Done with minding media, now Phil Rosenthal means business
Robservations on the media beat:
- Phil Rosenthal, who's been a great competitor and a valued colleague, signed off Sunday after more than six years as media columnist and blogger at the Chicago Tribune to begin writing on "the broader world of business" for the paper. "I think it's a great opportunity," he told me. "These jobs don't come up very often. While I don't take for granted what I was doing, I'm excited to try something different, and I'm ready to have a wider range of things to talk about. It's a role I think the section needs, the paper needs, and maybe the business community needs, too." No word yet on how the Trib plans to cover media. But without Phil's insight and intelligence, it won't be the same.
- The dismissal of Paige Wiser from the Sun-Times last week leaves both Chicago newspapers without a television critic on staff for the first time since I Love Lucy battled Texaco Star Theater in the Nielsens. The Tribune did not replace Maureen Ryan after she resigned last August, and the Sun-Times is not expected to fill Wiser's position. At a time of shrinking editorial staffs, it's understandable that local TV critics may not be as vital as other positions. But their elimination is one more way the papers are losing touch with readers.
- Chicago's best known food reporter and critic is packing up his knife and fork after 18 months at WBEZ blogs. Steve Dolinsky won't say where he's blogging next, but his Adventures in Urban Eating will leave the Chicago Public Media site when his contract is up at the end of June. He continues on the eat beat at ABC 7. Meanwhile, look for WBEZ to replace Dolinsky and add two other new contributors to the lineup (previously known as Vocalo blogs) next month. Asked for comment, Justin Kaufmann, senior content developer for WBEZ, said: "Do I know you?"
- Dick Biondi and Roy Leonard will be among Chicago broadcast legends on hand Thursday when the Museum of Broadcast Communications hosts a benefit sneak preview of its new home at 360 N. State Street. Biondi will originate his oldies WLS-FM (94.7) evening show from the event, and Leonard will unveil the Family Classics set used in the long-running WGN-Channel 9 movie series he hosted. Other prized artifacts on display for the first time in years will include the postcard drum from Bozo's Circus, a camera used in the first Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960, one of Edgar Bergen's original Charlie McCarthy puppets, Jack Brickhouse's baseball bat chair, and Bill Jackson's The Blob.
- A personal note: As you've probably noticed, there's a new look to this page today. The redesign and move to a new platform culminate months of work by Time Out Chicago editors. But the focus of this blog remains the same, and I look forward to continuing our daily conversation about the media here. If you haven't already done so, I hope you'll sign up for free email alerts to my posts (in the box to the right under "Subscribe via email"). I also invite you to join me on Twitter and Facebook.