Taste of the future: Sun-Times farms out food section
Robservations on the media beat:
- Another familiar franchise of the Sun-Times has been scrapped: Ending a 65-year run, the paper’s award-winning weekly food section published its final edition Wednesday. Starting March 13, it will be replaced by Taste, an advertorial insert produced outside of the editorial department by Sun-Times Media’s Custom Media Solutions. “Taste combines new food-related content, such as a weekly menu planner and a DeVine Wine column, with new advertising opportunities to gain revenue for the company,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. It follows the recent outsourcing of certain business, sports and other content by parent company Wrapports LLC. The move also means a reassignment for food editor and deputy features editor Sue Ontiveros, a highly regarded 29-year veteran of the paper. Sun-Times Media editor-in-chief Jim Kirk said Ontiveros will oversee a new digital and print initiative, expected to be announced next week.
- Vicki Lewis, Ed Asner and Marion Ross will be among an all-star cast featured in two staged readings and recorded performances for I've Got a Life in Kalamazoo, a new sitcom in development by Fubble Entertainment. The Museum of Broadcast Communications and Weigel Broadcasting's Me-TV and WCIU/The U are partners in the events April 13 and 14 at the museum, 360 North State Street. The program will feature the pilot and a second episode of the sitcom, which is set in Chicago and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Tickets are on sale at LifeInKzoo.com, with proceeds benefitting the museum. Fubble Entertainment is a collaboration of Teresa Thome and Patrick Ziegler.
- Sure and begorrah Catie Keogh takes viewers to Ireland for a special two-part edition of 24/7 City Secrets, the weekly lifestyle magazine she hosts and produces for NBC 5. Airing at midnight this Saturday and next Saturday (after Saturday Night Live), the two shows will explore life as local in Ireland — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
- Steve Dahl, whose sold-out show at the Park West last year was a smash hit, is at it again. Tickets go on sale Saturday for Still in the Basement with Steve Dahl June 1 at Park West. Subscribers to his podcast can order early at a discount.
- Steve Mandell, the Chicago talent agent who represents numerous media and sports personalities, just landed a Hollywood movie deal. Sony Pictures has signed to produce a film about Jesse Holley, who rose from poverty and obscurity to become an NFL wide receiver. Holley was invited to the Dallas Cowboys training camp after winning the Spike TV reality series 4th and Long. Mandell negotiated the deal and will serve as creative consultant on the movie.
- Vince Casanova announced his retirement this week as president of Chicago Tribune Media Group after 33 years with Tribune Co. The move comes as the company is poised to sell its print assets after emerging from bankruptcy and restructuring. Casanova began as manager of auditing and eventually headed daily operations for the Chicago Tribune, RedEye, Chicago magazine, Hoy, TribLocal and other publications.
- Brett Chase, former deputy managing editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, has been named U.S. companies editor for Scrip Intelligence, a news and strategic analysis source for the global pharmaceutical industry. He most recently worked for the Better Government Association and was a contributor on the drug and biotechnology industry for the investor website minyanville.com.
- Jon Kaplan, former news producer/writer at CBS 2, has joined Sue Markgraf’s GreenMark Public Relations as media relations director. He most recently was director of marketing and communications for Safer Foundation and president of ChiTown PR.
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