Skokie film recalls Nazi march that didn’t happen
Frank Collin, seated (1977)
Robservations on the media beat:
- In 1977, the National Socialist Party of America applied for a permit to hold a rally in north suburban Skokie, whose large Jewish population included thousands of survivors of the Holocaust. The small band of neo-Nazis, led by Frank Collin, never did march in Skokie. But what ensued was a two-year battle over free speech that culminated in worldwide headlines and a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision. More than 35 years later, a one-hour documentary puts those issues in perspective through a combination of archival footage and new interviews with many of the principal players. Skokie: Invaded But Not Conquered will have its broadcast premiere January 24 on WTTW-Channel 11. Todd Whitman, who wrote and produced the documentary for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, grew up in nearby Highland Park and vividly recalled the tumultuous period. But for many, he found, it was a time that’s been largely forgotten. “This program was a good opportunity to revisit these monumental events — the scenes of racism and anti-Semitism from the Chicago Nazis, and the intense free speech legal battles that took place,” he told me. “All in a place no one would have expected to have been the center of attention at the time."
- Sun-Times reporter Monifa Thomas, who suffered a stroke in July 2011 at age 30, recalls her ordeal and recovery in a compelling first-person story in Wednesday's paper. She's back at work now covering the health beat. Thomas, who writes candidly of the challenges she faced, joined the Sun-Times in 2005 after receiving a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
- Steve Cochran, afternoon personality on Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560), will look back on the year’s top stories from 5 to 7pm Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday. His 2012 Year in Review will count down the 80 biggest events in news, politics, sports and entertainment — featuring memorable audio from all of them. Cochran also will host a New Year’s Eve comedy show at 7pm Monday at the Raue Center in northwest suburban Crystal Lake. Appearing onstage will be Patti Vasquez and John DaCosse. Tickets are on sale at rauecenter.org.
- Although she hasn’t aged a bit in 21 years, Janet Davies will be back to ring in the New Year for the 21st time when she and Mark Giangreco host Countdown Chicago 2013 Monday on ABC 7. Joining them from venues across the city and suburbs starting at 11:08pm will be Hosea Sanders, Mark Nilsson and Ji Suk Yi. “Nothing is more exciting than live television, especially on New Year’s Eve, and I think Chicago expects us to put on a great show,” Davies said in a statement. Culminating in fireworks from Navy Pier, the event also will stream live on abc7chicago.com.
- Turi Ryder added more than one new gig to her schedule last week. In addition to succeeding Milt Rosenberg as Monday through Thursday late-night host on Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720), the former Chicagoan also was named Sunday afternoon anchor of America Weekend, a new network talk program syndicated by Envision Radio Networks, starting early next year. She’s hosting both shows from her home in San Francisco. Creator and executive producer of America Weekend is Kipper McGee, former program director of news/talk WLS-AM (890), where Ryder also once worked. There’s no Chicago outlet for the show yet.
- Geoff Pinkus, the former north suburban real estate and radio time-broker salesman who went on to host Livin’ Large Sunday nights on WIND, is leaving the station to launch a new Monday-through-Friday show. Starting January 7, The Geoff Pinkus Show will air from 11am to 1pm weekdays on west suburban WCKG-AM (1530).