Carole Nolan: Visionary matriarch of WBEZ
Robservations on the media beat:
- Carole Nolan was hailed Thursday as a visionary leader who transformed WBEZ-FM (91.5) from an appendage of the Chicago Board of Education into one of the most successful public radio stations in the country. During her 25 years as general manager starting in 1971, she created a model for listener-supported radio and championed programming and technical innovations that laid the foundation for WBEZ as a premier independent institution. “Her motherly appearance notwithstanding, she was an incisive business professional who let no obstacle, no matter how formidable, stop her,” Torey Malatia, her successor as CEO of Chicago Public Media, wrote in a tribute after her passing Thursday. Funeral mass will be Tuesday for Nolan, who died after several weeks in hospice care. She was 80.
- Today’s Chicago Woman has a new editor. Carrie Williams succeeds Cassandra Gaddo, who’s leaving after five years as managing editor and electronic media editor to become managing director of Step Up Women’s Network in Chicago. “Cassandra made the hire an easy one, recommending Carrie from Associated Publications, where she had worked as associate editor,” said Today’s Chicago Woman president/publisher Sherren Leigh. “Carrie is known as a hard worker and we’re all enthused that she’s part of our team.” Williams is a Saint Xavier University graduate and travel blogger who also worked at Concierge Preferred and Buy Owner.
- Crain’s Chicago Business is back on the sports beat. Danny Ecker, anchor/reporter of Crain’s Chicago Business Today video updates, has begun writing a daily blog on the business of sports for the publication’s website. Crain’s had been without a sports blogger since Ed Sherman left last March to launch his national sports website, ShermanReport.com. “I tapped Danny for this because he is a sports fiend and he understands the business side of it,” said Crain’s editor Michael Arndt. “Most of our readers love sports and no one else really focuses on the business side. That’s our sweet spot.”
- Judy Pielach, newsroom coordinator at news/talk WGN-AM (720), was promoted Thursday to managing editor, overseeing day-to-day news operations. She also will continue as midday news anchor. The Chicago native and Southern Illinois University graduate joined the Tribune Co.-owned station as an anchor/reporter in 1986. “Judy is an accomplished news professional, and her leadership and excellent news judgment makes this a natural transition,” Bill White, director of programming and news at WGN, said in a statement.
- Carrie King, who rose from director of advertising and promotion at Tribune Entertainment to become regional vice president of innovation and imagination for Tribune Creative Group, is expected to be named creative director at Fox Chicago. She left Tribune Co. after 16 years last February.
- The eternally hip John Records Landecker is out recovering from hip surgery for a couple of weeks. While he’s away, weekend host Danny Lake will be filling in from 6 to 11pm weeknights on Cumulus Media oldies WLS-FM (94.7).
- Lauren O’Neil, just in from WXTB-FM in Tampa, Florida, where she co-hosted afternoons, signs on as an air personality at Merlin Media alternative rock WKQX-LP (87.7), starting July 16. “She’s got a great vibe on and off the air and is very well liked by a ton of people we mutually know,” operations manager Jim Richards said in a statement.
- Sheldon Hoffenberg had two great careers in Chicago journalism. First as an award-winning columnist and political editor for the Lerner Newspapers, where I knew him as a respected figure in the newsroom and the community. And then, for the past 34 years, as a newswriter and producer for ABC 7. “You would have to look far to find anyone more passionate about politics than Shelly Hoffenberg,” news anchor Alan Krashesky said in an on-air tribute to his longtime colleague. The Chicago native and graduate of Senn High School and the University of Illinois died Sunday at 74.