Robservations on the media beat:
The newest face on “Good Day Chicago” is Tia Ewing, who joined Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 this week as a freelance reporter. The Chicago native and Ohio State University graduate most recently worked as morning news anchor at WOIO, the CBS affiliate in Cleveland, after previous stints in Flint, Michigan, and Sacramento, California. “Today I realized what it means to be home,” Ewing wrote on her Facebook page. “From my grandparents who are in their 90s, parents, cousins, aunts, and childhood friends they all were able to witness me inform the public; some for the first time.” Ewing’s Facebook name is “TVNewsStar.”
Thursday morning followup: After this item appeared, Ewing changed her Facebook name to “TiaOnTV,” and tweeted: "I appreciate your story, @RobertFeder. I found another username that wasn’t taken and doesn’t rub people the wrong way."
ProPublica Illinois, the independent, nonprofit investigative news startup, officially launched this week. Co-published with the Sun-Times and the “Every Other Hour” series on Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5, reporter Mick Dumke’s opening piece examined gun trafficking in Chicago. “While Illinois has a wealth of subjects for investigative journalism, there are always more stories to uncover than there are reporters to dig into them,” ProPublica editor-in-chief Louise Kiernan said in a statement. “Our goal is to bring the unique strengths of ProPublica – such as our data-driven approach and our ability to stick with subjects as long as it takes – to report stories that would not otherwise be told.”
Keynote speaker at this weekend’s 14th annual High School and College Media Conference will be Erik Zachary, host of MTV’s “Total Request Live” and evening personality on iHeartRadio Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5. Student broadcasters from throughout the Midwest will gather for the daylong event Saturday at Columbia College, 33 East Congress Parkway. More than a dozen panels and workshops will cover topics ranging from blogging, vlogging, and podcasting to talent and event management.
Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Journalists Association at its 78th annual dinner November 10. Honored with a Comeback of the Year Award will be Rob Stafford, news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, who returned to work in August after serious health problems. Featured speaker and recipient of the Daniel Pearl Award will be Washington Post correspondent and author Souad Mekhennet. The event will be at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard.
"The Citizen Kelly Show,” hosted by political firebrand William J. Kelly, this week moved to a new time — from 10 p.m.to midnight Monday through Friday — on Evanston-based WCGO AM 1590. The change was prompted by the station’s recent sale to William Pollack, owner of WRMN AM 1410 in Elgin and WBIG AM 1280 in Aurora. "'The Citizen Kelly Show' doesn't just read the news, we make news and that's why our listener base is growing," Kelly said in a statement. Kelly has announced that he is challenging Governor Bruce Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary.
Griffen Saul, the 18-year-old son of the late Chicago broadcast entrepreneur Brad Saul, is carrying out an important mission in memory of his father. Brad Saul, creator of Web Talk Radio and Matrix Media, died in 2015 after a 25-year battle with multiple sclerosis. His son has founded We Are Able, a nonprofit campaign to raise awareness and promote empathy and acceptance for people with disabilities in schools throughout the area. It’s backed by the Allstate Foundation. “His death was a defining moment for me," said Griffen Saul, a Lincoln Park High School graduate and freshman at Tufts University. “I knew I had to do something that would carry on his legacy and create a better, more accepting and accessible world for the disabled community.”
Tuesday’s best comment: Judy Wallenstein: Tom [Weinberg]’s book represents 20 years of hard work, challenges, risks, and finally success. Fascinating story. To say nothing about Tom's perseverance in telling it.