An epic day for Chicago journalism

Power of the PressBehold the power of the press.

Any doubt that newspapers still matter was wiped away Friday when the nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley was sentenced in court for his role in the death of 21-year-old David Koschman a decade ago.

That’s because Richard Vanecko, who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, never would have faced justice if not for years of painstaking, dogged and courageous work by the Sun-Times and most notably by reporters Tim Novak, Chris Fusco and Carol Marin. Continue reading

Chicago magazine bags mail delivery

Chicago magSubscribers used to seeing Chicago magazine tucked inside their mailboxes each month are more likely to find them tossed somewhere on their porches or driveways instead.

Starting with the February issue, the Tribune Co.-owned magazine has ceased using the United States Postal Service for delivery to a majority of its subscribers, opting instead to utilize the Chicago Tribune’s own distribution system. Continue reading

Why Ramsey’s been under the weather

Jim Ramsey

Jim Ramsey

Veteran Chicago weatherman Jim Ramsey will be back on the air this weekend after a “pretty strong flu virus” sidelined him for three weeks.

Ramsey’s absence from Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 during a period of severe winter weather was conspicuous to viewers because it coincided with chief meteorologist Tom Skilling’s vacation. In addition to his weekend weather duties, Ramsey also serves as Skilling’s principal backup. Continue reading

Everyone’s up for morning news

Roz Varon, Hosea Sanders, Judy Hsu and Tracy Butler

Roz Varon, Hosea Sanders, Judy Hsu and Tracy Butler

Chicago’s arctic January warmed the hearts of local TV bosses, as ratings rose for morning newscasts at every station in town.

Between 4 and 10 a.m. weekdays, viewership for the month was up across the board compared with January 2013. Ratings analysts attributed the boost mainly to weather-related coverage, including interest in school closings and commuting issues. Continue reading

Clear Channel superstar rises to top

Darren Davis

Darren Davis

I should have known Darren Davis would be running all of the Clear Channel networks someday. I just never imagined it would happen by age 40.

As head of programming and operations at Clear Channel’s Chicago stations for less than three years, the California native earned a reputation as a smart, creative manager who combined a lifelong passion for radio with a discipline for business. By the time he was named senior vice president of programming for the company in 2008, his meteoric trajectory was set.

On Tuesday, Davis was named president of Clear Channel Networks Group, overseeing Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, the 24/7 News Network and the iHeartRadio Network. The newly unified group was created after John Hogan retired Jan. 13 as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Continue reading

WLS drops Roe & Roeper sports hour

Roe Conn, Richard Roeper and Lou Canellis

Roe Conn, Richard Roeper and Lou Canellis

It took a year for WLS AM 890 bosses to figure out what most listeners realized from Day One: A full hour of sports talk at 5 p.m. each day was killing Roe Conn and Richard Roeper’s afternoon show.

Faced with disastrous ratings, the Cumulus Media news/talk station is dropping “The 89 WLS Sports Pregame Show,” the somnambulant segment that featured Fox 32 sports anchor Lou Canellis and interviews with sports figures. Its final airing will be Wednesday. Continue reading

Primarily, Sun-Times still not endorsing

Sun-TimesSeven weeks from today, primary voters will go to the polls to choose candidates for offices ranging from U.S. senator and Illinois governor to circuit court judges. But once again, they won’t be able to look to the Sun-Times for guidance.

Despite a report last fall that the newspaper was rescinding its ban on endorsements, sources said the Sun-Times editorial board will be sitting out the March 18 primary, as it has every election since it opted out of vetting political candidates in January 2012. Continue reading

Video salutes the legendary Lujack

For someone who spent his entire career behind a microphone, “Superjock” Larry Lujack left a remarkable legacy of work in front of the camera, too.

From his television commercials to his movie theater trailers and from his talk show interviews to his Hall of Fame acceptance speeches, Ol’ Uncle Lar invariably proved as charming and delightful on screen as he did on radio. Continue reading

‘K2’ comes home to lead WGCI

Kenard Karter

Kenard Karter

Ten years after he began his career as a weekend overnight personality and promotions assistant at WGCI FM 107.5, Chicago native Kenard “K2” Karter is returning to the Clear Channel urban contemporary station as program director.

Karter, who rejoins WGCI March 3, spent the last four years as assistant program director and midday personality at Clear Channel’s KMEL FM in San Francisco. Continue reading