Robservations on the media beat:
John Records Landecker, an iconic Chicago radio personality since the 1970s, has been nominated for induction in the National Radio Hall of Fame. It’s his first time on the ballot for induction in the Chicago-based shrine to radio’s greatest performers and programs. Landecker, 70, is one of four nominees (and the only Chicagoan) in the Longstanding Local/Regional category. A total of 24 nominees in six categories were announced Monday. (A complete list is at radiohof.org.) Online public voting in two categories — Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality — will begin June 5. The rest will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals. Winners will be announced June 26. Induction ceremony will be November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Michael Miner, who’s been called “the conscience of Chicago journalism,” is retiring after 38 years with the Chicago Reader. The longtime media critic and senior editor of the alternative weekly recently cut back to part-time status. Now he’s taking the next step. Miner, 72, announced in a footnote to his blog Friday: “I’ll offer occasional pieces . . . to the Reader, but at my own request I'm no longer on staff and therefore out from under any formal obligation.” A deep bow to a distinguished and principled colleague.
Dometi Pongo is on the move. He’s just been hired as weekend news anchor at Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720. Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming at WGN, called him “one of the brightest young stars on the radio.” Pongo will continue as weekday morning news anchor on Midway Broadcasting urban news/talk WVON AM 1690, where he’s worked since 2013. The Chicago native is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. At WGN he succeeds Veronica Carter, who’s rejoining CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9 — this time as traffic reporter.
Veteran Chicago journalist Lorene Yue has joined DePaul University’s Office of Public Relations and Communications as manager of news and integrated content. Until 2014 Yue was a reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business, covering higher education and the food and beverage industry, among other beats. A graduate of Purdue University, she also was a business reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press and Kansas City Star.
Happy to report Steve Dahl is returning Monday to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 and his daily podcast. He’s been on the mend since he underwent surgery May 2 to repair his large intestine. One month earlier he was hospitalized for treatment of a perforated colon and was diagnosed with diverticulitis. “I’m feeling pretty good,” he told Facebook friends. Dahl, 62, has been a trailblazer on Chicago radio since 1978.
Four Chicago radio programming bosses have been singled out this year among “The Best Program Directors in America” by Radio Ink magazine. Listed among tops in the industry by the bi-weekly publication were two program directors from Hubbard Radio Chicago stations — Rob Cressman of classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 and Mary Ellen Kachinske of hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9. Also cited were Ron Gleason, director of news and programming at WBBM Newsradio, and Derrick Brown, director of urban programming for iHeartMedia Chicago.