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Columnist
'Mike North Webio' debuts Monday
Bt Ted Cox | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/2/2008 3:33 PM

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Stiff-armed by a noncompete clause that would allow CBS Radio to match any mainstream media offer for six months, Mike North instead is executing an end-run by going to the Internet.

"The Mike North Webio Show" will debut Monday and run from 9-11 a.m. weekdays on the www.WildfireRestaurant.com Web site, owned by Chicago restaurateur Rich Melman's Lettuce Entertain You.

The format will closely resemble the sports talk of North's show on WSCR 670-AM, which he left when his contract ran out at the end of June. The day's show will also be made available as a free podcast at 1 p.m. through Apple's iTunes and North's NorthtoNorth.com Web site.

It's a promotional device for Melman's five area Wildfire restaurants, but it also provides North an outlet until the offer-match clause expires in four months. At that point Melman can exercise an option, or North can return to radio - or any number of other possibilities.

"It really puts terrestrial radio on notice," North said. "This is going to change the way radio contracts and TV contracts are done."