Robservations: ‘Time to step away’ for radio newsman Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart

Robservations on the media beat:

It’s hard to imagine Chicago radio without Dave Stewart on somewhere. But after more than 40 years in the business, the top-notch newsman will be retiring at the end of June. Stewart, 66, most recently anchored for iHeartRadio’s 24/7 News Network and Salem Broadcasting news/talk WIND 560-AM. Before that he spent 28 years as afternoon news anchor and City Hall reporter at Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM. “While my desire to inform without instigating hasn’t diminished, the time has come to step away from the obligation of a clock and a format,“ Stewart said. “There’s much about the business I’ll miss, and much I won’t. But what’ll be irreplaceable will be the opportunity to work with, alongside and for so many talented people.”

Susan Smith Richardson

There’s a job opening for a new editor-in-chief of the Chicago Reporter, the award-winning nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on race, poverty and income inequality. Earlier this year Susan Smith Richardson stepped down after five years as editor and publisher to join Solutions Journalism Network as editorial director for newsrooms. At the Reporter, the new editor will lead a six-person newsroom staff, which transitioned from print to digital delivery under Richardson. It’s been a project of the Community Renewal Society since 1972.

Danielle Robay

Without fanfare, Danielle Robay signed off last week as co-host of "The Jam," the news, talk and entertainment show airing from 6 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26. Until a permanent replacement is hired, guest hosts will be filling in each morning alongside continuing co-hosts Jordan Cornette and Felicia Lawrence. As reported here last month, Robay parted from the show after one year with plans to return to Los Angeles, where she previously worked as a contributor to NBC-owned KNBC and as host and producer for “Entertainment Tonight Online.”

Elizabeth Brackett

Live streaming of the funeral of Elizabeth Brackett today will be carried on, starting at 1 p.m. Afterward, the video will be available on demand at the same link. The Chicago journalist and world champion triathlete, who retired in 2014 as a correspondent for WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” died Sunday at 76. On Tuesday, the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled Brackett’s death an accident, resulting from cervical spine injuries due to a fall from a bicycle. A detailed report is expected to be released in the coming weeks, according to WTTW and the medical examiner’s office.


Another radio station in the area has been sold. This time it’s adult contemporary WDKB 94.9-FM in DeKalb. Mid-Way Radio agreed to buy the 3,000-watt station last week for $610,000 from DeKalb County Radio, pending FCC approval. No word yet on the new owner’s plans. It’s the latest deal brokered by Bob Heymann of Media Services Group.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Mark Quinn: A four-year-old could have come up with a better name than Tronc. However, the real question is how much money was paid to consultants and others connected to Tribune management both to come up with this pediculous abomination and to then to replace it with the name that served quite well until the Trib's astute management decided, doubtless with the help of these sharp and highly compensated consultants, that "Tribune Publishing" was hopelessly unhip.