"The WGN Radio Theatre" is hosted by Carl Amari and Lisa Wolf and airs Saturday and Sunday night from 11 pm until 2 am on WGN AM 720.
Born in 1963, Carl Amari has been a fan of the golden age of radio since he was 12 years old. He spent much of his 20s and 30s licensing the rights to tens of thousands of radio broadcasts from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, including: The Shadow, Jack Benny, Our Miss Brooks, Sherlock Holmes, Suspense, Inner Sanctum, Gunsmoke, X Minus One, Burns & Allen and hundreds more.
In 1990, Amari created the nationally-syndicated radio series “When Radio Was” (which still airs on 100-plus radio stations today) as a showcase for these classic radio shows. Art Fleming (of “Jeopardy” fame) was the show’s first host. When Art Fleming passed away in 1995, Stan Freberg became host of “When Radio Was."
In 2009, Amari, along with co-host Lisa Wolf, began producing/hosting “Hollywood 360” on AM 560 WIND-The Answer (podcasts of Hollywood 360 can be heard here). “Hollywood 360” presents ‘all things entertainment’ including: classic radio shows, showbiz news, movie reviews (by national movie critic Sarah Adamson), trivia contests and fun games. In 2012, “Hollywood 360” branched out into national syndication and today, the show can be heard on nearly 100 radio stations from coast-to-coast. “Hollywood 360” is also heard each week on Glenn Beck’s Internet radio network, TheBlaze (Sunday evenings from 8 pm - 11 pm CST).
Amari has more than 100,000 classic radio shows in his library, licensed from the rights holders. He, and his business partner Vince Lombardi, develop classic radio collections on CD and digital download each and every month, which are offered for sale in his store. Amari’s other national radio show is “The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas” which is heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast-to-coast.
In 2002, Amari licensed the rights to turn the “Twilight Zone” TV series into a modernized radio drama series from CBS and The Rod Serling Estate. Prolific actor, Stacy Keach, is the show’s host and top celebrities take the lead roles, including: Lou Gossett Jr., Jane Seymour, Michael York, Blair Underwood, Jason Alexander, Sean Astin, Luke Perry, Jim Caviezel, Don Johnson, Lou Diamond Phillips and many others. The official website for “The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas” is here.
On April 12th, 2015, Amari began producing/hosting “The WGN Radio Theatre” on legendary Chicago radio station WGN AM 720, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 11 pm until 2 am. In each hour, Amari and Lisa Wolf, present the best in classic radio and offer listeners the chance to win great prizes with call-in contests. Both “Hollywood 360” and “The WGN Radio Theatre” are executive-produced by Michael Gastala. Dan Long and Shane Riordan are “The WGN Radio Theatre” producers. Carl’s ‘crabby’ brother Vince Amari is the show’s jack-of-all-trades.