re gonna make me cry. Oh, that’s so true. And I talk about that so much. And I think because we share some acting background with that, and it’s so true. You affect how people feel. You can change the temperature in a room by how you enter it. And I tell that to my clients all the time. And it’s amazing how we learn that with work.

BS: And it’s the truth. Now, the one thing that that really resonated with me was when Marv Dyson (former WGCI GM) said, and he won’t remember this, I’m sure. He said that Gannett may sign your paycheck. But your boss is your listener. If they turn the radio off, you ain’t got no job. Okay, so you have to relate. And you can’t think that because I’m on the radio, I’m all this in a bag of chips, you got to realize that when you go to the bathroom, you’re going next to somebody who’s not on the radio, you know what I’m saying? It’s like when days get hard, it doesn’t matter that you on the radio or not, if you hungry, you don’t matter. You have to treat people the way you want to be treated. And when that happens, it comes out and they give it right back to you. 

JS: I just want that to sit there for a second because those are the biggest facts in the world. And it’s actually something that you taught me when I was new to the business because that’s one of the hardest things to get used to. Because when you start, you’re young, you don’t have no kind of sense. But you think you know everything.

(Edited for length and clarity)