Thursday, June 06, 2024

Media Notebook--6-6-24


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



*100 Years of the Big 89

=The June issue of Illinois Entertainer is out and includes my tribute to the Big 89. I featured a few excerpts of interviews from some of the men who helped build it into a powerhouse in the early 1960s, Clark Weber, Ron Riley, and Bob HaleRead it here.

 *Illinois Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

=The Illinois Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Joliet (on Route 66) honors not only musical performers, but also the radio personalities and stations that helped put those performers on the map. Last year The Loop (WLUP) was inducted. This year, it’s Super CFL (WCFL). Last year, Bob Sirott was inducted in the radio personality category. This year, they have chosen Bob Stroud.

=As for the musical acts, Illinois’ very own Richard Marx, the Smashing Pumpkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Steve Goodman, Willie Dixon, Susie Bogguss, and Marshall Thompson from the Chi-Lites will be honored. The event will be held on October 20 at the Rialto Square Theater. Bob Sirott will serve as the emcee. Get your tickets at


*Salem Media Apologizes for “2000 Mules”

=The company had been distributing the bogus election interference film by convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza, but after being sued by one of the people D’Souza falsely implicates in the movie, they suddenly saw the light…

“It was never our intent that the publication of the 2000 Mules film and book would harm Mr. Andrews,” Salem said in a statement. “We apologize for the hurt the inclusion of Mr. Andrews’ image in the movie, book, and promotional materials have caused Mr. Andrews and his family. We have removed the film from Salem’s platforms, and there will be no future distribution of the film or the book by Salem.”

=In Chicago, Salem owns WIND Radio (AM 560)


*SAG-AFTRA Files Unfair Labor Practices Charge against WBEZ

=On behalf of the journalists that work at WBEZ…

 *Podcast Corner

=The Rundown podcast is a worth a listen for Chicago music fans. “Spending the Night at Mister Kelly’s with the Newberry Library” Listen here.


*Music News

=ABBA was knighted this week by the King of Sweden. All four members were there, Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, and Anni-Frid (ABBA, get it?). The AP Reports.

=Cyndi Lauper announced her farewell tour. More Info at the Hollywood Reporter


*Rest in Peace

=Scott Ginsburg

One-time owner of The Loop in Chicago (Evergreen Media). He would go on to found the highest billing radio group in America with Tom Hicks (Chancellor Media) during the radio-station-buying-frenzy era after the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Ginsburg was 71.

=Brother Marquis

Rapper from the groundbreaking 2 Live Crew. He was 58



*June 2—Dave Hoekstra birthday

=Hoekstra wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times for decades. Dave’s books include “The Supper Club Book,” “The People’s Place (Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civl Rights Era to Today” and “The Camper Book (A Celebration of a Moveable American Dream),” all published by Chicago Review Press. He’s also hosted a show on WGN Radio. This is a photo of Dave (right) with legendary DJ Bobby Skafish (left) after an interview at WGN.

 *June 2—Geoff Buchholz birthday

=Geoff is well-known behind the scenes in Chicago’s radio and television community. His trophy case is bursting with a Peabody, Murrow, and an Emmy award. He is currently a writer/editor at WBBM NewsRadio.


*June 3—Jim Kirk birthday

=Jim is the publisher and executive editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. Before coming to Crain’s, he was the editor-in-chief of the LA Times. He also worked at the Chicago Tribune, covering a beat that I hold near and dear: the media.


*June 3—Dan Deibert birthday

=The former WGN Radio host is working as a comedian specializing in corporate gigs.  


*June 3—Dianne Goldsher Rosen birthday

=Long-time traffic reporter in Chicago (WLS, WLUP, Shadow Traffic)


*June 5, 1968

=Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on live television…

 *June 6, 2016—Dan Sorkin death

=He isn’t remembered by too many people these days, but Dan Sorkin was a superstar of Chicago radio in the late 50s/early 60s. He’s the man responsible for discovering Bob Newhart. I interviewed him back in 2010 and found him to be a delight.


*June 6—Larry Lujack birthday

=There’s an argument to be made that Larry is one of the top five greatest radio performers in Chicago history. He certainly was one of my heroes. I was thrilled to interview him just a few months before he died (in 2013) for Illinois Entertainer.


*June 6—Roe Conn birthday

=Roe made his mark at WLS Radio, co-hosting the popular Roe & Garry show (with Garry Meier). He later co-hosted the show with Bill Leff, and then Richard Roeper, before moving to WGN Radio. He’s out of radio now, working as the director of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. I’ve interviewed Roe a number of times over the years, including this one from 2007.


*June 6—Scott Bertram birthday

=Scott was a former Chicago radio reporter, who is now the GM of the radio station at Hillside College, as well as being a journalism professor at the school.


*June 6, 1944—D-Day

=This is the message Dwight D. Eisenhower sent to his troops, 80 years ago this week…

 *June 7—Alan Rosen birthday

=Al was a production engineer with WLS radio, and then WBBM radio for several decades.


 *June 7—John Fisher birthday

=The former WMET/WCKG/WLUP jock just recently was let go from his morning gig in Seattle. I got a chance to interview him in 2007.


 *June 8, 1966—Bill Kurtis Breaks Out

=On this day in 1966, a twister hit Topeka, Kansas. A young college student named Bill Kurtis was on television that night filling in at the news desk and broke in to alert the viewers of Lost in Space that it was coming. He came on the air and said “For God’s Sake Take Cover.” That was the beginning of a legendary TV-news career. Bill told that story on my podcast a few years ago. You can hear the entire interview here.


*June 8—Byrd birthday

=Byrd is still heard as a weekend and fill-in jock on the Drive. I interviewed him in 2018 for Illinois Entertainer, shortly after he joined the Drive airstaff.



*Chicago Sports Network to Debut in October

=It will be the television home for the Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox. Jeff Agrest has more information in the Sun-Times. 



*Chicago Bears on Hard Knocks

=The HBO series about NFL training camps will feature our very own Chicago Bears this year. Axios Chicago has a list of potential topics they should cover. I got a kick out of it.


*Paul Konrad’s Night with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

=Konrad appeared on stage with Robert Smigel’s creation this week, along with former Governor Rod Blagojevich, former Cub Ryan Dempster, and WGN-TV producer Jeff Hoover. Some highlights are here.


*John Cusack’s Screening of High Fidelity

=The well-known Chicago star screened and discussed his well-known Chicago movie High Fidelity this week at the Auditorium theater. Gwen Ihnat with Block Club Chicago was there.



=A documentary about the Brat Pack is debuting at the Tribeca film festival. That led the NY Times to name the five “essential Brat Pack films.” Children of the 80s, these are your movies.


*Paramount and Skydance Agree to a Merger

=Another mega-corporation in the media. Shari Redstone, by the way, will walk away with a cool $2 billion. Full details are here.



*Ratings for the Trump Verdict

=When a former president gets convicted of 34 felonies, people tune in. Over 10 million viewers. The New York Times has the ratings.

=Media critic Margaret Sullivan analyzes the coverage of Trump’s conviction. 



*Cable News Corner

=Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch married for the fifth time. He is 93. She is 57. Together they are 150.

=Eric Bolling Leaves Newsmax. More info here.

=NewsNation Partnering with X for Kennedy & Trump Town Halls. Axios reports.


*Rest in Peace

=Janis Paige

Star of stage and screen. Worked with Fred Astaire and Bob Hope. She was 101 years old.

=Ben White

CNBC contributor and former NY Times reporter.





*Sally Buzbee Steps Down as Executive Editor of Washington Post

=Sounds like the new boss (CEO William Lewis) wasn't happy with the way she handled the phone hacking story...which just happened to involve him. The New York Times has the scoop


*Epoch Times CFO Charged with Money Laundering

=Bill Guan, the CFO of the right-wing news outlet, was indicted as part of a massive money laundering operation. Mediaite has more.




*Trump Joins TikTok

=And he called it an honor. Yes, it’s true, he once tried to ban it. On the other hand, Biden is also on TikTok, and he is trying to ban it too.


 *X Changes Rules to Allow Porn

=Only consensual adult nudity and adult porn, but this is not your mother’s Twitter. (No examples at the link)

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.