Radio showman Dahl ready to lift the curtain on his next act
Robservations on the media beat:
- Chicago broadcast legend Steve Dahl (pictured above), whose 2½-year payout by CBS Radio ends this week, is about to begin a new chapter in his career. And if you believe what he tweets, he’ll announce his plans to the world at noon Monday. Dahl, 56, has been off terrestrial radio since December 2008 when CBS dropped his morning show on WJMK-FM (104.3). While still under contract, he’s been hosting a daily podcast from his home since September 2009. On Tuesday’s podcast he joked that he planned to take over the CBS 2 morning show now that news anchor Steve Bartelstein is gone. Hey, maybe they could call it It’s Too Early.
- It’s down to the wire again at CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR-AM (670). This time the contracts of morning duo Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley have expired while their agents negotiate a belated offer from Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago. Although a renewal agreement is expected, it’s becoming standard procedure for contracts of the Score’s key talent to lapse before station bosses get around to finalizing new deals.
- The newest place to listen to radio is on your television: On Tuesday, WLFM-LP, the smooth jazz station heard at 87.7 FM, officially began simulcasting on Comcast/Xfinity Channel 877. While the station’s format of soft vocals and contemporary instrumentals streams around the clock, digital cable viewers see real-time traffic updates along with time and temperature information. The simulcast, which began on a trial basis June 15, was billed as “Chicago’s only full-time live traffic channel with the relaxing musical sounds of Chicago’s exclusive Smooth 87.7 FM,” according to Pat Kelley, senior vice president and general manager. NBC’s Chicago Nonstop digital subchannel also streams Roe Conn and Richard Roeper’s afternoon show from news/talk WLS-AM (890).
- Chicago Public Media added four new bloggers to its lineup at WBEZ.org Tuesday, including food writer Louisa Chu, a former Steve Dahl radio producer who went on to work with Anthony Bourdain and write for Gourmet magazine. She succeeds Steve Dolinsky, who stepped down after 18 months at WBEZ blogs. Also joining the lineup under senior content developer Justin Kaufmann are Mark Bazer, creator and host of The Interview Show at The Hideout, John R. Schmidt, former history professor at Roosevelt University and Unknown Chicago blogger for ChicagoNow, and Claire Zulkey, a humor and pop culture writer and performer at The Hideout.
- Lester Munson, senior writer and legal analyst for ESPN.com, will moderate a panel of reporters discussing the Rod Blagojevich trial following Sunday’s matinee performance of The Front Page at the TimeLine Theatre. Participants will include Elizabeth Brackett of WTTW, Paul Meincke of ABC 7, Rob Wildeboer of WBEZ, and Janan Hanna of Reuters and the Chicago News Cooperative. They’ll consider how Chicago journalism and politics have changed — or not — since the 1920s setting of the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur classic comedy.
- Kirsten Miller, a Chicago journalism gem, has resigned as interactive manager and senior web producer at Fox Chicago News to join Edelman public relations as senior account supervisor on the digital strategy team. She previously was assistant managing editor of interactive and web editor at the Sun-Times.