Robservations on the media beat:
Robin Amer, a stellar investigative journalist and former deputy editor of the Chicago Reader, has joined Gannett’s USA Today Network to launch “The City,” an ambitious podcast series examining how cities really work. Debuting in 2018, the first season will focus on Chicago. “It’s clear that there is an investment in podcasting as a news medium, and I’m excited to start working with local journalists at publications across the country,” she said in a statement. “These writers are deeply rooted in their communities and have a strong grasp of the core issues and struggles America’s cities and citizens face.” Before joining the Reader in 2015, Amer was a reporter/producer for Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5 and a contributor to DNAInfo/Chicago.
Two more Chicago reporters were hired this week at ProPublica Illinois, the independent, nonprofit investigative news startup. Latest additions to the staff being assembled by editor-in-chief Louise Kiernan are Duaa Eldeib, investigative reporter at the Chicago Tribune and former reporter for the Daily Southtown, and Melissa Sanchez, who most recently wrote for The Chicago Reporter and Catalyst Chicago. Starting later this year, ProPublica Illinois will publish stories online and partner with other news organizations.
Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, the former Illinois state senator and Chicago alderman, is going from being a guest to a host on WCPT AM 820, the Newsweb Radio progressive talk station. Starting July 9, he’ll host his own time-brokered show from 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays. “Who says dreams don't come true?” he told Facebook friends. “WE GONNA HAVE FUN with The COOLEST SHOW ON THE RADIO.” In 2011 Hendon resigned after 18 years in the Illinois legislature. He wrote a book about the perils of political office titled Backstabbers. Said Charley Gross, president of Newsweb Radio: “We are thrilled to have him.”
Mike Fourcher, publisher of The Daily Line, is expanding his enterprise of insider newsletters on government and politics. Starting July 17, he’ll publish The Springfield Daily Line, focusing exclusively on state government. “Our plan is [to] unearth detail uninteresting to the regular citizen, but critical to those who know how can government turn on the little things,” said Fourcher, who started the Chicago-based Daily Line (originally called Aldertrack) in 2015. Rae Hodge, former Associated Press reporter, will lead the new Springfield bureau. Prelaunch subscribers save 10 percent off the hefty $395 annual rate.