Tribune’s Kamin sketches plans for Nieman Fellowship
Robservations on the media beat:
- Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, has been awarded a prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. Named the 2013 Arts and Culture Nieman Fellow, he’ll spend a year of study on the Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus. The move will reunite him with former Tribune editor Ann Marie Lipinski, now curator of the Nieman Foundation. “During my Nieman year, I hope to plunge back into the world of ideas, exploring the latest thinking in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design in a more deliberate way than daily journalism permits,” Kamin told me. “My aspirations for the fellowship are straightforward: To return to my job refreshed and refocused, so I can provide our readers with the most sophisticated, discerning coverage of architecture — and, in the process, to demonstrate anew why newspapers should cover this inescapable art.” Kamin, 54, who joined the Tribune in 1987, won the Pulitzer for criticism in 1999.
- Shortly after 7pm Sunday, Merlin Media signed on its new alternative rock format on WKQX-LP (87.7), the low-power station it's leasing from Venture Technologies Group. "Yep, we just birthed this bitch," the station tweeted in its opening minutes. "WKQX and Alternative are back in Chicago on 87.7FM!" Calling the shots is Jim Richards, newly hired operations manager of Q87.7 and classic rock WLUP-FM (97.9), and a protege of Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels.
- Friday night had to be bittersweet for veteran Chicago newsman Mark Suppelsa. At the same time he was announcing plans to enter an alcohol rehab program, the WGN-Channel 9 news anchor won three Peter Lisagor Awards for exemplary journalism from the Chicago Headline Club. Suppelsa was cited in two investigative reporting categories and for multimedia collaboration. Among other Lisagor winners Friday was graphic artist Greg Good, cited for work at the Chicago Sun-Times. While the paper took credit for the award in its report Saturday, it failed to mention that Good had been laid off in a budget cutback last December.
- Not so fast: Chicago radio iron man Steve Cochran won’t be cutting back on his grueling three-shift-a-day schedule at the end of this week after all. Although KTRS-AM in St. Louis had announced that Cochran would be heard only from 10am to noon weekdays as of May 14, the station now says it’s extending his 6 to 9pm weeknight show through June 4. He’ll continue to be heard in Chicago from 5 to 7pm weekdays on Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560) — with the 6pm hour of his show airing in both markets. Cochran had requested the cutback after a stress-related health scare last January. “The date has changed, but I will be down to two shows — and I’ll actually have the chance to live until Election Day,” he quipped.
- The last time they worked together, a young Bob Sirott and an even younger Meredith Vieira were correspondents on West 57th, a CBS newsmagazine show in the late ’80s. On Thursday, they’ll be reunited when Sirott, now a top news anchor at Fox Chicago, emcees a fundraiser at the Hilton Chicago and interviews special guest Vieira onstage. The event is sponsored by the Jewish United Fund. Vieira, who stepped down as host of NBC’s Today last June, is joining the network's reporting team from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
- Andrew White, artistic director of Lookingglass Theatre Company, and musical guests The Blisters will headline the spring season premiere Thursday night of Chicago Live! Tribune treasure Rick Kogan returns as host of the live weekly stage show at The Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 West North Avenue. Ticket information is available at chicagolive.com.
- Speedy recovery wishes to Chicago radio legend Fred Winston, 66, who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery last week at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.