A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago…
*You know who loves contentious elections? Media companies
=And not just because the conflict drives the ratings. That’s just a bonus. The real reason is because the tighter the race, the more money candidates spend on ads. Inside Radio says $10.6 billion will be spent on midterm election ads. Of that, Radio & Podcasts will rake in about $644 million. (The vast majority is still spent on television)
=Jeff Agrest covers sports media for the Chicago Sun-Times, and he has taken a deeper dive into the ratings for sports-talk. Interesting battle going on in the morning time slot…
... from 7-10 am, when the two local shows go head-to-head, "Kap & J.Hood" tied for 5th at 4.0 and "Mully & Haugh" ranked 7th at 3.8. (2/2)— Jeff Agrest (@jeffreya22) October 13, 2022
=Rick Kogan is receiving a major award from the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement. The ceremony will be on October 18th.
=Jim Bohannon announced his retirement. His last show is tonight. Bohannon is 78 years old, and he is retiring due to health reasons. For the past few years he has been holding down the overnight slot at WGN (out of Washington), but he has been a nationally syndicated host for more than 30 years.
=Steve & Johnnie filled in for Dave Plier last weekend and welcomed guest Ted Gordon Smucker. They talked about the glory days of WCFL & WLS.
=Andy Masur eloped and got married last weekend. The WGN sportscaster announced it on Facebook…
*R.I.P Art Laboe & Anita Kerr
= Art was 97 years old. You may not know his name because he was mainly a broadcasting icon on the West Coast, but if you ever go to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, their showcase radio studio is named after Art.
=Anita was 94 years old. She did the first jingles for WLS Radio back in the day. Here are a few samples…
*WLTL Wins National Award
=The radio station at Lions Township High School has a stellar reputation. It’s become almost old hat for them to be named Best Radio Station in the Nation at the John Drury High School Radio Awards. It happened again this weekend, the 8th time they’ve won it since 2002. They also won 14 individual awards.
=Lots of local media types are WLTL alums including Ryan Arnold, Emma Mac, Dave Juday, Brendan Greely, Matt Dahl, Steve Darnell, and Mike Murphy.
*Hub Arkush Health Update
=From his son Arthur…
An update on Hub: Just over eight weeks removed from his medical emergency, and almost four weeks since surgery, Dad is on track to be released from inpatient rehab this week and continue his recovery at home!— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) October 11, 2022
Amazed. Grateful. Hopeful. Relieved.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! ❤️
=Media news fans will probably be interested in this Mediaite podcast interview of former Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan. She discusses her new book, and persuasively argues that not all cable-news-bias is equal. Guess which one is worse than the others?
=Tis the season for Halloween podcasts. I’m not kidding.
=Maire Mason has been the VP/General Manager of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York stations. The announcement came out yesterday that she would add WLEY in Chicago to her general managing portfolio.
*Ex-Chicago Radio Corner
=Dick Helton was a mainstay at WBBM NewsRadio for 29 years before he moved to KNX Los Angeles in 1998. This week he announced his retirement. Full details are here.
*October 10 was WGN Morning Show producer Jeff Hoover’s birthday. I’ve interviewed Hoover a number of times over the years. This one from 2007 was the first time.
*October 10 is Chicago TV news icon Carol Marin’s birthday. You surely know that Carol has won countless awards (including Emmys, a Polk, a Peabody, and more), but did you know she was the sister-in-law of the late news great Garrick Utley? She is also an Illini. Just sayin.
*October 11, 1975, SNL debuted. This is a clip from that very first show. •
*October 12 is the birthday of two WLS Radio executives: VP/Market Manager Marv Nyren and Program Director Stephanie Tichenor.
*October 12 is former Windy City Live host and current ABC-7 sportscaster Ryan Chiaverini's birthday. It was a milestone this year. Ryan is now 22. Just kidding. He's 45.
*October 12 is former WMET PD Tom Teuber’s birthday. Tom also worked in town at WBEZ.
*October 13 is Fox 32 morning show anchor Roseanne Tellez’s birthday. Roseanne has been on television in Chicago since the mid-90s. She previously worked for Channel 9 and Channel 2.
*October 14, 2007, exactly 15 years ago, I got my one and only chance to interview legendary audio man (Loop/Drive/Mix) Matt Bisbee. He doesn’t do many interviews.
*October 15 is the birthday of former WLS program director Kipper McGee. Kipper has his own consulting business now. A few years ago he wrote a book about the business called Brandwidth, which has gotten rave reviews within the industry. I’m not just saying that because I published it.
*October 15 is Jeff-Award Nominated Playwright (for the play “When Harry Met Rehab”) Harry Teinowitz’s birthday. Of course Harry is probably better known in Chicago for his radio career. I interviewed him about that for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2007.
*Former Chicago weatherman John Coleman was born on October 15, 1934. He is remembered here in Chicago for his wacky antics at Channel 7, but his greatest achievement was probably founding the Weather Channel. Coleman passed away in 2018. (Photo: as part of the Eyewitness News Team in 1972)
*Say Goodbye to InfoWars
=Alex Jones doesn’t have the $965 million he is being ordered to pay, but he may have to pay every cent he has (reportedly hundreds of millions), and everything he earns in the future. Libel and slander have consequences, and it’s hard to imagine a more egregious case. On the other hand, anyone with hundreds of millions of dollars will probably find a way NOT to pay.
*Rich King & John Owens are finalists for Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year
=Former WGN-TV and WBBM-TV sports reporter Rich King published his third book (Ike & Me) with Eckhartz Press this summer, and this week the Chicago Writers Association named it a finalist for Book of the Year (in the Indie Non-Fiction category).
=John Owens works at WLS, ABC-7, but he’s also an author. He co-wrote the book Chili Dog MVP with Dr. David Fletcher, which was released earlier this year. That book is a finalist in the same category as King.
*30 Years of Placko
=I’ve known Dane Placko since the mid-80s, and I honestly didn’t even remember him with brown hair. Congrats to him for 30 years at Fox 32.
This week marks my 30th anniversary at @fox32news and I found my first appearance from October 5, 1992. I’ve covered thousands of stories over that time….politics, investigations, breakers and Bulls, Cubs, Sox & Hawks championships. Been a great ride that continues. pic.twitter.com/k70oQyGK8c— Dane Placko FOX 32 (@dsplacko) October 7, 2022
*Network TV Corner
=Ever since Daily Show host Trevor Noah announced he was leaving, the entire genre of late night talk shows is being scrutinized. With the increased popularity of streaming, have they outlived their usefulness? The New York Times does a deep dive into this subject.
=NBC News won the Edward R. Murrow Award for overall network excellence.
*Cable News Corner
=The outtakes from Tucker Carlson’s Kanye West interview are eye-opening. Quite a peak into how Carlson chooses to edit. West’s antisemitic rants remained on the cutting room floor.
=CNN’s new morning show will debut on November 1st.
=Netflix announced their upcoming ad-plan, a $6.99 monthly service if you are willing to put up with ads.
OTHER MEDIA NEWS
*2022 MacArthur Fellows Named
=Every year I look at the list of MacArthur Fellows to see if any of them are from Chicago. This year there are three. Jazz cellist and composer Tomika Reid, Artist/Architect Amanda Williams, and University of Chicago sociologist/criminologist Reuben Jonathan Miller. These three, and these three only, are allowed to use the word genius on their business cards. They’ve been given genius grants.
*R.I.P Nikke Finke
=Would it be unkind of me to say that she wouldn’t let others RIP? Probably. I won’t say it then. The Deadline Hollywood founder passed away this week. She was a trailblazer in the Hollywood gossip world, even if she was more feared than loved.
If you have any media stories (Chicago or national) that you think I might like to share in future columns, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org