Chicago hooking up with Social Media Week
Robservations on the media beat:
- There’s still time to register for Chicago’s first Social Media Week, the local component of a global event spotlighting the phenomenon of social media in all its forms. Starting Monday, more than 70 free programs will be presented in venues around Chicago, organized by Zocalo Group, a word of mouth and social media agency, and the Chicago Tribune. Speakers and panels will focus on “the changing social and mobile media landscape across all major industries.” Keynote Tuesday will be Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Assholes Finish First. Keynote Wednesday will be Adam Bain, president of global revenue for Twitter. I’ll be participating in a panel September 23 on Reinventing a Media Career on Alternative Platforms with Richard Roeper, Steve Dahl, Nancy Loo and Bill Adee. Along with activities in Chicago, simultaneous events will take place in Beirut, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Glasgow, Los Angeles, Milan, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Vancouver. A complete list of events and registration information is available at: socialmediaweek.org/chicago.
- With the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission and approval from the company’s shareholders, Cumulus Media is expected to finalize its $2.4 billion takeover of Citadel Broadcasting today — including news/talk WLS-AM (890) and oldies WLS-FM (94.7). Not everyone is thrilled with the creation of a 560-station behemoth, including FCC commissioner Michaels Copps, who told Inside Radio he fears the result will be “fewer independent options and fewer local voices.” If the FCC is going to continue to allow consolidation of media companies, he said, it should adopt tougher public interest guidelines. But for now, it’s so long to Citadel boss Farid Suleman and hello to Cumulus boss Lew Dickey.
- Window to the World Communications unveiled a snazzy new animated opening this week for WTTW-Channel 11’s Chicago Tonight — including new theme music composed by Paris Schutz, a correspondent and producer on the show. “I wanted something that would be simple enough so people could whistle it and always associate it with this show, but complex enough underneath so that viewers wouldn’t tire of it too quickly,” said Schutz, who’s a lifelong pianist and songwriter. He recorded the music with Chicago Symphony Orchestra trumpeter John Hagstrom.
- Mancow Muller isn’t the only bombastic big mouth about to be heard on west suburban WJJG-AM (1530). Also expected to turn up on the 760-watt daytime station is syndicated host Michael Savage, who’s losing his current 5-to-7pm weekday spot on Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560) to Steve Cochran, as of October 3. Both Mancow and Savage are syndicated by Talk Radio Network.
- Before Rich Koz was Svengoolie (and before he was Son of Svengoolie), Chicago viewers embraced the original horror-movie host in the person of Jerry G. Bishop, the immensely talented radio and television personality. On the WFLD-Channel 32 show known as Screaming Yellow Theatre, Bishop’s Svengoolie ran from 1970 to 1973. In a remarkable find, three long-lost episodes of Bishop as Sven from 1973 have been unearthed by the Museum of Classic Chicago Television’s Rick Klein, who transferred them from videotape to digital. (One of the shows — from April 13, 1973 — features an appearance by fellow radio legend Larry Lujack.) All three episodes will be up on Klein’s website Monday at: fuzzymemories.tv.
- Love Is . . . , the sentimental single-frame comic strip that’s been in newspaper syndication for more than 40 years, is the latest casualty of cutbacks at the Chicago Sun-Times. What will readers put up on their refrigerators now?
- Terence Henderson, the always insightful Chicago-based free-lance writer whose T Dog Media Blog serves up a “tongue-in-cheek look at media stories locally and nationally,” officially switches over this weekend to a new site at: tdogmedia.com.