ABC 7’s margin of victory narrows in November
Mark Giangreco, Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers, Kathy Brock and Jerry Taft
Robservations on the media beat:
- November brought another across-the-board ratings win for ABC 7 in all local news time periods. But diminished leads-ins for the station — and increases in every time period and in all key demos for NBC 5 — cut ABC 7’s margin of victory compared to last year. At 10pm weekdays, ABC 7 had an 8.4 rating (down 6.7 percent), NBC 5 had a 5.8 rating (up 18.4 percent) and CBS 2 had a 5.5 rating (flat). At 9pm weekdays, WGN 9 had a 4.0 rating (up 8.1 percent) and Fox 32 had a 2.1 rating (up 16.7 percent). One Nielsen rating point represents 34,935 households. You do the math.
- Chicago television stations aren’t alone in going after early-morning news consumers. Starting Monday, WLS-AM (890) will get into the act when the Cumulus Media news/talk station launches a half-hour newscast at 4:30am weekdays, anchored by John Dempsey. Also contributing to The 89 WLS First Morning News at 4:30 will be Tom Rivers, London-based correspondent for ABC News Radio. The Wall Street Journal This Morning, now airing from 4 to 5am, will be cut in half.
- Steve Warmbir, an award-winning 13-year veteran of the Sun-Times, was promoted Thursday to assistant managing editor/metro. He succeeds Shamus Toomey, who resigned Tuesday to join DNAInfo.com Chicago. Warmbir, who most recently was deputy metro editor, joined the Sun-Times from the Daily Herald and worked as an investigative reporter, federal courts reporter and deputy editorial editor. He grew up in Chicago and Downers Grove, and graduated from Medill at Northwestern University and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. “By every measure Steve is a top-flight journalist with a highlights list that would span several pages in a who’s who book of journalists,” editor-in-chief Jim Kirk told staffers. “Most of all, he is a fearless, no-nonsense manager who thinks like a reporter and is cool under fire — attributes we see in every great editor.” He's a great guy, too.
- Family and friends of Minnie Minoso celebrated the White Sox legend’s 90th birthday Thursday at a screening of a documentary about his life and career. The Cuban-born Minoso was the first black Latin American star in the major leagues and the only professional ever to play ball in seven different decades. Baseball’s Been Very, Very Good to Me: The Minnie Minoso Story will debut at 10pm December 11 on WTTW-Channel 11. Produced by veteran Chicago documentarian Tom Weinberg, it was completed as a Kickstarter.com project with backing from more than 160 fans.
- George Castle, the veteran Chicago sportswriter, broadcaster and author, just released his 11th book. Alou Makes the Catch: The Alternate History of the Chicago Cubs recounts 10 scenarios where history conspired against the star-crossed team. The e-book, published for Kindle devices by Press Room Editions, will be available next week on Amazon.com. Meanwhile, Castle just signed on as historian and writer for the online Chicago Baseball Museum. He’s posting dozens of interviews with baseball stars from his Diamond Gems radio show.
- It’s hard to imagine Chicago’s glitterati without legendary Skyline columnist Ann Gerber to keep tabs on them, but the future of her newspaper and the Chicago Journal is up in the air. In a note to readers last week, publisher Dan Haley cited the “continuing tough economy and changes in how readers get news” for seeking new owners for both weekly publications. “We’re hopeful that we’ll find a future for these papers,” he wrote. “If we aren’t successful, then we will close out our efforts with pride and a tear at some point during December." Friday morning update: See Dan Haley's comment below.
- Clear Channel Chicago has appointed Kelly Mac midday personality at urban adult-contemporary WVAZ-FM (102.7) and assistant program director at urban contemporary WGCI-FM (107.5), effective Monday. She succeeds Kris Kelley, who was promoted last month to program director of WGCI and Top 40 WKSC-FM (103.5). Mac, a Cleveland native, most recently was assistant program director and music director at Clear Channel’s WUSL-FM and WDAS-FM in Philadelphia.
- Crain’s Chicago Business unveiled a new iPad app Thursday, featuring content from its weekly print edition and daily breaking news content from its website. As an incentive to download the free app, Crain’s is giving users an exclusive preview of its 40 Under 40 feature for 2012.
- A note on the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications says the museum will be “closed for the holidays” from December 23 to January 2. Aren’t Chicago’s museums usually pretty crowded between Christmas and New Year’s?