Robservations: New food website peels off from The Onion

The Takeout

Robservations on the media beat:

Kevin Pang

From the people who brought you The Onion and The A.V. Club, now comes The Takeout, a nonsatirical website “exploring the intersection of food and pop culture.” Fusion Media Group launched the site Wednesday with a Chicago-based staff headed by editor-in-chief Kevin Pang, food editor of The A.V. Club and former food writer for the Chicago Tribune. “The Takeout is the food site I’ve always wanted to read — one that’s accessible, friendly, helpful, and satiates curiosities,” Pang said. “With our DNA rooted in The A.V. Club, we hope to bring that same level of geeky obsession to the world of food and drink culture.” Managing editor is Jen Sabella, former deputy editor of DNAinfo Chicago and Chicago editor of Huffington Post. Staff writer and columnist is Kate Bernot, former nightlife correspondent for RedEye Chicago. Continue reading

WGN’s Pat Tomasulo to ‘fill the void’ in late-night comedy

Pat Tomasulo

For the first time since “Bozo” went off the air in 2001, WGN-Channel 9 will be producing a local weekly entertainment program. This time the funnyman in the spotlight will be WGN Morning News sports anchor and stand-up comedian Pat Tomasulo.

The Tribune Broadcasting station officially unveiled plans Wednesday for “Man of the People with Pat Tomasulo,” to air from 10 to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, starting in late January. Continue reading

Mancow sues new boss over old beefs

Erich Mancow Muller

In what could be a rerun of a legal battle he fought 10 years ago, Chicago radio personality Erich Mancow Muller is suing an old boss who’s just come back as his new boss.

Earlier this month Cumulus Media hired Marv Nyren as vice president and market manager, overseeing its four Chicago stations. They include classic rock WLUP FM 97.9, where Muller has been hosting mornings since March 2015. Continue reading

Robservations: Kerry Lester leaving Daily Herald

Kerry Lester

Robservations on the media beat:

The Daily Herald is losing one of its brightest stars. Columnist and senior writer Kerry Lester has applied for a buyout and is stepping down to pursue “other opportunities in and outside the news business.” Among them will be a Ph.D. in politics and media. Except for a two-year run as Springfield bureau chief of the Associated Press, Lester has been with the Daily Herald since she started as an editorial assistant in 2006. She also served as political editor and education reporter. “The paper's a place where I cut my teeth, and as a suburban native, something that will always have a piece of my heart,” Lester told Facebook friends Monday. “Thanks so much for reading, and for all of your tips and insights.” Earlier this year she was cited here as one of the most powerful women in Chicago journalism. Continue reading

Layoffs hit NBC Sports Chicago


NBC Sports Chicago

Another wave of layoffs hit NBC Sports Chicago Monday, as the regional sports network responded to continuing declines in subscribers and revenue.

No figures were confirmed, but sources said 12 full-time positions were eliminated, including White Sox beat writer Dan Hayes, a senior executive producer, two senior web producer/editors, a digital director, digital sales executive, associate producer, photographer and director. Continue reading

WYCC’s imminent shutdown costs 12 more jobs


As WYCC-Channel 20 prepares to cease broadcast operations in two weeks, 12 more employees have received termination notices from the City Colleges of Chicago public television station. They include staffers in programming, production, engineering and membership.

Out of 26 employees on the payroll last year, only four will remain when the station goes dark November 27. A creative services director, a videographer and two video editors will continue to work for the district marketing unit producing in-house video content from the production center at Kennedy-King College, sources said. Continue reading

Robservations: Robert Jordan investigates crime on TV news

Robert Jordan

Robservations on the media beat:

Murder in the News

Close to 50 years in the television news business taught Robert Jordan a lot about how newsrooms cover murder and mayhem. Now that he’s retired, Jordan is sharing what he learned in a thoughtful and insightful new book. The distinguished former news anchor for Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 has just written Murder in the News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime, published by Prometheus Books. Focusing on Chicago stations and the decisions they make day in and day out, Jordan analyzes why some murders are deemed more newsworthy than others. Along the way he offers a sober assessment of his much-maligned profession. Continue reading

Robservations: Weigel sues ReachMe.TV over trademark


Robservations on the media beat:

Me-TV Network

Weigel Broadcasting, Chicago-based parent company of the popular Me-TV Network, is suing Los Angeles-based Pervasive TV for using the name ReachMe.TV. In a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court, Weigel is claiming trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices by Pervasive, which shows its ReachMe.TV mobile entertainment network online and on screens at airports and hotels across the country. “Pervasive is attempting to improperly ride on Weigel’s coattails and capitalize on the success of the Me-TV Network and the strong goodwill in the Me-TV mark by using a confusingly similar trademark,” the suit says. Pervasive officials did not respond to requests for comment on the suit. Weigel officials declined to comment. Continue reading