Robservations: Four journalists win Studs Terkel Awards

Studs Terkel (Photo: Christopher Walker)

Robservations on the media beat:

Public Narrative

Four longtime Chicago journalists have been named recipients of 2018 Studs Terkel Awards by Public Narrative, the nonprofit community media organization. They are: Dahleen Glanton, columnist for the Chicago Tribune; Odette Yousef, reporter for Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM; Kathy Chaney, assistant audience engagement editor of the Sun-Times; and Michael Spencer Green, photojournalist for The Associated Press. In addition, poet Kevin Coval, head of Young Chicago Authors, will receive the Studs Terkel Uplifting Voices Award. All five will honored September 20 at Row 24, 2411 South Michigan Avenue. (Here is the link for tickets.) “These five winners are not only amazing storytellers but all elevate the stories, the beauty and the power of Chicago’s greatest asset — its people," Susy Schultz, president of Public Narrative, said in a statement. "I wish Studs were here today. Not only because we need him to inspire us, but because he would be proud of this group."

Tribune Media

It's back to square one for Tribune Media in its quest to find a potential suitor. The Chicago-based parent company of WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM has hired financial advisers Moelis & Co. and Guggenheim Securities to find a new merger and acquisition partner, according to a Reuters report. The move follows the collapse of a $3.9 billion deal by Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire Tribune Media, including its 42 television stations and WGN America cable network. Reuters said potential buyers include Nexstar Media Group and private equity firms.

Esmeralda Leon

With the demise of United States Traffic Network, Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM this week returned to Total Traffic Weather Network as its traffic information provider. "With a strong operational base in Chicago, TTWN is a critical advantage for us," said Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content at WGN. While Mary VanDeVelde and Violeta Podrumedic continue to report traffic in mornings and afternoons, respectively, WGN has dropped overnight traffic reports with Esmeralda Leon. Calling Leon "a brilliant personality," Manley said she will still turn up occasionally as a fill-in host.

Art Hellyer

Art Hellyer is being remembered as a legendary broadcasting pioneer and one of Chicago's most popular radio personalities of the '50s and '60s. Hellyer, who died Wednesday at 95, achieved his greatest fame as the witty and irreverent "Morning Madcap" on the former WCFL. Radio historian Chuck Schaden called him "the originator and perhaps the foremost exponent of zany, off-the-wall comedy on the air." Among Hellyer's claims to fame was being No. 1 in the ratings four times in four different decades on four different Chicago radio stations in four different time slots. He also had a 20-year run as a local and network announcer for ABC TV and radio in Chicago, and hosted news, talk shows, game shows, sports and other programs. (Here is the link to Schaden's archive on Hellyer's career.)

Thursday’s comment of the day: Jenny Milkowski: I had a great job here in Chicago as afternoon host on SHE 100.3, but I was offered a job I just could not say no to. I've always wanted to live and work in California. . . and I am ready for an adventure. It was a very hard decision to leave my home where I was born and have worked in television and media for more than 11 years! Crazy! But I did not want to have any regrets. Let the adventure begin 🙂