Saturday, April 15, 2023
Friday, April 14, 2023
A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago
(By Rick Kaempfer)
= Conservative talk radio is all in on saving AM Radio. Mark Levin says it’s an auto industry plot to attack conservatives, which it almost certainly isn’t, but I welcome all allies in this struggle. Me, I’m just looking to keep baseball play-by-play in my car.
=Farmers are another ally. In some rural parts of this country, AM radio is a crucial part of their lives.
=But it’s not looking good. According to this piece, Ford isn’t just phasing out AM radio in America. They are doing it globally.
*Radio Finalists for Lisagor Awards
=At the end of last week the Chicago Headline Club announced this year’s nominees for their prestigious Lisagor Awards. The full list is here, but these are the radio folks who were named…
=Best Featured Reporter or Host: WBEZ Chicago; “Kids Ask: WBEZ digs into tough questions from young kids” by Susie An
=Best Podcast: WBEZ Chicago; “Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons” by Reset Team
=Best Investigative reporting: WBEZ Chicago; “Illinois is routinely housing wards of the state in Chicago’s jail for kids” by Patrick Smith, Rob Wildeboer
=Best Sports Reporting: Curious City, WBEZ Chicago; “Chicago was once the king of the ring in pro wrestling” by Joe DeCeault, Cate Cahan, Maggie Sivit
=Best reporting on climate change: WBEZ Chicago ; “How is climate change impacting Chicago’s urban farms?” by Indira Khera, Mark LeBien, Ariel Van Cleave
=Best Feature Reporting/Single Story: NPR; “Russian expats have been struggling with their identity since the war began” by Michael Puente
: WBEZ; “The Black Fire Brigade is training young recruits, hoping to increase Black first responders in the Chicago Fire Department” by Michael Puente , Mark LeBien
=Best Featured Reporter or Host: WGN Radio; “John Williams” by John Williams and Pete Zimmerman
=Best Feature Reporting/Single Story: WGN Radio; “Ukraine-Russia War: Russia launches an attack on Lviv (11/15/2022)” by Bob Sirott, Joseph Lindsley, Hayley Boyd, Joe Romano
: WGN Radio; “Darren Bailey says he no longer supports a complete abortion ban (6/30/2022)” by Lisa Dent, Steve Bertrand, Brian Althimer, Curtis Koch
=Best Feature Reporting Series: CBS News Radio; “Eye on EVs (5-part series)” by Jennifer Keiper
=Best Sports Commentary: * WSCR-AM / 670 The Score; “Laurence Holmes on Jackie Robinson Day” by Laurence Holmes
=This new podcast sounds interesting: Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn. It stars Jason Alexander, Lance Bass, Richard Kind, Michael McKean, and others, and is adapted from the memoir of the Ingleside’s owner, Melvyn Haber.
=There’s a new podcast about the Murdochs. Murdoch vs. Murdoch
=From Inside Radio, this story with local appeal…...Three Chicago radio personalities reflect on their time working at WROK and WZOK in the Rockford, IL market. Joe Soto, who now hosts afternoons on iHeartMedia urban contemporary “V-103” WVEE Chicago, worked at both stations early in his career and credits the experience with creating a work ethic he continues with today. “There’s a lot of men and women more talented than me even today but not many can out-work me and that’s because of ROK ZOK,” he told WIFR-TV. Nexstar Media talk WGN’s Lisa Dent also worked at both stations and said it was the passionate mentors of those stations that helped mold her as a host. “I just watched the people around me,” Dent said. “I felt that we had the best team during the early 80′s at WROK and WZOK,” she recalls. Another former WROK employee Lisa Fielding, anchor/reporter at Audacy news WBBM/WCFS (780, 105.9), says “One of the things I took away was learning to connect with your community and give back because every big event we did had a charitable component and that’s something I’d carry with me the rest of my life.”
*Roger Badesch on the Northwest Side
=Former WGN Newsman Roger Badesch made an appearance at Eisenhower Public Library this week to discuss his 2020 memoir The Unplanned Life. It was a sold out show, and Roger seemed to relish the opportunity to get in front of a crowd again.
*The Loop Files
=A new feature posts every Tuesday. This week, it’s former Loop music director Dave Benson.
April 8—Esmerelda Leon birthday
=Esmerelda is currently co-hosting the Nick D podcast (with Nick Digilio) on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.
April 8—Doug Dahlgren birthday
=Doug had a good run in Chicago in the 1970s, most prominently at WCFL. I got a chance to interview him for Chicago RadioSpotlight back in 2012.
April 8—Tom O’Toole birthday
=Tom can be heard weekends on WLS-FM.
*April 9—Dan Levy birthday
=Levy is a prominent voice-over man in Chicago (the voice of WCPT) and also works for Total Traffic Network as a radio/traffic/weather reporter.
*April 9, 1982—Harry Caray’s first home game as Cubs announcer.
=This photo was taken around that time. The other man in the photo is Eckhartz Press author (Best Seat in the House: Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher) Bruce Bohrer.
*April 10—Robert Murphy birthday
=The great Murphy in the Morning had an incredible run as morning man at Q-101 in the 1980s, and more recently worked at WLS-FM. I had a chance to interview him a few times over the years, most recently in 2014 for Illinois Entertainer.
*April 11—Ryan Manno birthday
*April 11—Gil Gross birthday
=Gil was a newsman at WLS-AM back in the 1970s, before taking his skills out to the West Coast and having a very long and successful radio career in San Francisco.
*April 12, 1924—WLS Radio is born
=That’s right, WLS is 99 years old this week. Love this tweet from John Howell…
— WLS-AM 890 (@wlsam890) April 12, 2023
*April 12—Larry Schreiner birthday
=Radio’s all-time “street reporter” at WGN, Schreiner passed away in 2014. The WGN radio website did a nice tribute to him at the time.
*April 12—David Letterman birthday
=He looks a little bit like Santa Claus today with that big beard of his, but Letterman will always be remembered as one of the kings of late night television. I interviewed his good pal Tom Dreesen a few years ago on my podcast, and he told some great stories about Letterman.
*April 13—Bob Stroud birthday
=He retired from the Drive last year, but Stroud is still heard on the station all the time through his features “Rock and Roll Roots”, “10 at 10” and “One 45 at 1:45”. I’ve interviewed Bob many times over the years, including just last year for Illinois Entertainer.
*April 13—Ken Nordine birthday
=The word jazz master died in 2019 at the age of 98. The New York Times did a great tribute to him at the time.
*April 13--Amy Guth birthday
=Amy is currently with Crain’s Chicago, but she was with the Tribune and WGN Radio before that.
*April 13--Shawn Burke birthday
=Burke was the morning man at Oldies 104.3 WJMK in the early 90s. He currently resides in Florida.
*April 14--Jack Landreth birthday
=Landreth produced shows for Don & Roma, Paul Harvey, and Kevin Matthews during his time in Chicago. I got a chance to interview him for Chicago Radio Spotlight back in 2008.
*Bulls Play-In Game Reveals New TV Star
=If you watched the play-in game on Wednesday night you know exactly who I’m talking about: DeMar DeRosan’s daughter Diar. Great piece here by ABC-7.
*Jordan’s Last Dance Shoes Sell $2.2 Million
=These are the shoes he wore in the 1998 NBA Finals, recently re-popularized by the documentary series Last Dance. The jersey he wore in that same series sold for over $10 million. Sotheby’s handled the auction. More details are here, via the BBC.
*Me-TV adds another hour of M*A*S*H in May
=They are calling it “M*A*S*H Maydays” and it’s an additional hour of M*A*S*H to air from 5-6pm CT, before the regular hour of M*A*S*H airs at 6pm. Each week they will feature a different character, beginning with Hawkeye the first week of May.
*TV Finalists for Lisagor Awards
=The full list is here, but these are the television folks who were named. A big haul for WTTW…
**WTTW-TV Channel 11
=Best feature reporting/single story: WTTW; “Chicago Stories: The Union Stockyards” by Daniel Andries, Dan Protess, Robert Loerzel, Ian Bertorelli
=Best feature reporting/single story: WTTW News; “WTTW News: After an ALS Diagnosis, a Local Couple Turned Their Organizing Skills Toward Finding a Cure” by Brandis Friedman
=Best feature reporting series: WTTW News; “WTTW News: Highland Park Couple Anxiously Awaits Twins Born Via Surrogate From War-Torn Ukraine” by Brandis Friedman
=Best investigative reporting: WTTW News; “WTTW News: CTA Overtime Spikes as Agency Hit By Departures; Dozens of Bus and Train Operators Paid for Average Weeks of 80 Hours or More” by Nick Blumberg
=Best reporting on crime and justice: WTTW News; “WTTW News: Permanent Punishment” by Brandis Friedman, Julianne Hill
=Best education reporting: WTTW News; “WTTW News: Education Coverage” by WTTW News Team
=Best business reporting: WTTW News; “WTTW News: Business Coverage” by WTTW News Team
=Best science and technology reporting: WTTW News; “WTTW News: Science and Technology Coverage” by Paul Caine, Erica Gunderson, Patty Wetli
=Best arts and entertainment reporting: WTTW; “Chicago Stories: The Birth of Gospel” by Stacy Robinson, Dan Protess, Mizani Ball, and WTTW News; “WTTW News: Arts Coverage” by Angel Idowu, Marc Vitali
=Best sports reporting: WTTW News; “WTTW News: 50 Years After Title IX, Transgender Athletes Advocate for Protections in High School and College Sports” by Amanda Vinicky
=Best community reporting: WTTW News; “WTTW News: Turning Pain Into Purpose” by Joanna Hernandez
=Best investigative reporting: NBC Chicago; “Left for Dead: Hit, Run, and Ignored” by Phil Rogers, Shelby Bremer, Nathan Halder, Katy Smyser
=Best reporting on race and diversity: NBC 5 Chicago (WMAQ-TV); “The Lost Story of Emmett Till” by Marion Brooks, DS Shin, Tom Jones, Lauren Stauffer, Akemi Harrison, Lisa Balde
**WLS-TV ABC 7
=Best business reporting: WLS-TV; “Tax Credit” by Roz Varon, Eric Burns, Adriana Aguilar
=Best arts and entertainment reporting: WLS-TV; “The Chi” by Roz Varon, Lauro Lopez, Irit Nayden
**WFLD-TV Fox 32
=Best feature reporting/single story: WFLD-TV Fox 32 Chicago; “Rosie’s Home Cookin’” by Natalie Bomke, Diane Carbonara
=Best feature reporting series: WFLD-TV Fox 32 Chicago; “Fox 32 Chicago Good News Special” by Natalie Bomke
*An interview with Chicago International Film Festival Founder
=Michael Kutza founded the Chicago International Film Festival and has written a memoir about it. Author Sandy Colbert from the Chicago Writer’s Association will be interviewing Kutza Saturday April 15 (1pm) at Columbia College. Click here to register for your free tickets.
*A Writers Strike Might Grind Hollywood Production to a Halt
=Looks like we’re headed for another writers’ strike in Hollywood. Vanity Fair has the latest details.
*Cable News Corner
=Gabriel Sherman is one of the best-sourced reporters when it comes to news about Rupert Murdoch. That’s probably why this is such a great piece in Vanity Fair, comparing the real-life Murdoch drama to the HBO show Succession.
=Speaking of experts on Rupert Murdoch, Brian Stelter, formerly with CNN & New York Times, and author of Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of the Truth, will be covering the Fox/Dominion trial for Vanity Fair.
=HBO Max is changing into just plain Max in May. Full details here, courtesy of CNBC.
=Out of the Loop is out now
*The 44th annual Sports Emmy Nominations Announced
=The full list is here. ESPN leads with 59, followed by NBC Sports with 38.
*Fred Mitchell to be inducted in Indiana Football Hall of Fame
=The former Chicago Tribune columnist/reporter was also a high school and college football star. Congrats to Fred for this honor.
=A collaboration between the Chicago Tribune and Propublica about police and schools punishing kids with costly tickets has won the 2022 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism. The full story is here.
*Detained Wall Street Journal Reporter’s Designation Changed
=Evan Gershkovic is the reporter detained in Russia, and the US Government has now declared him “wrongfully detained.” This is a technical change but could have implications in the negotiations to bring him home.
*RIP AL Jaffe
*Print Finalists for Lisagor Awards
=There are too many to name in this column, but the entire list is here.
*NPR tells Twitter to take a flying leap
=After being labeled “government-funded media” on Twitter, NPR told Twitter “See ya.”
*Twitter’s battle with Substack
=What is this weird war between Twitter and Substack all about? Axios has the latest info here.
As always, if you have any media story you’d like to share or think that I might be interested in sharing, drop me a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're in Chicago media and wondering why I didn't mention your birthday, it's probably because I don't know it. Drop me a line and let me know and I'll put you on my calendar.
If you're interested in some of my other projects from this week...
The Fifth Edition (2023) of EveryCubEver is out now! Buy your copy today
The Fifth Edition (2023) of EveryCubEver is also on amazon. Buy your copy today.
Minutia Men: Performative Proposals
Minutia Men Celebrity Interview: 1883 star Eric Nelsen
Minutia Men Celebrity Interview Classic: Soprano's star Joseph Gannascoli (Vito)
Free Kicks with Adam & Rick: Sad Sacked
Meet the Eckhartz Press Author: Beth Jacobellis
From the Eckhartz Book Shelf: The Daly News
My latest novel: Back in the D.D.R
Windy City Reviews Back in the D.D.R.
Podcast Interview about Back in the D.D.R: Military Family Museum Podcast