Tribune’s Kogan to keep ‘Afternoon Shift’ buzzing at WBEZ
Robservations on the media beat:
- As WBEZ-FM (91.5) carries out a nationwide search for a successor to Steve Edwards, the Chicago Public Media station has tapped a local media legend to mind the store. Starting September 24, Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan will serve as interim host of The Afternoon Shift, which airs from 2 to 4pm weekdays. Edwards is signing off Friday to become deputy director of David Axelrod’s new Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. While Kogan fills in for a month or two on WBEZ, he’ll step away from The Sunday Papers, the weekly talk show he’s hosted for 13 years at Tribune-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720). “I’m flattered by this fascinating creative challenge,” Kogan said of the interim role. “And I welcome the change in lifestyle. After all these years, it’ll be nice for a while not to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning every Sunday.” A bona fide Chicago treasure who’s been a mainstay of the Tribune since 1985, Kogan, 61, previously hosted a daily radio show with Richard Roeper and Kathy Voltmer on the former WLUP-AM.
- Michael Essany boasts a star-studded lineup for the opening week of his local late-night talk show, airing at 10:30pm Monday through Friday on WJYS-Channel 62. Starting Monday, he’ll welcome scores of media personalities, journalists and musicians to his Seven on Ridge, including Tom Skilling, William Shatner, Dick Biondi, Chicago blues legend Lonnie Givens, Jay Pharoah of Saturday Night Live, Colin Cunningham of TNT's Falling Skies, and Baron Vaughn of USA's Fairly Legal. Essany, 29, is a remarkable talent who’s been making headlines since 1997 when he began hosting a cable access show from his parents' home in Valparaiso, Indiana. In 2003, E! Network picked up The Michael Essany Show for its final two seasons.
- Tom Shales, the Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic who retired in 2010 after 38 years at the Washington Post, has begun writing a regular blog for Roger Ebert’s website.
- The husband-and-wife duo of NBC 5’s Christian Farr and ABC 7’s Karen Jordan will emcee this year’s Emmy nominations party October 9 at Rockit Bar and Grill, 22 West Hubbard Street. The event is sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. As reported earlier, Richard Roeper will emcee the 54th annual regional Emmy Awards November 18 at Alhambra Palace, 1240 West Randolph Street.
- It’s still not known whether Howard Stern will show up for his induction in the National Radio Hall of Fame, but presenters already are being lined up for other honorees at the November 10 ceremony in Chicago. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench will be on hand to induct Gary Burbank, while Radio Hall of Famers Ralph Emery and Herb Kent will do the honors for Luther Masingill and Jack Cooper, respectively. Geraldo Rivera will host the event, to be broadcast live from the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
- The life and legacy of the great Bill Veeck will be celebrated at a symposium/fundraiser for the Chicago Baseball Museum Thursday at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street. Featured speakers at One Family, Two Teams: The Impact of the Veecks on Chicago Baseball will include historian Dr. Timuel Black, author Paul Dickson, sportswriter Ron Rapoport, former White Sox general manager Roland Hemond, ex-White Sox third baseman Eric Soderholm, and documentary producer Tom Weinberg. Tom Shaer will emcee the event, starting at 5:30pm. Ticket information: chicagobaseballmuseum.org.
- Services were Saturday in St. Louis for Sharon McGhee, former news director and host at Midway Broadcasting urban talk WVON-AM (1690), who died at 55 of ovarian cancer September 11. In addition to her career in broadcasting, she also was a playwright and director. “Sharon McGhee was one of the most creative people I’ve ever known,” Melody Spann Cooper, president of WVON, said in a statement. “Her determination, passion and drive brought her to Chicago where she excelled in everything that was on her professional and personal agenda.”