Robservations: Crain’s adds column by BGA’s Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw

Robservations on the media beat:

Andy Shaw, the veteran journalist who heads the Better Government Association, has been named a contributing columnist to Crain’s Chicago Business. Starting Monday, Shaw’s column will alternate every other week with Rich Miller, editor and publisher of Capitol Fax, on the business weekly’s politics-focused Page 2. “Andy and I have talked over the years on how to cement a better partnership,” said Crain’s editor Michael Arndt. “Now that he’s got a different crew there [under director of investigations Bob Secter], it’s coming together pretty smartly.” Shaw joined the BGA as executive director in 2009 and was named president and CEO in 2011. A former political reporter for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, Shaw had been writing for the Sun-Times, which recently reduced the frequency of his column from weekly to monthly. The Sun-Times is expected to continue to work with the watchdog organization’s investigators on stories.


Chicago’s late-news viewership declined 12 percent overall from one year ago, according to results of the just-ended February rating sweep. Nielsen figures showed ABC 7 tops at 10 p.m. Monday through Friday with a 6.3 rating (218,169 households), followed by NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 with a 5.4 (187,002 households), CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 with a 2.9 (100,427 households), and Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 with a 2.6 (90,938 households). But NBC 5 still finished first among viewers between 25 and 54 — the demo most sought by advertisers. At 9 p.m. weekdays WGN led with 4.0 (138,520 households), trailed by Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 with 2.0 (69,260 households).

Ryan Ori

Look for the Chicago Tribune to launch a new column next week on commercial real estate and development in its business section. Joining the staff is Ryan Ori, who has been covering the commercial real estate beat for Crain’s Chicago Business since 2011. A native of East Peoria, Illinois, and graduate of Bradley University, Ori previously spent 18 years at the Peoria Journal Star. Job alert: Crain’s is now advertising for his replacement.

Brent Sopel

Brent Sopel, former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman who retired from the NHL after 12 years in 2015, has joined Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720 as hockey analyst and sports show host. In addition to contributing to WGN’s weekday shows, Sopel will host “The Beat” alongside Mark Carman, Adam Hoge and Jarrett Payton. The show airs from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and from 3 to 6 p.m. Sundays. “As a mentor to some of today’s biggest stars, Brent brings a depth of knowledge in the past, present and future of this great game,” said Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming.

National Radio Hall of Fame

Know someone who should be in the National Radio Hall of Fame? The Chicago-based shrine to radio’s stars is accepting suggestions for 2017 nominees. Through the end of March, the nomination committee will receive names for consideration in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more); Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); Networks/Syndication (10 years or more); Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more); Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Official nominating forms are available at