Media preview 2014: Hanging on

Harold LloydTen things to look for on the media beat in the coming year:

  • With unprofitable deals up at the end of the 2014 season, both WGN-Channel 9 and WGN AM 720 will part company with the Chicago Cubs, ending the team’s 88-year relationship with Tribune Co.
  • A volatile year for talk radio will begin with new local outlets for Michael Savage (on WLS AM 890) and Sean Hannity (on WIND AM 560). Things will really heat up when WGN moves forward on its ambitious plans for FM expansion.
  • Perennial ratings leader WLS-Channel 7 will revamp its daytime lineup once Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show goes away. Also look for the ABC-owned station to rejuvenate its lagging morning news with a new face or two.
  • The autobiography of Roger Ebert will come to the silver screen when “Life Itself” premieres Jan. 19 at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Bruce DuMont, founder, president and CEO of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, will relinquish control over day-to-day  operations after 30 years with the hiring of a new executive director.
  • Filmmakers Steve James and Gordon Quinn, reporter Steve Bogira and editor Alejandro Escalona will receive Studs Terkel Awards from the Community Media Workshop in March.
  • Six local television veterans — Jerry Bryant, Carole B. Cartwright, Rich King, Mike Leonard, Larry Yellen and Carol Cooling-Kopp (posthumously) — will be inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in May.

Chicago media milestones of note in 2014:

  • 90th anniversary of WGN AM 720 and WLS AM 890.
  • 50th anniversary of Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26, Chicago’s first UHF television station.
  • 35th anniversary of “Disco Demolition.”
  • 25th anniversary of NBC Tower; Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTMX FM 101.9.
  • 10th anniversary of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.