Chicago morning show personality Julian Nieh of WBBM-96.3 has won a number of awards for his radio work and is known for putting on a lively show that includes crank calls and a steady stream of laughs.
Nieh, 29, is recognized around Chicago for the “J & Julian Mornings.” His show airs from 5:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
One of his most popular segments was “Sticky Situations,” in which guests suspect their significant others of cheating and Nieh gets the person caught up in the act.
His co-host is Jamar McNeil, known as Jay Niice on the show.
“Surprisingly, Julian is very much the same on the job and off the job,” said McNeil. “He works so hard that I think that he’s hardly ever off the job. Even when we’re not at work, he’s working. His personality is pretty consistent throughout the day.”
Nieh and McNeil have been working together for almost two years.
McNeil said listeners and fans don’t know Nieh has an exceptionally sharp memory. “[It’s] probably because he hasn’t killed many brain cells. He doesn’t drink alcohol at all. I’m sure that has something to do with it,” said McNeil.
Listeners have only positive comment about Nieh.
“I’ve been listening to B-96 since I was a kid,” said listener Crimea Baker. “I never thought anyone would be able to take over Eddie and Jobo (former co-hosts at WBBM), but Jay and Julian have done even better than them. I love Sticky Situations. Julian is so straightforward; he knows how to get people with words.”
Nieh has a number of titles under his belt from the Citizen President Award from Jacobs Media in 2008, first place for the 2009 Silverdome Radio Awards (consecutively for three years) and many more.
Nieh is perceived as funny, outgoing and blunt but deep down, he is also sensitive.
“I’ll be honest,” he said. “When people have negative things to say about what I said or did – I’m sensitive, but I am learning to grow from it. But real talk, who wants to hear something negative about them, right? For me, reason is because you cannot believe everything people say. I have my own filter and am strong in my beliefs, which are not easily swayed by an opinion or two.”
Nieh started as an intern on a radio station in Washington, D.C.
Since he was in middle school, Nieh has had an interest in words.
“In middle school I won the spelling bee award! I can spell my booty off — try me!” said Nieh. “In high school, I also won the ‘Most Likely To Play Professional Sports’ [award]. You choose which one is reality.”
Nieh attended a private schooL, Episcopal High School, in Alexandria, Va., and got kicked out his freshman year.
“I hated wearing Bass shoes and Dockers, and I skateboarded. They didn’t like that. Anyone see ‘Dead Poets Society’? Yeah, it was like that.”
Nieh didn’t have his heart set on a radio career when he was a kid. He dreamed of being on MTV as a video jockey or being on the television show “The Real World.”
“I remember I watched the show and I would be like ‘I could do that. I got stories and something to say. I am weird,’” said Nieh. “I actually got very close in one of ‘The Real World’ auditions but didn’t get the call back.”
Along with the desire to be on the television show, Nieh also wanted to own an import performance shop.
“I actually ran my own business out of my house while doing 10 million other things! Here’s a link from a car built used as a rolling showpiece for the business,” he said.
“Sadly, I sold it all when I got more serious into the devil called radio,” he said.
Nieh is an only child. If there is one person he would thank in his life, it would be his mother, he said.
He was close to his dad until he went “downhill” he said. His dad now lives in Virginia. “He raised me and was my mom and dad,” said Nieh. “These days my mom and I have become closer as well, because time has made us realize we love and need each other.”
His goal is to make enough money to take care of both of his parents. His parents are divorced and his mother lives in New York.
Nieh said his goal is “to motivate people in worse or even good situations to do whatever it takes to obtain your dreams. After all, it’s your life. You have to at least try.”