Friday, May 24, 2024

Media Notebook--5-24-24


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



*More Changes at Alpha Media

=The suburban radio group Alpha Media let go two long-time Chicago radio vets this week. Leslie Harris was doing middays at the River. She has been on the air in the Chicago area for decades. Also let go, Maura Myles. She had been doing middays at WCCQ in Joliet. Like Leslie, Maura has been a constant on-air presence in the Chicago area for many years. The rumor is a format change is coming, but it’s a shame they couldn’t find a place for these two consummate pros.

*WLS History Special

=You can hear all of it on Memorial Day…

=Speaking of WLS history, did you catch Garry Meier on with Andrea Darlas this week.

 *30 Years

=Dan Bernstein hit a milestone this week…

=Terry Boers called in to congratulate him.

*Lee Abrams Advice for the Media

=Lee Abrams is one of the most respected names in rock radio. In this piece for Inside Radio, he suggests using rock and roll thinking throughout the media to rejuvenate the industry.

*Brady to Host a Night Show in Nashville

=Kiss-FM’s afternoon man Brady Broski (who also serves as the station’s assistant program director) has added another job. In addition to his Chicago responsibilities, Brady will now also be hosting a country music show every weeknight in Nashville. He announced the news on Facebook…

 *NPR Adds Additional Editorial Oversight

=This is a reaction to the recent controversy involving former NPR editor Uri Berliner’s claims of anti-conservative bias. 


*Dick Biondi Film Fundraiser

=This one will be emceed by Scott Childers and will feature a bunch of local Chicago rock and roll luminaries. Mark your calendar

*Justice Department Calls Live Nation and Ticketmaster an Illegal Monopoly

=Well, yeah, no kidding. When your service charges nearly double the prices, that’s not a good thing.



*May 20—Lorelei Shark birthday

=Who is Lorelei, you ask? This young lady…

 *May 20—Dina Travis Sanchez birthday

=Dina was part of the great Loop promotional team in the 1980s and 1990s. 

 *May 20, 1993

=The final episode of Cheers airs...

*May 21—Spike O’Dell birthday

=Spike had an incredible career in Chicago at WGN Radio, holding down the afternoon and morning shifts for years. I interviewed him about that in 2008


*May 21,1990—The final episode of Newhart

=Possibly the greatest finale ever…


*May 21, 2008—WNUA Signs Off


*May 22—David Haugh birthday

=The co-host of the morning show on the Score, and a long-time Chicago Tribune sports columnist.


*May 22—Leslie Harris birthday

=Leslie did middays at The River until this week (see story above), but she has also worked at the Blaze, Rock 103.5, WCKG, and CD 94.7. I interviewed her for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2011. 


*May 22, 1846—Associated Press founded

=Perhaps the last source of news that everyone considers to be factual and unbiased, the Associated Press, was founded this week 178 years ago.


*May 23--Tom Ricketts birthday

=Say what you will about Mr. Ricketts, but he did bring us a World Series, and he does have great taste in literature. 

*May 24, 1844--Samuel Morse sends first commercial telegraph message

=That’s how it all began. Just two years later the AP was founded, (Item above) and made extensive use of the new technology to deliver news to newspapers around the country.


*May 24—Mike Toomey birthday

=Toomey is the booth announcer for the 9am hour of the WGN-TV Morning News, but he also writes and participates in many of the bits in the other hours of the show. A great standup comedian. I interviewed him on my podcast a few years ago. 


*May 25—Linda MacLennan birthday

=Linda was the co-anchor of the 10:00 News on Channel 2 for years during the Lester Holt era.


*May 25—Steve Seaver birthday

=Seaver signed off at the Drive last year after a long and fruitful run at the station. Back in 2018 I interviewed him for Illinois Entertainer.  This photo was taken at the Loop Files launch party (with Cara Carriveau)



*Murrow Award

=Dave Savini announced it via LinkedIn…

 *CBS Scores Interview with the Pope

=In TV, scoring a huge guest is called “a get”. When you score the most famous person in the entire world, the leader of the world’s biggest church,  the word “get” doesn’t seem like a big enough term. CBS’ Norah O’Donnell interviewed Pope Francis this week for 60 Minutes.


*Dark Days Ahead for NBC-Sports Chicago

=This, unfortunately, has been anticipated...

*America's Most Trusted News Anchors

=A THR/Morning Consult Poll asked who is the most trusted news anchor. #1 on the list is Lester Holt. Bottom of the pile, Sean Hannity. More info is here.

*Schriffen responds to criticism

=A few weeks ago I reported about the bad reviews the new White Sox TV play-by-play man has been receiving on sports talk radio. Last weekend he responded…

=Barrett Sports Media assesses the feud: “Nobody looks good”

*Cynthia McFadden to Leave NBC News

=The TV news veteran has decided it’s time to hang up her journalistic spikes. Variety has the details.

*The Biopic About Trump

=It’s called The Apprentice and it debuted this week at the Cannes Film Festival. The film covers the early Trump years from his days with Roy Cohn to his first marriage. Yes, it’s going to be controversial. Several lawsuits have already been filed. 


*Scarlett Johannson’s AI Voice

=She was the voice of “Her” in the film, so Chatbot AI asked Scarlett to be their voice too. She said no, so they created a voice that sounded just like her. As you might imagine, she isn’t too happy about that.

=SAG/AFTRA backs Scarlett

*Cable News Corner

=CNN’s Sara Sidner to undergo a double mastectomy

*Rest in Peace

=Alice Stewart

She was a CNN contributor, and a Republican strategist. Stewart was only 58.

=Dabney Coleman

The star of “9 to 5” and “Tootsie” was 92 years old.

=Fred Roos

Casting director for “American Graffiti”, “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”



*Chicago Tribune Makes Its Final Print Run at Freedom Center

=The plant has been printing newspapers for 43 years but will now become the site of Chicago’s first casino.

*Journalists Sue Tribune’s Owner for Pay Discrimination

=It’s a class-action lawsuit brought by Black and female journalists against the owner of the Chicago Tribune. More details are here.

*Vivek Ramaswamy Acquires Buzzfeed

=Actually it’s only 8 percent of it, but he does plan to force Buzzfeed to go in a different direction. I guess we know what direction that is.

*Penguin Random House Fires Two Top Execs

=The biggest publisher in America has fired two of its top executives. Reagan Arthur and Lisa Lucas each ran big imprints for the conglomerate. The New York Times has the details about these surprising moves. 




*Truth Social Loses $328 million in First Quarter

=I’m not a financial expert, but it seems like the amount of revenue during that same first quarter ($770,000), is less than ideal. Axios has more.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

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.