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.


Channel 20 ceased broadcast operations after 34 years in November, but WYCC lives on. The former public television station of City Colleges of Chicago has transferred its license to Window to the World Communications, parent company of WTTW-Channel 11. Starting April 23, MHz Worldview, the international news and entertainment service previously seen on WYCC, will return to Channel 20.1 and Comcast Channel 372. “Public media content is more important now than ever, and MHz Worldview brings news, mystery, and drama programming from around the world literally into view here in Chicago,” Reese Marcusson, chief operating officer of WTTW, said in a statement. Over‐the‐air viewers may find MHz Worldview on Channel 20 by rescanning the available channels on their televisions.

Michael Allardyce

Michael Allardyce, senior director of editorial operations at and columnist for Sports Illustrated, has been named multi-platform director at NBC Sports Chicago. In the newly created role, Allardyce will lead the network’s portfolio of content and initiatives, including, digital and social media platforms, and podcasts. “With his experience and deep knowledge on how to effectively connect with fans, Michael will bring a fresh, new approach to our multi-platform efforts moving forward,” Kevin Cross, vice president of content for NBC Sports Chicago, said in a statement. A University of Oklahoma graduate, Allardyce previously was a senior editor at NFL Spin Zone.

Cristi Kempf

Barely a month ago Cristi Kempf was promoted from associate managing editor for editing and presentation at the Chicago Tribune to executive director of the new Design and Production Studio for parent company tronc. Now she’s leaving. Kempf has been named executive editor of Convene, the publication of Professional Convention Management Association. The move reunites her with former Tribune associate editor Joyce Winnecke, now executive vice president and general manager of the Chicago-based business events and meetings group. Kempf, a graduate of Drake University, was features editor of the Sun-Times before joining the Tribune in 2003.

Brett Rowland

Brett Rowland, editor of the Northwest Herald, has joined Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity as editor of Illinois News Network and Illinois Radio Network. He’ll oversee statehouse coverage and work with the nonprofit group’s journalism initiative. “Brett is a sharp, thoughtful and hard-working contemporary editor who has demonstrated over the years that he makes the journalists on his teams better,” Chris Krug, president of Franklin Center, said in a statement. Krug also is a former editor of the Northwest Herald.


Alert readers of the Sun-Times may have noticed the disappearance of two popular comics — Frank & Ernest and Ziggy — from the newspaper’s classified pages in recent days. They may or may not return. According to editor-in-chief Chris Fusco, it’s a test to see how much they’re missed. “We are constantly experimenting with the elements we publish in order to better gauge exactly what readers want in a daily newspaper,” Fusco said.


Chicago’s red hot radio station is saluting Chicago’s red hot Loyola University. All week on Weigel Broadcasting soft-rock oldies WRME FM 87.7, Me-TV FM is featuring timeless and memorable songs from 1963. “We're celebrating the 55th anniversary of the year the Loyola Ramblers won the NCAA Tournament and the only time an Illinois school has become the national champion,” according to program director Rick O’Dell. Among artists on the playlist are Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, the Crystals, the Four Seasons, Lesley Gore, Peter Paul & Mary, and Bobby Vinton.

Monday’s comment of the day: Dave Logan: In an era where radio personalities are often treated like devalued and disposable widgets, it’s reassuring for Chicago radio listeners to see the passion and craftsmanship of Bob Stroud be both recognized and rewarded.