Nothing personal: Fox PR ‘policy’ ties down anchor Davlantes
Robservations on the media beat:
- Anna Davlantes began the year being called one of the “50 Most Beautiful Chicagoans” by Chicago magazine. She’ll end the year being called “Mommy.” The Fox Chicago news anchor recently disclosed that she’s expecting her first child around Thanksgiving and plans to take two months off after she delivers. “It’s all new to me so I don’t really know what to expect — but I feel like I’m doing well,” she told friends. The Good Day Chicago host eloped to Paris last May with Chicago entrepreneur David Gamperl. I called Davlantes Wednesday to congratulate her on the news and ask her to clarify an embarrassing story in the Tribune about a relative of her husband who bounced a $69,000 check for their wedding reception in June. But an overbearing Fox publicist from New York refused to let Davlantes talk to me unless she could listen in on our personal conversation. I declined to submit to those conditions. “It’s our policy,” insisted Claudia Russo, manager of media relations for Fox Television Stations. Sorry, Claudia, it’s not my policy.
- Nothing is official yet, but plans are in the works for NBC 5 to launch a newscast at noon Monday through Friday some time around Labor Day. If that happens, it would mark a return to a news time period the station once dominated. Some may remember when trailblazer Jorie Lueloff became the first woman to anchor a daily television newscast in Chicago, delivering NBC 5's noon news from 1966 to 1984.
- If nothing else, the startup news operation at Merlin Media’s 101.1 FM is providing gainful employment to a lot of recent college graduates. Among full-time news writers/producers just hired there are eight 2011 grads of Columbia College’s radio department — Megan Buckley, Michael Cronin, Danielle Ezell, Christine Fiedler, John Gregory, Calie Lyons, Chris Mezyk and Eric Pribramsky. Many of them worked together at Columbia’s student-run WCRX-FM (88.1). “I am excited to get my first full-time gig in radio,” Lyons told the college’s online newsletter. “They never sugar-coated anything. That honesty along with my hard work, gave me the confidence to believe that I can work in this industry."
- Bob Crawford, who was the dean of Chicago’s City Hall press corps before he retired after 33 years at CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (780), is still as wired in as ever to the local political beat. In a one-on-one interview with Chicago Access Network host Ken Davis, Crawford will talk about the legacy of former Mayor Richard Daley and the future under Mayor Rahm Emanuel on tonight’s edition of Chicago Newsroom. (It’s a departure in form for the show, which usually features a panel of journalists and pundits.) The CAN-TV program airs at 6:30 tonight on Chicago Cable Channel 19 and streams online throughout the week.
- Another Newsradio 780 veteran, former news anchor and reporter Donn Pearlman, returns to Chicago next month to show off more than a billion dollars in rare coins and colorful money. Pearlman, who now lives in Las Vegas and heads a public relations company, is spokesman for the World’s Fair of Money, coming to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont August 16 to 20. “It’s not my personal money, but the nice folks at the U.S. Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing kindly let me hold the $100,000 bills and $500 million treasury notes in their ‘Billion Dollar Display’ exhibit,” said Pearlman, who spent 25 years on the air here. “It sure beats getting 3am phone calls from a newsroom assignment desk telling me to cover a lumber yard fire in Joliet.”
- A personal note: Barring a news emergency, I’ll be taking a few days off to attend Vidcon 2011, the convention of YouTube artists and enthusiasts in Los Angeles. See you when I get back.