Robservations on the media beat:
Weigel Broadcasting, Chicago-based owner of WCIU-Channel 26, Me-TV and a host of other Midwest stations and national digital networks, is adding TV stations in Los Angeles and St. Louis to its expanding portfolio. The company this week announced plans to acquire KAZA in L.A. for $9 million from SCTV Inc., and KNLC in St. Louis for $3.75 million from New Life Evangelistic Center. “Weigel was presented with opportunities that will allow us to expand distribution of our networks and other activities,” Norman Shapiro, chairman of the privately held company, told employees in an email. Both deals are pending FCC approval. Last month Weigel picked up KCSG and two low-power stations near Salt Lake City for $1.1 million from West American Finance Corp.
Good news for smooth jazz fans: “Windy City Jazz Music” has joined the lineup from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday on WSRB FM 106.3, the Crawford Broadcasting urban adult-contemporary station. Hosted and produced by Walter Cannon, the time-brokered show is billed as “modern urban jazz,” including Latin jazz, calypso, fusion, bebop, hip-hop and especially smooth jazz. Cannon has been an executive producer at Crawford Broadcasting since 2006.
Terry Boers, who retired in January after 25 years at CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670, has written The Score of a Lifetime: 25 Years Talking Chicago Sports. Published by Triumph Books and set for release November 15, the 224-page paperback is a memoir of Boers’s colorful career, including “personal reflections from his life and journey through sports media — from raucous banter with Mike Ditka during The Score's early days to the Cubs' World Series celebration in 2016.”
Latest stop on John Records Landecker’s victory tour en route to the National Radio Hall of Fame is a visit with David Martin and Kipper McGee, hosts of “Brandwidth on Demand.” Closing out the first season of the radio insider podcast series, Landecker tells what makes a good program director: “It’s pretty simple. The program director or whoever it is appreciates the people that are on the air, and that person who is the program director feels that it is their job to facilitate whatever those people bring to the table, and present what they bring along with what the station brings into a final package, combining personality and the music. . . . On the other hand, there are programmers who want to take radio stations and stamp them with their identity,” Landecker says. “And then there are idiots, who are just totalitarian dictator types.” (Here is the link.)
In homage to Chicago broadcast veteran Bill Jurek, who died last week, the Chicago Lighthouse is bringing back “The Beacon,” the public affairs show on disability advocacy he produced and hosted for eight years. Airing at 7 a.m. Sunday on WCPT AM 820, this weekend’s program will include tributes to Jurek from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, other officials and Lighthouse colleagues. “The Beacon” will continue to air weekly on the Newsweb Radio progressive talk station. Jurek, who was 67, died September 3 after a long illness.