Hey, Andy: Nostalgia Digest delivers prescient cover story
Robservations on the media beat:
- In one of those rare publishing coincidences, Andy Griffith graces the cover of the summer edition of Nostalgia Digest, the Chicago-based quarterly magazine published by Those Were the Days host Steve Darnall. Received by subscribers just days before Griffith died Tuesday, the issue features a detailed and insightful look at the life and career of The Man from Mayberry by writer Gary Phaup. “The legacy Andy Griffith one day will leave behind is that of an exceptionally gifted actor,” he wrote. Some of Griffith's classic comedy recordings will be featured on the July 21 broadcast of Those Were the Days, which airs from 1 to 5 pm Saturdays on College of DuPage’s WDCB-FM (90.9) and online at wdcb.org.
- Great Lake Warriors, a new Chicago-based reality series about the dangers and drama facing tug boat captains on the Great Lakes, will premiere at 9pm July 19 on the History Channel. It’s produced by Chicago’s award-winning Towers Productions. (Here is a brief preview.) Filming of the eight-part series was done on Lake Michigan (including Calumet Harbor here, Gary and Burns Harbors in Indiana, and Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Sturgeon Bay and Marinette in Wisconsin) and on Lake Superior (including Duluth-Superior Harbor and Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada).
- Jim Nayder’s Magnificent Obsession: True Stories of Recovery moves to a new time — 6:30am Sundays — on Chicago Public Media WBEZ-FM (91.5), as of this weekend. Now in its 21st year, the critically acclaimed series spotlights first-person accounts of battles with alcohol or drug addiction. Nayder this Sunday will rebroadcast his 2008 interview with Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, author of Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life.
- Hollywood 360, host and producer Carl Amari’s weekly showcase for nostalgia and entertainment trivia, has been picked up for national distribution by Chicago-based Syndication Networks. The show has been airing locally from 8pm to midnight Saturdays on Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560). Among its new outlets are Salem stations in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, Tampa and Sarasota. “A generation or two ago, families would gather around the radio to hear these classic shows,” Amari said in a statement. “One of my goals with Hollywood 360 is to get parents and kids to spend quality time together, enjoying these timeless comedies and dramas from the golden age of radio.”
- There’s a new boss at Northwestern University’s Knight News Innovation Lab. Miranda Mulligan, design director for digital at the Boston Globe, has been named executive director of the Evanston-based initiative formed to create new technologies for journalists. “Chicago is an inspirational city with a burgeoning news innovation community not to be ignored,” said Mulligan, who starts July 23. “It is such a stimulating time to be working in this area, and I'm excited for the chance to build on the great foundation that the current team has established.” She succeeds founding director Michael Silver, who launched the lab last year under a grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
- Warren Shulz began celebrating Independence Day early when he retired last week after 22 years as chief engineer at Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (890) and oldies WLS-FM (94.7). In total, he spent 45 years behind the scenes (and atop the transmitters) of local broadcast outlets. “I really liked the work and the challenge, but as staffing levels dropped, it was without relief,” he told me. Now with nothing more pressing than some home-improvement projects and his ham radio hobby, he says, he’s “just looking for that endless Saturday feeling.” Succeeding Shulz as WLS chief engineer is Scott Clifton, formerly with Harpo Productions’ Oprah Radio, Sirius XM Radio, Sporting News Radio Network and WGCI-AM/FM (1390/107.5).
- Peter Karl, the former Chicago investigative reporter, has turned his sleuthing skills to gambling. He’s the author of You Can’t Win . . . Unless: An Investigative Look at the Game of Blackjack. Published by Telemachus Press and available as an e-book or a paperback on Amazon.com, it outlines Karl’s system to become a good player. He also writes about his visits to Gamblers Anonymous, his divorce and his being a card counter. “It’s all true, but remember there are never, ever any guarantees that you will win,” Karl told me. “As I say in the book: ‘If the house is hot, you don’t have a shot.’ ”