Robservations: WGCI cancels concert over ‘security concerns’

Leon Rogers, Kendra Gilliams and Kyle Santillian

Robservations on the media beat:

Citing “specific safety and security concerns,” WGCI FM 107.5 abruptly canceled a concert it was to have sponsored Thursday night at the Chicago Theatre. “TakeOver Jam” had been promoted as a third anniversary celebration for the iHeartMedia urban contemporary station’s morning show (hosted by Kyle Santillian, Kendra Gilliams and Leon Rogers). It was to have featured performances by Black Youngster, YFN Lucci, Rich the Kid, Lil Baby, Derex Design, Kash Doll, Valee and Molly Brazy. Hours before the event, Chicago Theatre owner Madison Square Garden Entertainment announced: “We have been advised by Chicago law enforcement to cancel tonight's #TakeOverJam due to specific safety and security concerns for the surrounding area. As a result, we regret that the event has been canceled.” Refunds were offered to ticket holders. WGCI officials declined further comment. Continue reading

Robservations: Back in Chicago, DreX marks the spot at B96

WBBM FM 96.3 studio

Robservations on the media beat:

Kevin "DreX" Buchar

Kevin Buchar, the radio personality known as DreX who hosted mornings for eight years on iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5, is coming back to Chicago. Sources said he’s expected to sign on next week at Entercom Top 40 WBBM FM 96.3, where he will replace “The J Show” (Jamar “J Niice” McNeil and “Showbiz” Shelly Menaker). After DreX left Kiss FM in 2010, he briefly hosted evenings at KGO in San Francisco. Most recently he’s been off the air, living in San Antonio. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, B96 tied for 18th in mornings with a 2.4 percent audience share. Continue reading

Sun-Times to unveil makeover Wednesday

Three versions of new Sun-Times logo (Graphic courtesy of Sun-Times)

Hello, Sweetheart, get me rewrite: Eight months into its new ownership the Chicago Sun-Times will roll out an entirely redesigned newspaper and website Wednesday.

The new look, new logo and new slogan (“The hardest-working paper in America”) are intended to reflect what CEO Edwin Eisendrath calls “our mission as a news company — that we have the backs of working men and women in Chicago.” Continue reading

Robservations: Five more to join WGN Radio Walk of Fame

WGN Radio Walk of Fame

Robservations on the media beat:

Five longtime Chicago broadcasters with ties to Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720 will be added to the WGN Radio Walk of Fame this spring. Announced today as new inductees are sportscasters David Kaplan and Chuck Swirsky, meteorologist Roger Triemstra, traffic reporter Mary VanDeVelde and the late announcer Pierre Andre. With WGN preparing to leave its Tribune Tower studios, plaques for the new honorees will not be embedded in the pavement outside 435 North Michigan Avenue. Instead they’ll be held for installation with the others when WGN selects a new site for the Walk of Fame. This year’s induction ceremony will be May 18 with a live broadcast from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Continue reading

The Drive’s Bob Stroud still rocking after 40 years

Bob Stroud

Bob Stroud, the legendary musicologist who’s been celebrating the roots of rock and roll on Chicago radio for four decades, will keep right on rocking at The Drive.

Hubbard Radio announced today that Stroud has signed a new long-term deal to continue hosting middays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays) at classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 as well as his signature “Rock ’n Roll Roots” show every Sunday morning. Continue reading

Sun-Times hires Ji Suk Yi as feature reporter

Ji Suk Yi (Photo: ABC 7)

Ji Suk Yi, who signed off earlier this month as a contributor to “Windy City Live,” has been hired as a feature reporter for the Sun-Times.

Starting today she will create local content for the Sun-Times, including its online entertainment platform and WeekendPlus entertainment section on Fridays, according to an announcement by Carol Fowler, senior vice president of digital news products. “Ji is quick on her feet and versatile,” Fowler wrote in an email to staff Sunday. Continue reading

Robservations: ‘Chicago’s Very Own’ WGN to celebrate 70 years on TV

WGN Television Opening Night (April 5, 1948)

Robservations on the media beat:


WGN-Channel 9 will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a one-hour special hosted by star meteorologist Tom Skilling. “WGN-TV: 70 Years as Chicago’s Very Own,” airing at 8 p.m. April 5, also will feature Dan Roan on WGN’s sports history, Micah Materre, Larry Potash, Robin Baumgarten and Paul Konrad on major news events WGN has covered, Dean Richards on legendary children's programs, and Lourdes Duarte on the station’s community involvement. The Tribune Broadcasting flagship debuted April 5, 1948, with a grand opening program from Tribune Tower. Will this turn out to be a requiem? With parent company Tribune Media slated for sale to Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, “Chicago’s Very Own” may not belong to Chicago much longer. Continue reading

CBS 2 news director Jeff Kiernan bails out for Milwaukee

Jeff Kiernan

It’s back to Milwaukee for Jeff Kiernan after nine years of dismal ratings as vice president and news director at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2.

Kiernan announced Thursday that he’s leaving to rejoin WTMJ, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, as senior director of local content. A graduate of Marquette University, Kiernan began his career in radio news in Milwaukee and joined WTMJ in 1990, where he rose from news assignment manager to news director during 13 years there. Continue reading

Robservations: Tribune layoffs cost White Sox, Blackhawks coverage

Chicago Tribune (Photo: Stephen Battaglio)

Robservations on the media beat:

If you’re wondering how the Chicago Tribune will continue to cover the White Sox and the Blackhawks without dedicated beat writers, you’re not alone. As part of the latest wave of editorial job cuts at the newspaper, the layoffs of sportswriters Chris Kuc and Paul Skrbina leave the two teams without a full-time Tribune reporter assigned to travel with them. So what’s the plan? I tried to ask Tribune managing editor Peter Kendall, associate managing editor for sports Joe Knowles, and sports editor Tim Bannon, but couldn’t get an answer. I did receive this statement from a tronc spokesperson: “The Chicago Tribune is fully committed to covering the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Blackhawks. We value and understand the importance of covering sports both for fans and our readers.” Hope that clears everything up. Continue reading

Robservations: It’s home on the radio for Dr. Laura Berman

Dr. Laura Berman

Robservations on the media beat:

Dr. Laura Berman, Chicago’s famed love, sex and relationships expert, has just landed a suburban outlet for her syndicated radio show. “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” debuted this week from 9 p.m. to midnight weeknights on Waukegan-based WXLC FM 102.3, the Alpha Media hot adult-contemporary station. “Chicago has been my home and where I’ve raised my family for 15 years,” she said in a statement. “I am beyond thrilled about joining the WXLC family to bring my best voice and my best advice about love and relationships to my hometown.” Continue reading