Friday, March 15, 2024

Media Notebook--3-15-24


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




*Changes at the Drive

=You may have noticed some changes at the Drive this week. Bob Stroud is expanding his role in the midday hours. The 10am-1pm shift is essentially his now. In addition to continuing his feature 10 at 10, he told me, “I’m writing and recording vignettes pertaining to certain artists that will run twice an hour, M-F in the 11AM and Noon hours.”

=Janda Lane is now in the 1-6pm slot, and the syndicated Alice’s Attic with Alice Cooper is on in the evenings. Drive jocks Byrd and Tim Spencer move to weekends and fill-ins along with Dave Mazur.



*Scotty Kay

=The Academy of Country Music came out with their list of 2024 award nominees. Nominated in the major-market personality category was US-99's afternoon man Scotty Kay.

*National Black Radio Hall of Fame

=Among this years inductees, former WVON host Roland Martin.


*WLS Brings Back Classic Jingle Package

=TM Studios jingles are back for WLS-FM.

=Here's more about WLS nostalgia on the eve of their 100th birthday.



*Bart Shore Update

=Checked in with retired traffic reporter Bart Shore, who has been appearing on the air again. He reports: Still retired- but still doing fill in work on our local radio station here WSQL Brevard and this week I started voice tracking for an internet radio station .  Beach Radio - playing nothing but beach music.  an interesting niche. They have me on in the mornings 6-Noon, then play my Time Warp Song of the Day from my web site.


*Jim Thome’s Wife Ticked Off at ESPN-Cleveland

=It sure sounds like ESPN-Cleveland was harassing her (and her son—at high school) to get Jim Thome to call in to their show so an intern could win a $100 bet.


*Podcast Corner

=Chicago’s very own Brad Edwards…

=Rolling Stone Magazine turns their Top 500 songs into a podcast.


*Rest in Peace

=Eric Carmen

One of the great pop/rock vocalists. He was 75.

=Paul Lepek

Former morning man at WRLR.




*March 10—Corey McPherrin birthday

=The native Chicagoan (south suburbs) was a local television star for three decades, first at WBBM-Channel 2, and then for many years at WFLD-Channel 32.  Corey retired last year.



*March 10—Dan Jiggetts birthday

=The former Chicago Bears offensive lineman was also a sports radio pioneer during the early years of the Score, co-hosting the midday show with Mike North. He’s also done sports for Chicago television (Channel 2). His daughter Lauren is a local television star in her own right at WGN-TV. (Photo: Dan with Cheryl Raye Stout, and Jim O’Donnell at the Chet Coppock tribute event)

*March 11—
Les Grobstein birthday

=Les passed away in 2022, but he is remembered fondly by all those who knew him and listened to him at WLS-AM, WLUP-AM, and the Score. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2009.


*March 11—Valerie Warner birthday

=Valerie continues to work at Channel 7. She was also the co-host of Windy City Live at Channel 7 for ten years. This photo was taken on the Windy City Live set, along with the guest of the show that day, Joel Daly.

*March 11—Phil Schwarz

=The long-time Channel 7 weatherman retired last year.



*March 12--Rich Koz birthday

=The great Svengoolie is no longer just a Chicago treasure. Thanks to Me-TV, he’s nationwide. I interviewed Rich about that last year. I also had a fun chat with him on my podcast a few years ago. For a really deep dive into Koz’s career, check out this piece from 2009. We talk about his beginnings in radio, including his time working with Dick Orkin and Jerry G. Bishop.


*March 12—Kevin Matthews Birthday

= Kev remains one of the most gifted radio performers in Chicago history. I featured him in Illinois Entertainer in 2016 and interviewed him for my podcast in 2021. The podcast interview ends with another interview I did live on Kevin’s show on the Loop back in 1993. He insisted I do it in German. (Jim Shorts supposedly spoke German). He’s currently working on a documentary about his book Broken Mary and recently completed another documentary about his band Ed Zeppelin, which debuted last October (Full disclosure: I’m the director of that film, and my son Tommy is the editor. Photo of Kev below by Paul Natkin)



*March 12—Mary DeBaggis birthday

=Mary has done traffic reports on virtually every radio station in Chicago over the years.

*March 12—Dave Juday birthday

=Dave was a longtime sports reporter/anchor for ESPN Radio in Chicago. He now resides in the Phoenix area.


*March 13—Adam Delevitt birthday

=Adam was the executive producer of the Mac, Jurko & Harry show, and later became program director of ESPN Radio in Chicago. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2012. He is now Director of Broadcast and Streaming Media at Rush Street Interactive/Bet Rivers.



*March 14—Steve Cochran birthday

=The current morning man at WLS (890-AM) has been a big part of the Chicago radio landscape for more than thirty years, with stints at WCKG, WLUP-AM, WPNT, WIND, and of course, WGN Radio. A great interview subject. Here’s one from 2009 (for Chicago Radio Spotlight), and another from 2017 (for Illinois Entertainer).


*March 14—Dobie Maxwell birthday

=The pinnacle of comedian Dobie Maxwell’s radio career came in the early 00s when he was paired with Spike Manton & Max Bumgardner on the Loop morning show (97.9FM). He has since published a very popular book called Monkey in the MiddleI interviewed Dobie about his radio days for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2008, and about his book on my podcast in 2022.



 *March 14—Pat Boyle birthday.

=Pat has been the Chicago Blackhawks host and anchor/reporter at NBC-Sports Chicago for years now.


*March 14—Chris Rongey birthday

=Rongey was associated closely with the White Sox during his time in Chicago media. He was the radio in-studio host for the White Sox and occasionally filled in as play-by-play man. He also wrote about the White Sox for the Daily Herald. Chris is now in St. Louis, working for the legendary KMOX.


*March 14—Jerry Taft birthday

=Taft was one of the most popular weathermen in Chicago television history, first at Channel 5 and later at Channel 7. That run at Channel 7 lasted 33 years. Jerry retired from the business in 2018 and passed away in 2020.



*March 15, 1960—WSBC signs on the air

=When the station began broadcasting in 1960, WSBC-FM carried a variety of musical programming including classical, jazz, and folk. In 1971, it moved into a new location at 4949 W. Belmont and changed the call letters to WXRT. In 1972, the progressive rock format was introduced by Don Bridges, Mitch Michaels, John Platt, Bob Schulman and Seth Mason. It’s still going strong today, 52 years later.


*March 15, 1976—WCFL signs off as a Top-40 station

=The new format was beautiful music. One of the tragic days in Chicago radio history. I still maintain that the old WCFL jingles from the late 60s were the greatest jingles in radio history. 



*March 15—Ben Hollis birthday

=Ben was the host of WTTW’s “Wild Chicago” which was a groundbreaking program back in it’s day. Rick Kogan wrote about Ben and that show a few years ago in the Chicago Tribune.



*March 16—Scott Simon birthday

=The host of NPR’s Weekend Edition and Special Contributor at CBS Sunday Morning grew up in Chicago and has strong attachments to the city despite living in the DC area for many years. He wrote a book about his love of the Cubs (My Cubs: A Love Story), contributed to the book Cubsessions, and also to the John Landecker book Records Truly Is My Middle Name.






*Allison Rosatti Profile

=In Hinsdale Magazine



*Stephen Bardo Had a Head Start in Broadcasting

=Jeff Agrest has a nice piece in the Sun-Times this week about one of the broadcasters of this weekend's Big Ten tournament, former Illini star Stephen Bardo.

*Tucker Carlson: “I’m a Dick”

=A rare moment of introspection and accurate reporting from Tucker Carlson on NewsNation this week.


*March Madness Coming Soon

=This will be the first year without Jim Nance, but we learned this week, CBS also won’t have Greg Gumbel anchoring the studio show. This will be the first March Madness he has missed since 1998. The reason is family health problems.


*Taylor Tomlinson is Perfect Late-Night Host for the Tik-Tok Era

=So says the New York Times Magazine.


*The Holdovers Accused of Plagiarism

=The charge was formally made to the WGA, and according to this piece in Variety, the accuser says it’s “brazen”.


*Rest in Peace

=Michael Culver

He was an actor in The Empire Strikes Back. Culver was 85.





*Deadspin Sold, Entire Staff Fired

=This is a cold business. Even in Europe.


 *Chicago Magazine’s Deep Dive into The Blues Brothers

=And I thought I knew everything there was to know about that movie. Apparently not. Great piece in Chicago Magazine.





*TikTok is in trouble

=The opposition to TikTok is bipartisan. The bill to force American ownership of the video sharing site passed the House this week.

=Donald Trump who tried to ban TikTok via executive order when he was president, is suddenly on TikTok’s side after meeting with their billionaire owner. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the $500 million Trump has to come up with by the end of this month.

=Rand Paul promises to kill it in the Senate.

=Steve Mnuchin wants to buy it.


*Musk cancels deal with Don Lemon

=Lemon only did one interview, and that was with Musk. Musk didn’t like it. Deal canceled.

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.