Friday, April 26, 2024

Media Notebook--4-26-24


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




=I love this little feature the station did on their Facebook page matching their anchors/reporters with their record collections in honor of Record Store Day last weekend.

=Barrett News Media reported the strong ratings for WBBM NewsRadio this week.

=On the other hand, Crain’s reported the news about layoffs at WBBM. 

=Former staffer George Ofman posted this…



*Mitch Rosen

=WSCR head honcho Mitch Rosen appeared in Vegas recently at a conference, and was featured this week in Inside Radio. The full article is here. This is a small taste of what he said, about the appeal of sports talk radio…

“Listen, all radio formats are great,” Rosen, who is also VP for Audacy’s BetQL Network, said outside the panel discussion. “But this one really connects with the audience. And I really think it shows… whether it’s commercials, or you go on a live broadcast, or they’re doing an appearance at a bar or a car dealer on a Saturday, people come out because they want to meet that personality who gives opinions every day, or they share their lives — we have personalities that share when their parents died, or the birth of a child… In sports, it’s 45 minutes an hour of improv, talking about sports and about life.”

=Barrett Sports Media reported the Score’s ratings this week. Good news in certain demos.


*Steve Cochran on Phishing Scams

=According to this piece, Cumulus made the WLS morning man undergo training because he fell victim to phishing scams multiple times.



*New Director for Voice of America

=His name is Michael Abramowitz and he is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal


*Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

=This year’s inductees were announced on Sunday. And they are…


*Podcast Corner

=A new record: Taylor Swift’s new album had 30 million Spotify streams on first day. 

=Karen Conti appeared on Garry Meier’s podcast.

=In the Room with Peter Bergen explores the migrant crisis in Chicago.



*Did you hear Jason Alexander is in town?

=He was interviewed on WBEZ



*WLS 100

=Last week I mentioned that Art Vuolo was on hand filming the 100th anniversary party. Here’s his video.



*The Loop Files

=Two events coming up. May 1, from 7-8pm at the ELA library in Lake Zurich. I have classic video to share, plus I’ll be reading from the book too. Reserve your slot here. Here’s what the program says…

Author Rick Kaempfer transports you to the good ole days of radio, the 1970s and 1980s, when “The LOOP”  reigned supreme, shaking up the airwaves and grabbing listeners with a unique brand of programming unlike anything heard before. Kaempfer shares stories from his book told through the eyes of those who were actually there.

=Also, May 11 at the Pollyanna Brewing Company in Roselle. I’ll be there along with fellow ex-Loopers (like WGN-TV’s Jeff Hoover) from 3-7pm signing and selling books. If you don’t have a copy of the book yet, or you’d like your copy signed, that will be a great opportunity. We haven’t had an event in that area yet, and this is my last scheduled event for this book.



*Rest in Peace

=Bob King

The music director at WKQX in the late 70s. Bob was 73. He is on the right in this photo. Morning man Bob Heymann is on the left.

=Mike Pinder

Keyboardist for the Moody Blues. He was 82.





*April 21—Rick Camp birthday

=Former long-time Score producer now works for 4for4/Betsperts. For years people asked me if I produced a show on the Score because our names sound similar.


*April 21—Robin Meade birthday

=Robin was a TV fixture here in Chicago before moving down to Atlanta to helm the Headline News Network morning show (Morning Express with Robin Meade). She was one of broadcasters let go in December of ’22 when the network rebranded.



*April 21—David Schuster birthday

=David is one of the longest serving Chicago sports radio reporters. He has covered 12 major Chicago sports championships. His career dates all the way back to Sportsphone. 



*April 21—Bob Hale birthday

=Hale was one of the original WLS rock jocks when the format began in 1960, but he was already well known before that. His claim to fame is that he was the emcee for the very last Buddy Holly concert, the night Buddy, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper passed away in the plane crash. I got a chance to interview Bob about that and his WLS days for Chicago Radio Spotlight back in 2008.



*April 21—Vince Argento birthday

=Vince is the production director at Cumulus/WLS these days but has also worked with some of the biggest names in Chicago radio history as a producer, including three shows in the Radio Hall of Fame—Steve & GarryJohn Records Landecker, and Jonathan BrandmeierI interviewed my old pal back in 2010 for Chicago Radio Spotlight.



*April 21, 1974

=50th anniversary of this classic…



 *April 22—Joe Ostrowski birthday

=Ostrowski is heard on the Score as a talk show host. His expertise is gambling. Joe is also a sports betting analyst at the BetQL network.



*April 22—Todd Ganz birthday

=Todd is the co-creator of the “If the Walls Could Talk” podcast and was the content production manager for Hubbard Broadcasting Chicago for more than 12 years before that.



*April 23—Scott Straus birthday

=The former radio producer/production man is now in the real estate business. I got a chance to interview him and his brother J.R. for Chicago Radio Spotlight back in 2008.



*April 23, 1914—Wrigley Field birthday

=I’ve written about that first game at what was then known as Weeghman Park many times, most recently in my book EveryCubEver. (Brand new 6th edition is out now)



*April 23, 2005—YouTube is Born

=The first video is uploaded on YouTube.



*April 25—Sherman Kaplan birthday

=Sherman was a mainstay at NewsRadio WBBM for decades. I was lucky enough to talk to him about his great career back in 2010 for Chicago Radio Spotlight.



*April 26—Bill Wennington birthday

=The former Chicago Bulls center is now the color analyst on Bulls radio broadcasts with Chuck Swirsky. That's Bill there in the middle of this photo from Chuck’s book “Always a Pleasure”



*April 26—Paul Webber birthday

=Paul has been a key behind the scenes contributor for many years, first at Bonneville, then at Hubbard, and finally as the marketing and creative services director at WXRT.



*April 27—Kathy Voltmer birthday

=Voltmer is one of Chicago’s most respected radio news veterans, having worked at WXRT, WLUP, Q-101, WMAQ, WDRV, and WLS. She probably doesn’t like telling people this, but she was also the newscaster on my radio show on WPGU in Champaign-Urbana when we were in college. I’ve interviewed her several times over the years, most recently in 2015 for Illinois Entertainer.



 *April 27—Bill Klaproth birthday

=Bill was a longtime program director at the Loop during the Bonneville days. He is currently director of marketing for RadioMD. (Photo: Bill Klaproth, Matt Bisbee and Me)





*Paris Schultz Profile

=Crain’s Chicago Business did a profile on the newest member of the Channel 32 newsroom.


*Alyssa Donovan Named WGN Midday and Evening News Weather Anchor

=She’ll be the weather anchor at noon and 5pm.

        “Alyssa has done an amazing job, since joining WGN-TV,” said Dominick Stasi, WGN news director. “Already an important part of our weather department, on-air presence, accuracy and teamwork make her the right choice as weather anchor.”


*A Conversation with Kelly O’Donnell

=Kelly is the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Their big dinner is this weekend.

*Peabody Award Nominees

=The full list of nominees was announced yesterday. The winners will be announced on May 9.


*Oscars Update Rules

=The Hollywood Reporter has the story about the rule changes that are designed to boost movie theaters, honor composers, and force writers to show their work.



*Elayne Boosler Arrested at Dodgers Stadium

=It involved a bag she was carrying. I’ll let her explain.



*Best Hook in Late Night? Jimmy Kimmel

=That’s the opinion of Latenighter writer Bill Carter. He explains why in this piece. 



*Cable News Corner

=Brooke Baldwin in Vanity Fair: Leaving CNN is How I Found My Voice



*Did you hear Jason Alexander is in town?

=Interviewed Dean Richards on WGN Television…





*The Onion Sold to Chicago Company

=Tech executive Jeff Lawson is the new owner, and the company will be run by former NBC reporter Ben Collins. The company is called Global Tetrahedron, which is taken from a book written by the Onion staff.

*US Ambassador Meets with Evan Gershkovich

=Hopefully this is the first step to releasing the Wall Street Journal reporter held by Russia. 

=Although it’s still going to take months. He was ordered held until June 30.


*The National Enquirer

=Regardless of how you feel about former President Trumpthe descriptions David Pecker provided of how they practiced “journalism” at the Enquirer during that first Trump election was enlightening. Sending the articles to Trump for approval? Completely making up stories about his competitors? It’s one thing to suspect that’s the way it works. It’s another thing to have that confirmed. 


*Puck Hires John Heilemann

=One of the sharpest political writers out there is now off the market. 



*Did you hear Jason Alexander is in town?

=The Chicago Sun Times interviewed him too.




*Biden Signs TikTok Ban

=The company has one year to sell.

=TikTok will head directly to court to fight 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.