Friday, May 03, 2024

Media Notebook--5-3-24


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




*Andy Chanley

=This month’s Illinois Entertainer is out and includes my interview with the new afternoon man at WXRT, Andy Chanley. You can read it here.



*Bob Stroud Nominated for Radio Hall of Fame

=As he should be. The full list is here.

*Throwback 100.3

=It's been a while since we had a brand new format on Chicago's radio dial, but we have one now. WSHE, which had underwhelming numbers (#21 in the ratings), is changing formats. The on-air lineup remains the same, but now they will be playing "Millennial Hits" from the 1990s through the 2010s. Radio Insight has more. 

*Dan Proft’s $20 Million Meeting with Darren Bailey

=Rick Pearson has the story in the Tribune about the conservative radio talk show host Dan Proft (WIND-AM 560) who dangled an envelope allegedly containing $20 million from conservative donor Richard Uihlein to Darren Bailey (the 2022 Republican candidate for Illinois governor). Read the full story here.



*AM Radio in Vehicles

= Melody Spann Cooper, the Chairwoman and CEO of Chicago’s Midway Broadcasting Corporation (owner of WVON), testified to Congress this week on behalf of the AM Radio in Vehicles bill. Her opening statement is here.

=Here’s some more info about the hearing, and how it was received.

=There is now a Senate super-majority in favor of it.



*Podcast Corner

=What guests did you get on your podcast this week? This is who Smartless got on theirs…



*Ex-Chicago Radio

=A few former Chicago radio hosts are killing it in Cincinnati. Mike McConnell (formerly of WGN) is hosting mornings, Bill Cunningham (formerly WGN) hosts middays, and Lance McAllister (formerly WMVP) hosts evenings at the top rated WLW.



*Rest in Peace

=Duane Eddy

The twangy guitarist was 86.



*The Loop Files

=On Wednesday evening I gave a presentation about The Loop Files at the ELA Public Library in Lake Zurich. Thanks to everyone who came out for the event. We had a great crowd. Fellow Loopers Doug Bensing and Bob Heymann were both there too.

=Next up: Pollyanna Brewing Company in Roselle, Illinois. I’ll be there next Saturday, May 11, from 3pm—7pm. Really looking forward to this one. A few ex-Loopers promise to be there, including WGN-TV’s Jeff Hoover. Be sure to come on out. Did I mention they have beer there?





*April 28—Dan Fabian birthday

=Fabian served as the VP/General Manager of WGN during some of their most successful years. He left in 1996, 30 years after he started working at the station.


*April 28--Terri Hemmert birthday

=WXRT's all-time favorite. Still going strong at 93.1 FM. I never miss her Breakfast with the Beatles program.


*April 29—Lee Abrams birthday

=Lee is one of the most successful rock radio programmers of all-time. He was the man who created the original Loop in the 1970s. Abrams recounts that experience nicely here


*April 29—Lisa Kosty birthday

=Lisa is the midday host at WSHE-FM. She previously worked for Total Traffic Network and CBS Radio.


*April 29—Steve Fisher birthday

=When Steve worked at Q-101 in the early 1990s, he was one of the first people I interviewed. At the time I was writing for Chicago Advertising & Media magazine. The last time I interviewed Fisher, he worked at Fresh-FM in 2010. Steve has since left the radio business and is a successful real estate agent.


*April 29, 1974—Phil Donahue Arrives in Chicago

=His show had been a hit in Dayton, but his move to Chicago helped propel him to the bigtime. He remained here until 1985.

*April 29, 1983—Lee Elia Day

=It’s the third year we’re celebrating the most memorable rant in history without the only man who recorded it, Les GrobsteinThe fully unbleeped tape is here on YouTube. Obviously, I don’t need to remind you this clip is NSFW. Don’t click on it if you are dainty.



*April 29, 1997—Mike Royko death

=The greatest Chicago newspaper columnist of all-time died on this day in 1997. Royko was only 65 years old. The Pulitzer Prize winner wrote for all three major Chicago dailies, The Daily News, The Sun Times, and The Chicago Tribune. One of his favorite topics of discussion was the Cubs. I wrote about that for my Cubs website Just One Bad Century.


*April 30—Chet Coppock birthday

=The big Bohunk would have been celebrating his birthday this week. Hard to believe he’s been gone five years already. My last official interview with him for Illinois Entertainer goes back to 2014.


*April 30--Scott Miller birthday

=Scott was part of the Pete McMurray show on WGN and the Drive and is now hosting his own show in downstate Illinois. I interviewed him about his new show in 2020 for Illinois Entertainer.


*April 30—Steve Leventhal birthday

=Steve is the founder of InternetFM and Acid Flashback Radio and is currently working on a book about his time in college at North Carolina University in 1982. I interviewed Steve for Illinois Entertainer last year. 


*May 1—Mike Murphy birthday

=Murphy is one of the deans of the sports talk world in Chicago, having worked at both sports talk stations in town. He is also one of the original Bleacher Bums from the memorable 1969 Chicago Cubs season. Here’s a little Murphy trivia: He caught the only career home run hit by 1968 Cub Jose Arcia. (That’s in my EveryCubEver book. 6th edition just came out.)


*May 1—Max Robinson birthday

=Max was an ABC network news anchor in the late 70s/early 80s based out of Chicago, part of a three-man anchor team that included Peter Jennings and Frank Reynolds. He was a trailblazer for other African-Americans in the TV news business. Max passed away in 1988, due to complications from AIDS. He was only 49 years old.


*May 1, 1997--Carol Marin resigns from Channel 5

=This was the top story in Chicago when it happened. Marin resigned after Jerry Springer was named to be a commentator on the 10:00 Newscast. Her fellow anchor Ron Magers resigned shortly thereafter.


*May 2, 1960—WLS becomes a rock station

=This was the most momentous event in Chicago radio at the time. It remained one of the city’s powerhouse stations for the next three decades. I’ve been very fortunate over the years to speak with lots of those WLS greats, my childhood heroes. I’ve accumulated highlights of some of them here, including Clark Weber, Ron Riley, Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, Bob Sirott, Fred Winston, John Records Landecker and more.


*May 2—Larry Potash birthday

=The co-anchor of the WGN Morning News and the host of Backstory is one of the biggest stars on the local television scene. I interviewed him on my podcast a few years ago. It’s here if you’d like to listen to it. The interview begins at the 21:40 mark.


*May 2—Don Beno birthday

=Don worked in Chicago radio, but the reason I interviewed him last year for Illinois Entertainer is his incredible Facebook page Chicago Radio Archives and Memories. Read all about that here.


*May 2—Wayne Randazzo birthday

=Randazzo got his start here at the Score (670 AM) but turned his Kane County Cougars play-by-play gig into a big-league job. He was the play-by-play man for the New York Mets for a few years before recently taking a similar job with the LA Angels. The St. Charles East (and North Central College) grad is also involved in the Italian Sports Hall of Fame.


*May 2—Donn Pearlman birthday

=The 25-year NewsRadio WBBM man now lives in Vegas. He has been running his own PR firm for decades.


*May 3—Jim Modelski birthday

=For years Jim was Chet Coppock’s right hand man at Coppock on Sports and had a big hand in the formative years of WMVP. He’s a success now in the world of finance, but he also made his mark in radio. (Photo of former "boyquarium" members Mike Davis, Jim Modelski, and Tom Serritella with their old boss Chet Coppock at a 2018 book signing)

*May 3—Greg Gumbel birthday

=The pride of Hyde Park became a WMAQ-TV weekend sports anchor before transforming himself into one of the biggest names in sports broadcasting. Greg is the Sox-fan half of the Gumbel brothers, seen below interviewing Steve Dahl at Comiskey during Disco Demolition. Bryant is the Cubs fan.


*May 3, 1971—NPR debuts “All Things Considered”

=The man at the microphone for the first show was Robert Conley. He had been a correspondent for The New York Times and The Huntley/Brinkley report on NBC. That first show was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.


*May 3—Erin Carman Birthday

=Erin hosts the midday show at WLS-FM every weekday. She previously also hosted shows at WLUP, WTMX, and K-Hits.


*May 3—Wes Bleed birthday

=Bleed spent 14 years in the WGN Radio newsroom, including several years as the news director. He is currently the Membership, Marketing, and Communications Director at Water Quality Association.


*May 4—George Will birthday

=George’s only real connection to Chicago is his love of the Cubs. The long-time political pundit for ABC News and columnist for the Washington Post is a Pulitzer Prize winner. His connection to the Cubs is from his boyhood years growing up in downstate Illinois. (Photo: George and I displaying our Cubs bonafides)




*CW Programming Moves from WCIU to WGN-TV

=Nexstar announced the move this week. The actual programming will begin on September 1. Broadcasting & Cable has the full details.


*WCIU Returns to “The U”

=So what is WCIU doing? They are going back to the U. Weigel Broadcasting Vice Chairman Neal Sabin said this week in a station release: “Our highest-rated programming remains on The U, and we are adding well-known stars including Jaleel White, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Billy Gardell. As it relates to TV entertainment, we once again will have Chicago saying that ‘The U’z got it!’”



*John Mulaney in Chicago

=The latest episode of David Letterman’s show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” features John Mulaney. Letterman and Mulaney went to several Chicago locations, including St. Ignatius. The Sun Times has the story.


*Daily Show Coming to Chicago

=The show plans on coming to Chicago this year for the Democratic National Convention. Variety has more information.


*CBS News

=They brought home some hardware this week…



*CBS Sports

=Changes in the CBS NFL studio show this coming season. Bye Bye Boomer and Phil. Hello Matt Ryan. Details here. Don’t worry about Boomer. He’s still hosting mornings at WFAN in New York.



*Paramount CEO Steps Down

=A merger is nigh, and Bob Bakish, former CEO of Paramount, is reading the room. He’s also walking away with more than $50 million in severance. 



*ABC News Fires Weatherman

=Rob Marciano had been part of the Good Morning America and World News Tonight team since 2014. Why was he fired? According to the New York Post, he was dealing with anger issues. Also, according to the New York Post (I know, I know), he feuded with fellow ABC meteorologist Ginger Zee.



*Dan Schneider Sues “Quiet on the Set” Producers

=Schneider was savaged in the documentary about the misconduct on the sets of the kid shows he oversaw. He even admits to most of the behavior, but he’s suing the producers for defamation because of the insinuation he sexually abused kids, which he strongly denies. Deadline has the story. 



*2024 Tony Nominees

=The New York Daily News has the complete list.



*Colin Jost’s Best Jokes

=He didn’t get great reviews for his performance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Read his best jokes here, and judge for yourself. 



*Cable News Corner

=Poppy Harlow leaves CNN

=OAN retracts untrue Michael Cohen story

=Hunter Biden threatened to sue Fox News, which led to Fox News taking the Hunter Biden mock-trial mini-series off their streaming site. Yes, they really had a mock-trial mini-series. Journalism.

=Fox News is trying its hand at comedy, as well. Variety has the story. 





*Jim Baumann Retiring

=The executive editor of the Daily Herald (and the writer of the Grammar Moses column) Jim Baumann is retiring. This is his last column. His last day is May 10. Of course, Jim wrote a book featuring his best columns a few years ago for Eckhartz Press. In his retirement, Jim is going to work on writing the great American novel.

=The new executive editor will be Lisa Miner. She has been with the paper since 1984, and the managing editor since 2021. Here’s what Baumann said about her…“We’ve hidden Lisa’s light under a bushel for too long. She has all the attributes of a newsroom leader: she’s a great journalist, she leads by example and she is tremendously organized. First and foremost, she is compassionate and is sensitive to the needs of the communities we serve. I wouldn’t be leaving unless I knew the paper would be in good hands.”


*Paul Farhi

=Fahri was the media writer for the Washington Post in 2022 when he tweeted something that led to his ouster. It was about...the Washington Post. This week he was exonerated by the courts and won a legal battle against his old paper. Mediaite has the story.

*Chicago Tribune Sueing OpenAI and Microsoft

=The NY Daily News, the Orlando Sentinel, the San Jose Mercury News, and four other newspapers are also part of the lawsuit. They claim that AI trained on their content without compensating them for it.

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.