Robservations: Year of retirements isn’t over yet


Robservations on the media beat:

Jim Ramsey

On Tuesday weatherman Jim Ramsey became the latest Chicago media personality to announce his retirement in 2017. Among those who’ve already bowed out — or said they plan to do so in 2018 — are Mike Adamle, Steve Baskerville, Terry Boers, Bruce DuMont, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, Mike Imrem, Tom Joyner, Frank Mathie, Mike North, Victor Parra, Wendy Rice, Roger Simon, Gary Spears, Mark Suppelsa, Charles Thomas and Joel Weisman. That’s not even a complete list. Look for at least one more prominent figure to call it a career before the year is up.

Ron Coomer

Chicago Cubs color analyst Ron Coomer signed a three-year contract extension Tuesday with Entercom sports/talk WSCR AM 670 to continue alongside play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes. “Ron is one of the most talented analysts in baseball and we are honored to have him on our team at The Score,” Jimmy deCastro, senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago, said in a statement. “Ron brings the passion and success he had as former MLB All-Star to the airwaves of Cubs baseball and hits a home run with Cubs fans.” Coomer, who spent nine years in the Major Leagues (including one season with the Cubs), joined the Cubs Radio Network in 2014.

Dan Schmidt

Staffers at public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical radio WFMT FM 98.7 bid farewell last week to Dan Schmidt on his retirement as president and CEO of parent company Window to the World Communications Inc. A six-month search for his successor may be near an end. "After surveying the marketplace of executive talent across the country, we're now focusing in on a small group of finalist candidates whose backgrounds fit most closely with the WWCI spec,” would-be applicants have been told. “We've been fortunate to be able to identify compelling candidates with both deep television and digital experience.” Schmidt joined the company as senior vice president of WFMT and its radio network in 1991 and was promoted to president and CEO in 1998.

22nd Century Media

DNAinfo Chicago abruptly shut down last month, but some familiar bylines from the hyperlocal digital news site have resurfaced at 22nd Century Media’s First up was a piece Friday by Jessica Cabe about the annual Twelve Bars of Christmas pub crawl in Wrigleyville. More Chicago neighborhood/community news will roll out on the site in coming weeks, according to Joe Coughlin, publisher of 22nd Century Media and Chicagoly magazine. Look for stories this week from former DNAinfo writers Ariel Cheung and Jamie Lynn Ferguson.

Steve Edwards

Another onetime host of “A.M. Chicago” appears to have been swept away by alleged sexual harassment. Steve Edwards was fired as host of “Good Day L.A.” on Fox-owned KTTV in Los Angeles after sexual harassment allegations were made against him, according to Edwards, who’s been a fixture on L.A. TV for four decades, hosted “A.M. Chicago” and “Friday Night with Steve Edwards” on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 in the mid-1970s. Last month CBS fired Charlie Rose as host of “CBS This Morning” for sexual harassment. Rose succeeded Edwards as host of “A.M. Chicago” from 1978 to 1979.

Seth Rogen

News this week that Seth Rogen had signed to play Walter Cronkite in a movie about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy simply boggles the mind. According to, the script by Ben Jacoby revolves around Cronkite, producer Don Hewitt, reporter Dan Rather and CBS president Jim Aubrey as the network struggles to cover the fateful news from Dallas on November 22, 1963. If initial reports are accurate, the plot line is an utter fabrication about CBS threatening to cancel “The CBS Evening News” and fire Cronkite. “Complete bull—-,” says television historian and Los Angeles Times staff writer Stephen Battaglio. He’s right.

Tuesday’s best comment: Bill Moller: As a CLTV fill-in anchor, on many a weekend I wander into the WGN weather office whenever I have a question about a meteorological term or fact. No matter its obscurity, Jim [Ramsey] happily and eagerly launches into a detailed and informed explanation of the science of weather, drawing on his accumulated forecasting experience. His weather chops are formidable - something that comes only with years of dedicated service to a craft. He's never been flashy but he has always been smart and accurate - exactly what you want from a forecaster. I will miss working with him.