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Tom Roeser Retires from Radio

WLS 21 May 2011 12 Comments

WLS Radio’s Tom Roeser is retiring from the airwaves after broadcasting his weekly show on WLS radio for nearly 17 years. Unfortunately Tom is in the hospital and we would like to give his fans a chance to wish him the best. You can write him a message below and we will forward all of them to him.

Roeser joined WLS Radio in 1994 and has served as the host of “The Tom Roeser Show”. Roeser, a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists AFL-CIO, has been a senior correspondent and talk show host for Catholic Family Radio, a network with outlets in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee. He is an occasional commentator on “Chicago Tonight” which is seen on WTTW-TV, Chicagoland public television.

He was born in Evanston, Illinois and graduated from St. John’s University at Collegeville, Minnesota. Tom started his career covering politics in Minnesota where he became a research-publicist to the Minnesota Republican Party; then an aide to two U.S. congressmen and a governor. He returned to Chicago to launch The Quaker Oats Company’s government relations department in 1964 and continued his education with post-graduate studies at DePaul and Loyola Universities.
He was named manager-public affairs for The Quaker Oats Company in 1964, promoted to Director-Public Affairs in 1966 and served in that capacity until 1969. He left Quaker temporarily to assume a role in the federal government as assistant to the secretary of commerce for minority enterprise (1969-70). He then recommended the abolition of his own agency which was a controversial challenge to the permanent bureaucracy which led to his reassignment as Director-Public Affairs for the Peace Corps where he became a foreign service officer (1970-71).

Roeser returned to Quaker in 1971 where he was promoted to vice president-government relations. He served there until his retirement in 1991. Then he established the firm of Thomas F. Roeser & Associates and represented a variety of clients in government relations. He formed The Chicago Daily Observer, the city’s first internet 5-day a week newspaper in 2007.

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  • Ted Lester said:

    Thank you, Tom, for your years of sharing enlightenment on the air and other venues. Warmest wishes on the occasion of your retirement.

    Ted Lester

  • Jim Ridings said:

    Best wishes to Tom Roeser in his retirement, and please take care of your health problems. I learn something new every time I read his blog, and I am always amazed by the depth of his knowledge and understanding. I hope he uses some of his leisure time to write a few books. This country can certainly benefit from his knowledge and wisdom.

  • Mike Buck said:


    God bless you and Lillian.

  • Terry Przybylski said:

    Tom, all the best to you and Lillian–and thanks for showing us the way for all these years.

  • Marty Robinson said:


    As God gives us fortunate ones borrowed time past our allotted threescore and ten, we must involuntarily give things up with the years. I haven’t reached octogenarianism yet, but I’m close, and have relinquished much. You, on the other hand, have been juggling more balls in the air than many men half your age. When you return home, please devote yourself to your blog. Your fearless, pellucid opinions and memories are needed more than ever.

  • Pat Hickey said:

    Tom Roeser is an 18th Century genius with a New Millennium vigor, outlook and honor.

    He is a principled spokesman for 1st principles. He confounds blockheads and unprincipled blabbermouths. Tom Roeser respects another’s opinion though he will disagree with the argument – never the speaker.

    Chicago is blessed with Tom Roeser’s scholarship and sense of history.

    Thackeray said it best of Tom Roeser long ago –
    “I think, it is a genial writer’s habit of being; it is the kind, gentle spirit’s way of looking out on the world—that sweet friendliness which fills his heart and his style. You recognize it, even tho there may not be a single point of wit, or a single pathetic touch in the page; tho you may not be called upon to salute his genius by a laugh or a tear. That collision of ideas, which provokes the one or the other, must be occasional. They must be like papa’s embraces, which I spoke of anon, who only delivers them now and again, and can not be expected to go on kissing the children all night. And so the writer’s jokes and sentiment, his ebullitions of feeling, his outbreaks of high spirits, must not be too frequent. One tires of a page of which every sentence sparkles with points, of a sentimentalist who is always pumping the tears from his eyes or your own. One suspects the genuineness of the tear, the naturalness of the humor; these ought to be true and manly in a man, as everything else in his life should be manly and true; and he loses his dignity by laughing or weeping out of place, or too often.”

  • Dan Kelley said:

    Earlier this month, I was asked to appear on Tom Roeser’s weekly radio program as a substitute guest panelist. I was honored to accept his invitation.

    When we met at the station, it was clear that Tom was coping with some medical challenges that Sunday night, but the show went on and was aired live as scheduled. Little did I imagine that this broadcast would be one of his final shows.

    Right now, I am having a difficult time accepting that I will no longer be listening to Tom’s interesting political discussion program on WLS Radio on Sunday nights. I have often thought that Tom Roeser and Milt Rosenberg were two of the best radio hosts in Chicago. Their wisdom and style differentiated both men from the inexperienced youths broadcasting in prime time.

    I am hopeful that Tom will recuperate shortly and continue his writing activities and maintaining his blog. I will, however, miss hearing him on the radio. I was unhappy when the weekly program was reduced in terms of its time to a one hour format a few years ago. Sadly, such concessions are sometimes necessary.

    May God continue bless Tom Roeser and his family, figuratively (the radio audience) and literally (Lillian and his children).

  • mike parker said:

    My best to you Tom, and I hope your health is good. I’ve always relied on you to espouse thoughtful conservative opinion. And you know I think highly of you as a friend.
    Good luck Thomas – and to your wonderful wife. I hope to see you again soon.

  • Kate Magee said:

    My prayers for you at this time and I will miss you on the radio.I hope you will still write on your webb site and for the Wanderer or I will really be lost. You know we need you so get well so that you can keep us informed.

  • Frank Nofsinger said:

    Our prayers solicit your speedy recovery, Old Warrior.
    May God bless you and yours,

  • ed dernulc said:

    We from Indiana will miss you and wish that this door closing, opens another door to all good things for you and yours. God bless.

  • PVBella said:

    Our prayers are with Tom and his family. Though we never met, we did talk on the phone. Tom was always gracious, a true gentleman.

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