Sun-Times ad gives new meaning to long-term planning
Chicago Sun-Times ad, Friday, January 18.
Robservations on the media beat:
- With all its attention focused on new technology, what the Sun-Times really may need is a good old-fashioned calendar. A half-page ad on Page 15 of Friday’s edition touted the paper’s “exclusive coverage” of the presidential inauguration — on Tuesday, February 22. The original ad included the date underlined for emphasis. Since the actual inauguration is taking place this Monday — January 21 — that would make the Sun-Times’ coverage a month late. (February 22 isn’t even a Tuesday. It’s a Friday.) A corrected version of the ad ran on Saturday.
- On Monday, the Sun-Times is expected to raise its weekday newsstand price to $1 — up from 75 cents.
- Now that Tribune Co. is out of bankruptcy, under new corporate leadership and poised to sell its assets, the owners of the Sun-Times are getting serious about buying the Chicago Tribune. Wrapports LLC, parent company of Sun-Times Media, confirmed that it’s exploring a deal. (Crain’s Chicago Business broke the story Friday.) The prospect of Chicago as a one-owner newspaper town — under star-struck media mogul wannabe Michael Ferro, no less — boggles the mind.
- Paula Faris, the highly regarded former sports anchor at NBC 5, has been reassigned after one year as co-anchor of ABC News’ World News Now and America This Morning. ABC News president Ben Sherwood announced Friday that Faris was "expanding her reporting portfolio" by moving to dayside and serving as a correspondent for all ABC News programs. Sherwood said Faris had been instrumental in helping both of her broadcasts gain in ratings this season, "delivering the biggest overnight audience in years," adding: "Paula has a unique talent for finding stories that resonate with our audience." Faris told Facebook fans: "I've loved every minute of this experience and am so incredibly grateful for your support."
- Another former Chicago personality on the move is Tamron Hall, the onetime Fox 32 morning news anchor. While continuing as host of NewsNation weekday afternoons on MSNBC, Hall has signed to host Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, a 13-part series for Investigative Discovery. The 2004 murder of Hall’s sister Renate, who was a victim of domestic violence, makes Hall uniquely qualified to host the series, according to a statement by the network. "We are thrilled to welcome Tamron Hall to the ID family as host of this fast-paced, hard-hitting investigative magazine show," Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery, said in a press release. "Given Tamron's own personal tragic experience and vested interest in finding justice for other victims and their families, Tamron will provide the unique personal perspective that our audience so appreciates."
- Here’s an interesting footnote to news last week that Mellody Hobson, president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, signed with CBS News as a contributor and analyst on finance and the economy: Her deal was negotiated by attorney Jeffrey Jacobs, co-founder and former president of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Entertainment Group. Jacobs now lives in Santa Barbara, California. Hobson, a former contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America, is engaged to Stars Wars filmmaker George Lucas.
- Marcus Riley, digital producer and online entertainment reporter for NBCChicago.com, debuted last week as host of Daily 5, a web-only newscast delivered to subscribers by email. It’s heavy on entertainment news and social media. Riley also is president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
- Kevin Metheny, former program director of news/talk WGN-AM (720) under ex-Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, has landed as program director of WJR-AM, the Cumulus Media news/talk station in Detroit. Metheny, who was fired after two spectacularly inept years at WGN in 2010, most recently was interim programmer at CBS Radio's KMNB-FM in Minneapolis. He famously was nicknamed “Pig Virus” by Radio Hall of Famer Howard Stern.
- Bill Cullerton, who hosted WGN’s Great Outdoors from 1979 to 1999, died last week at 89. A World War II flying ace who survived being shot down, captured, shot and left for dead behind enemy lines, he went on to become a major authority in the fishing and outdoors world, according to a video tribute on WGN’s website.