Friday, February 16, 2024

Media Notebook--2-16-24


A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago.




*Audacy’s Post-Bankruptcy Moves

=When Audacy announced their bankruptcy, we all wondered about the next steps the company would take. Here are a few of them. Also, look who is gaining a majority financial stake: George Soros. Let the conspiracy theories begin. In Chicago, Audacy own WSCR, WXRT, WUSN, WBMX, and WBBM-AM & FM.


*KC Radio Host Killed in Parade Shooting

=The lone fatality in the Kansas City parade shooting was a DJ. Her name was Lisa Lopez-Galvan, and she co-hosted a show on KKFI Free Range Radio in Kansas City. Her son and two cousins were also injured. Inside Radio has more information about this tragic story. 

=This story broke this morning...

*Valentines from WSHE Listeners

=WSHE asked their listeners to create Valentine’s Cards so they could deliver them to La Rabida Children’s Hospital, and thousands of them did. It’s the eighth year the station has teamed up with the hospital for their Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids program.


*Steve & Johnnie’s Special Valentine’s Day

=On Valentine’s day in 1985, Steve King and Johnnie Putman were paired together as a team on WGN. It obviously worked out pretty well for them. They tell that story on their blog Both Sides Now. (Photo credit: Paul Natkin)

*Sports Talk Chicago Expands Regional Syndication

=Jon Zaghloul’s Sports Talk Chicago added a few more regional outlets this week. The show began on YouTube but now also airs in Kankakee (WKAN), Wilmington (WYKT), Bloomington-Normal (WRPW), Hammond IN (WJOB, and JED-TV), Aurora (ACTV), Round Lake Beach (WRLR), and Peoria (WZPN).


*Crystal Radio Award Finalists

=The NAB announced the finalists last night. There is exactly one Chicago station on the list, WTMX.

*Newsweb Sells WCPT

=The new owner of WCPT and WSBC is Heartland Signal. The price was $1. Of course, Fred Eychaner is the head of Newsweb AND the founder of Heartland Signal.


*SiriusXM Cutting 3% of Workforce

=Specific names and/or titles have not been announced yet, but 160 jobs will be eliminated.


*Rock & Roll HOF

=The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees for 2024: Mary J. BligeMariah CareyCherDave Matthews BandEric B. & RakimForeignerPeter FramptonJane's AddictionKool & the GangLenny KravitzOasisSinéad O'ConnorOzzy OsbourneSade, and A Tribe Called Quest.


*Podcast Corner

=Megan Markle gets new podcast partner after being dumped by Spotify.


*Ex-Chicago Radio

=Congrats to former WGN talker Brian Noonan. He is now entrenched as the evening host at WTMJ-Milwaukee, from 7-9pm weeknights.


*Rest in Peace

=Bob Edwards

Long-time NPR host, Morning Edition. He was 76.

*The Loop Files

=This next appearance for The Loop Files keeps getting better and better. Former Looper Dan McNeil will be there posing questions on the mic to Mitch Michaels, John Records Landecker and me. Also, my predecessor as Steve & Garry's producer (and guitarist for Steve Dahl's Teenage Radiation) Roman Sawczak will be there too.




*February 11—Jim Moran birthday

=I interviewed the former WLS man in 2011 for Chicago Radio Spotlight.


*February 11—Rob Creighton birthday

=Creighton worked at Next Media in the Chicago suburbs as a programmer and air talent.


*February 12—Wendy Snyder birthday

=Wendy has seen it all in Chicago broadcasting at radio stations like the Loop, Q-101, WCKG, WGN, and WLS. I’ve interviewed her many times over the years, including this one in Illinois Entertainer from 2013 when she and Bill Leff first re-started their show together on WGN.


*February 12—Allison Rosati birthday

=Allison has been with Channel 5 for more than 30 years now. She initially garnered attention doing First Thing in the Morning with Bob Sirott. Of course, she’s been the main anchor for the 5, 6, and 10 O’Clock news for many years now.


 *February 12—Alison Payne birthday

=The popular WGN-TV news anchor was only 57 years old when she passed away in 2021.


 *February 12, 1953—Channel 2 Changes Call Letters to WBBM-TV

=The TV station call letters were changed after CBS acquired it. They already owned AM 780 and FM 96.3 (since 1929!), and both of those stations went by the call letters WBBM (and still do).


*February 13—Jim Foster birthday

=Foster has been a jack-of-all-trades for WDRV for the past two decades, including morning traffic reporter. He also has worked for Steve Dahl, produced a morning show at the Loop, and more.


*February 13—Jerry Springer birthday

=Jerry passed away last year. He will always be remembered for his time in Chicago when his Jerry Springer Show became a national sensation. On the other hand, his stint as a commentator on the Channel 5 News eventually led to the departure of both Carol Marin and Ron Magers, the star anchors at the time.


*February 14—Pat O’Brien birthday

=Not many people remember that the former CBS Sports and Access Hollywood host got his big television break here in Chicago at Channel 5. He has since covered six Olympic Games, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and the Final Four. Unfortunately for Pat, he will probably always be remembered for a series of embarrassing voicemails that became public in 2005. His career has never really recovered.


 *February 14—Rick O’Dell birthday

=For years he was the pre-eminent host on WNUA Radio, during their jazz days. He retired last year as the programmer for Me-TV FM. I interviewed him about that in 2021 for Illinois Entertainer.


*February 14—Janet Sutherland birthday

=Sutherland is a former Chicago radio reporter where she was heard covering Supreme Court cases, Illinois legislation, health news and prison stories on WMAQ, WLS, WGN, KMOX, UPI Radio and 75-plus radio stations on the Illinois and Wisconsin Radio Network. In 2004, she suffered a brain aneurysm. Her long and painful recovery is chronicled in the book Nose Over Toes.


 *February 16—Joy Masada birthday

=Joy is probably best remembered for her days as part of the Danny Bonaduce show (on the Loop) and her stint as the producer of the Murphy in the Morning show on Q-101. She also had a five-year run at WCKG.


*February 17—Cheryl Raye Stout birthday

=Cheryl has been a sports reporter at WBEZ for more than 25 years now. She previously worked for WMAQ (producer of Chet Coppock’s original sports talk show) and WMVP. I interviewed Cheryl for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2012.



*February 17—John Roach birthday

=John Roach was the genius creator of The Sportswriters on TV (with Rick Telander, Bill Jauss, Bill Gleason, and Ben Bentley), which ran in Chicago from 1985-2000. He also wrote a film called The Straight Story which was nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in Madison Wisconsin these days.





*I Can't Imagine Life Without Tom Skilling

=WGN colleagues (Bob Jordan, Dan Roan, Mark Suppelsa, Steve Sanders, Jackie Bange, Muriel Claire, Bill Snyder, Dina Bair, Pat Grimes) pay tribute.

=I interviewed Tom too, and he will be featured in my next IE column, and also an upcoming podcast.

*Most Watched Television Show Ever

=The numbers for Super Bowl 58 are mind-boggling. 200 million watched part of it. 120+ million watched on CBS. 

=So naturally, this was announced two days later…

=Have you seen the full version of the Affleck Dunkin commercial?


*ESPN Segment on McMichael Makes Studio Hosts Emotional

=I think I had something in my eye, as well. 


*Jon Stewart’s Return to Daily Show

=I thought he did a great job in his first show back, Energetic and cutting. The New York Times agrees. 


*Colin Jost to host White House Correspondent’s Dinner

=One of the toughest rooms a comedian can play. 

*Fred Weintraub Honored

=Fred is the producer of WCIU-TV's high school sports coverage...

*ABC Announces Renewals

=List is heavy on game shows. 


*Vern’s Last Masters

=He’s done 40 of them.


*The DGA Awards

=Usually an influential award to Academy Award voters. 


*Cable News Corner

=Buckle Up, CNN.

=Look who is back!




*Rest in Peace

=Jack Higgins

The Pulitzer Prize winning Sun-Times cartoonist was 69.

=Jon Margolis

Former Chicago Tribune political columnist. He was 83.

=Jack Houston

28-year Chicago Tribune editor and writer. Covered the Pope’s visit to Chicago as religion writer.




*How Do You Know Your Interview Was a Failure?

=Moscow movie theaters will be showing Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin.

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 or 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.