Friday, March 29, 2024

Media Notebook--3-29-24


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



*WLS 100

=Look who was lured into Steve Cochran’s WLS studios this week. It’s media writer (emeritus) Robert Feder. That’s a rare radio appearance. I unsuccessfully tried to book him for decades. Scott Childers was filling in for news.


*Eddie & Jobo To Reunite

=And not just anywhere…they are reuniting on B-96 on Monday morning. Be sure to tune in. Will it be a permanent thing? I’m guessing not. Check the date on the calendar.


*Lin Brehmer Tribute for Opening Day

=Pete Crozier was Lin's producer. This is what he posted this week on his Facebook page...

Last July, Sara and Lin's brothers asked me to produce a movie about Lin to share with family and a small group of friends and colleagues.
It was truly one of the greatest honors of my life and reminded me of the immeasurable impact he had on me (and, if you're lucky, you).
While the entire movie will never be posted as it was a personal gift to the family, on this, MLB's Opening Day, Sara is giving her permission for me to share the section about Lin's love of the city of Chicago and the Cubs.


*Gracie Award Winners

=The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announced the winners of this year's Gracie Awards this week. The full list is here, and includes WGN Radio's Lisa Dent.

*Bernstein and Holmes Interview Ian Eagle

=The new lead play-by-play man for the NCAA tournament was a recent guest of WSCR’s midday show. A good interview with the man of the hour.

*Maria Pappas on the Radio

=The Cook County treasurer hosts a weekly show on WVON. Among her fans, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg

*Bob Heymann at the NAB

=Chicago’s very own Bob Heymann (Media Services Group Managing Director) has been chosen to moderate a session at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. M&A’s Outlook on TV/Radio – a Look at the M&A Landscape and How to Prepare for Buying and Selling’s Impact will be presented at 11:30 AM on Monday, April 15, 2024.

“I am truly honored to speak at this years NAB Show,” said Bob. “I hope to impart some of my knowledge of the station marketplace in an informative and engaging manner.” For more information, visit:


*Podcast Corner

=The Bill Maher Podcast Network is coming soon. First hire is Sage Steele.

=The Daily Wire Dismisses Candace Owens. Ben Shapiro (founder of the network) has been arguing on-air with Owens about the Israeli war in Gaza for months. That strong disagreement led to her dismissal. Forbes has more information about it. 


*Music News

=Beyonce's new country album "Cowboy Carter" officially drops today. 27 tracks include a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and the Beatles "Blackbird". The New York Times review is here.

*Rest in Peace

=Tommy Williams

The voice of Lakeshore Sports in Northwest Indiana, and a ten-year member of the air staff at the Score. He was only 66.



*March 24—Julie Unruh birthday

=Julie was a reporter/anchor at WGN-TV for twenty years. She signed off in 2021 to spend more time with her family.


*March 25—Didi Foley birthday

=You may have heard her on the air at the Mix and WSHE over the years, but for the past 15 years she has also been the Campus Services Manager for Waubonsee Community College in Aurora.


*March 25, 1954—Color TV

=Color TV is 70 years old this week. RCA unveiled the very first one in 1954. It had a 12-inch screen and cost $1000.


*March 26—Ken Cocker birthday

=Ken was a fixture on the Chicago radio dial for years at stations like WMET, WJMK, WUSN, and K-Hits. He was also once a minor league baseball player. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2012.


*March 26—Shane Riordan birthday

=Shane is executive producer, and content and operations manager for the Score. He also sports a mighty impressive beard.

*March 26—Bob Woodward birthday

=The Washington Post reporter and editor who broke the Watergate story with Carl Bernstein grew up in Wheaton, Illinois.


*March 27—Quentin Tarantino birthday

=The legendary director may not have any connections to Chicago, but recently he inadvertently propelled a Chicago cab driver’s novel up the charts by recommending it. Block Club Chicago has that story.


*March 28—John Records Landecker birthday

=Why did John Landecker call his memoir Records Truly Is My Middle Name? Because it truly is. Nobody believes this when he tells them, but it’s true. His mother’s maiden name was Records, and she gave it to him as a middle name. His Radio Hall of Fame career was destiny. (He’s also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Illinois Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). I was honored to speak at his ceremony in Indiana a few years ago when the Governor awarded him with the state’s highest honor. Of course, John is still on the air most weeknights on WGN-Radio.

=I posted a free excerpt from his book yesterday. It’s about Martin Short


*March 28—Jimmy “Mac” McInerny birthday

=Jimmy was one of the producers for Jonathon Brandmeier’s show for many years and also worked as a producer and production guru for Kevin Matthews back in the day. His podcast Rebel Force Radio is a huge hit and a must listen for Star Wars fans. Jimmy Mac is married to Wendy Snyder.


*March 28, 1971—Final Ed Sullivan Show

=Ed Sullivan took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater for the very last time this week in 1971. The rerun of the show aired in June. The last musical guests to appear were Gladys Knight and the Pips


*March 30—Fred Winston birthday

=Fred is one of the all-time great DJs in Chicago radio history. He worked at WLS, WCFL, WFYR, WJMK, and more. I interviewed Fred several times over the years, most recently in 2018 for Illinois Entertainer.

 =This week in 1976...Fred was the cover boy of the WLS survey.



*Paris Schultz Leaving WTTW

=The co-host of Chicago Tonight and host of Week in Review announced this week that he is leaving Channel 11 in April. Schultz has been at the station for 20 years. His co-host on Chicago Tonight, Brandis Friedman will remain on the show as the solo-host, and the new host of Week in Review will be Amanda Vinicky.

=Mary Ann Ahern offered this clue as to Paris' next destination (h/t Eric Zorn). Could it be Channel 5 (where Mary works)?

 *Rafer Weigel Update

=The son of legendary Chicago sportscaster Tim Weigel is leaving the business. He had recently re-launched his television career in San Diego.


*The Ronna McDaniel Controversy

=The fury amongst the NBC news staff about her hiring reminded me a lot of the fury the local NBC news team exhibited when Jerry Springer was brought aboard to provide political commentary in the 1990s.

=Luckily for NBC, it didn’t end the same way. In Chicago, the top talent quit. At NBC Network, they just reversed their decision and fired McDaniel…before anyone quit. Republicans (who fired McDaniel themselves a few weeks ago) claim to be outraged by this firing.

*Kevin Hart Wins Mark Twain Prize

=The most prestigious award in comedy/humor this year goes to comedian Kevin Hart. NPR has the details.

*Steve Martin

=Richard Roeper’s Sun-Times review of the new Steve Martin documentary on Apple TV.  Count me in.



*One Year Anniversary of Evan Gershkovich's Imprisonment in Russia

=The Wall Street Journal reporter remains detained with little hope on the horizon for his release. The New York Times interviewed his parents about the ordeal.

*Paul Sullivan’s Dave Van Dyck tribute

=I was surprised when I heard last week about Van Dyck’s passing, because I hadn’t seen any tributes to him at his old papers. Paul Sullivan came through this week in the Tribune. Great piece. 


*AP Photographer Snags Classic Pope Francis photo

=Just wait for the Pope to walk outside with his beanie on during a windy day, and voila! 



*Trump Media Trading at Ridiculous Levels

=Super sketchy on the financial details here. From the New York Times

The company took in $3.3 million in the first nine months of 2023 and recorded a loss of $49 million, yet its market value—based on Tuesday’s share price—is nearly 2,000 times its estimated annual revenue . . . Other social media companies trade at far lower price-to-sales ratios than Trump Media’s: Reddit is around 10, Meta is 7 and Snap is 6, according to FactSet. Superstar tech stocks like the chipmakers Nvidia and ARM trade at price-to-sales ratios of about 25.

=And yet, after two days of trading it was worth even more: $9 billion.

=Seth Meyers warning to Trump Media investors last night on his late night NBC show...

    “The only way this business could be any more of a failure is if every time you opened an account, you got a free Zune, a bottle of Crystal Pepsi, a Blockbuster card, a Motorola flip phone that came preloaded with a MySpace account and a round trip next to the door on Alaska Airlines.” 

*Twitter Usage Down 1/5 Since Musk Purchase

=About 20% of previous American Twitter users have fled the former king of social media. The Guardian has the story.

*Florida Bans Social Media for the Under-14 crowd

=I have a hunch this one won’t survive a court challenge, but it’s now the law in Florida. 



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.