Forty years after Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson first teamed up at CBS 2, they’ll sign off for last time this Thursday. Then they’ll hand over the 6pm weekday newscast they’ve been anchoring since September 2010 to Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan.
What began amid hopes for a ratings renaissance at the station Bill & Walter once transformed into a powerhouse ultimately amounted to a nostalgic curtain call for one of Chicago television’s most celebrated partnerships.
It wasn’t supposed to end this way for Tom Hudson and his colleagues on Nightly Business Report: They’re out of work, but the show lives on.
CNBC announced Thursday that it was acquiring the long-running business news program that airs on public television stations nationwide, including WTTW-Channel 11 (at 11pm Monday through Friday). The only one of the show’s 18 full-time staffers to be retained will be Hudson’s co-anchor, Susie Gharib.
It's official: Chicago Tribune and Comcast SportsNet Chicago are splitsville.
As tipped here Thursday, the Tribune has pulled the plug on its title sponsorship of Chicago Tribune Live, the flagship weeknight talk show that's been airing on the regional sports network since October 2004.
Robservations on the media beat:
- Carol Marin, Chicago's preeminent broadcast journalist, will host a new online newscast for the Sun-Times website. Starting next week, The Marin Report will appear at noon Monday through Friday on the home page of suntimes.com. From a studio in the Sun-Times’ newsroom, she will deliver a 90-second roundup of headlines and highlights of her colleagues’ work. Sun-Times Media editor-in-chief Jim Kirk said Marin will go in-depth on bigger topics some days, talk to newsmakers on other days, and bring reporters in to discuss major stories. “Launching the Sun-Times’ first video program with Carol is a powerful step forward for the organization," he said in a statement. The effort coincides with the launch of Wrapports Interactive, a new division of parent company Wrapports LLC, designed to deliver an array of multimedia video content to mobile, tablet and personal computer users. Under Marin's new contract, she'll also write a weekly column for the Sun-Times. “Joining the Sun-Times in 2004 was one of the great decisions of my professional career,’’ she said. “Launching this new digital newscast while still doing a political column is the best of both worlds. We are all very excited about the possibilities it brings.”
On February 23, 1978, Chicagoans who were tuned to 94.7 FM awoke for the first time to a 23-year-old radio anarchist from Pasadena, California (by way of Detroit). It was, as the title of the new WDAI morning show warned, a Rude Awakening in more ways than one.
No one listening that day could have predicted that Steve Dahl would go on to pioneer a new form of talk radio, defying convention, testing limits, and paving the way for a generation to follow. Or that he'd still be at it — in Chicago — 35 years later.
The new vice president and news director at Fox 32 is a seasoned industry veteran who’s worked at more than a dozen stations around the country since he began his career. None of them was in Chicago.
On Tuesday, Tom Doerr was called up from Houston, where he’d been vice president and news director at Fox-owned KRIV-TV since 2009. At Fox Chicago News, he replaces Phyllis Schwartz, who bailed last December after less than a year on the job.
With a list of clients that reads like a who’s who of the broadcasting business, Ken Lindner has helped manage the careers of countless big egos at some of their most emotionally fragile times.
Now he’s published a guide to mastering emotions and modifying behavior in a smart new self-help book. Lindner’s simple premise is that the more we can understand and control our emotions, the more effectively we can make critical choices in our lives.
Robservations on the media beat:
- With Larry Wert’s industry-shaking move from NBC Tower to Tribune Tower next door, all eyes are on Valari Staab, president of NBC Owned Television Stations. Staab is expected to act quickly in appointing a replacement for Wert as president and general manager of NBC 5. The obvious insider is Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news under Wert. But Staab went outside of the company last March when she named Eric Lerner general manager of WCAU-TV in Philadelphia. Lerner, a former ABC 7 news director, most recently headed KIRO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Seattle. Wert’s departure capped a period of unprecedented upheaval for Chicago broadcast management, with top bosses departing five stations — ABC 7, CBS 2, Fox 32, NBC 5 and WGN 9 — all within the last nine months.
Sorry, but I’m just not interested in pictures of Kori Chambers and Anna Davlantes doing the tango on the morning show. I don’t need to read a list of “Chicago's top 10 cheating neighborhoods” or click on a lewd billboard about blowjobs. And I couldn’t care less which stupid video wins today’s “Facebook Faceoff.”
But suddenly this is the kind of garbage that’s been filling my news feed on Facebook day and night, courtesy of Fox Chicago News.
Fifteen years ago, Larry Wert came to the rescue of a Chicago television station in distress. Accepting the biggest challenge of his career, he stepped in as president and general manager of NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 at a low point in its history.
On Wednesday, he did it again: This time, Wert, 56, was named president of local broadcasting for Tribune Co., overseeing 23 television stations and one radio station. His widely rumored appointment comes weeks after Tribune Co. emerged badly battered from a four-year bankruptcy ordeal. Under new CEO Peter Liguori, the reorganized company is expected to increase its focus on broadcasting and shed other assets.