WGN Radio

Scaled-back farm show reflects times

Jim Ufkin misses his familiar lunch companions.

The corn and soybean farmer from Hooppole, Ill., about 130 miles west of Chicago, spends most of his day driving his tractor or working in his barn. Lunch was not only a time to rest and eat, but also to catch up on business by listening to Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong on The Noon Show, a half-hour farm news show.

For nearly a half century, The Noon Show boomed across the Midwest from Chicago's WGN-AM 720. But this month, in a business decision that says as much about changes in the Midwest and agriculture as it does about broadcasting, WGN all but canceled the show, blaming declining ratings and advertising...