Robservations on the media beat:
Veteran Chicago news anchor Robin Robinson has been hired by the Chicago Police Department as special adviser to the superintendent for community affairs. Before accepting the position, Robinson stepped down from CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9. “We wish her nothing but great success,” said Ron Gleason, director of news and programming at WBBM Newsradio. “We both agreed this would be a conflict with covering the news, and she has not been on the air for several weeks.” In announcing Robinson’s appointment, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said: “Utilizing the trust she has built throughout the city during her career, she will serve as a departmental spokesperson and be responsible for fostering stronger community faith and partnerships in Chicago’s neighborhoods.” Robinson spent 27 years at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.
Ever since Tribune Publishing (soon to be tronc) chairman Michael Ferro announced last March that he had donated his ownership stake in Sun-Times parent company Wrapports to charity, he’s been cagey about the recipient of his largesse. “It is a completely new charitable trust at a very large organization,” was all he'd say. “It’s a very big organization.” Now we know: News industry analyst Ken Doctor reported that Ferro turned over his Wrapports shares to the California Community Foundation, a 100-year-old organization dedicated to “leading positive systemic change to strengthen Los Angeles communities.” A spokesperson for the L.A.-based foundation told Doctor that the group doesn’t comment on donor-contributed funds.
Jeff Blanzy, a sports reporter and weekend sports anchor for 11 years on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, is about to turn up on NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. He’s one of several familiar faces who’ll be filling in on weekends as long as sports anchor Mike Adamle is out on personal leave, according to Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5. (Others include Laurence Holmes, Pat Boyle and Chris Boden.) After leaving ABC 7 in 2009, Blanzy became an analyst for DePaul Blue Demons basketball on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670.
ABC 7 confirmed the news here Tuesday that “Windy City Live” will be moving to 1 p.m. weekdays and a one-hour local newscast will return to take its place it at 11 a.m., effective June 27. John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, said the change marked renewed confidence in “Windy City Live,” adding: “I’m a huge fan of the show and I want to give it the best opportunity to succeed. It will be the only local show at 1 o’clock, so it’s now going to have some running room. And I’m happy to get the news back at 11 because it keeps the engine going in the newsroom.”
Julia Wallace, who was managing editor of the Sun-Times in the ’90s, announced plans Tuesday to retire at the end of the year as vice president of Cox Media Group Ohio, where she oversaw the company’s newspaper, television and radio operations. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Wallace previously held top editorial positions at the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Salem Statesman Journal, Arizona Republic and USA Today. Wallace will be teaching a class on political journalism at the University of Dayton.