From White House to Chicago: NBC's Peter Alexander to host Emmy Awards Saturday

Peter Alexander and President Donald Trump (Photo: NBC News)

Fresh from his contentious exchange with President Donald Trump at a White House press conference Wednesday, NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander will be in Chicago Saturday to host the 60th annual regional Emmy Awards ceremony.

Alexander, White House correspondent and co-anchor of “Weekend Today,” will emcee the event, sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile, 540 North Michigan Avenue. Continue reading

It's official: ABC 7 wins election night ratings

Alan Krashesky and Cheryl Burton

With Cheryl Burton anchoring election night coverage alongside Alan Krashesky for the first time on WLS-Channel 7, the ABC-owned station again proved a decisive winner in the ratings Tuesday.

Straight up at 10 p.m., when all five general market stations were competing head to head, ABC 7 led the Nielsen ratings in overall households and among viewers between 25 and 54. NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 was No. 2 in overall households, while Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 was No. 2 in the 25-54 demographic. Continue reading

Lite FM starts Christmas music Thursday

93.9 Lite FM

Ready or not, here comes Christmas: At 4:05 p.m. Thursday, holiday music will begin airing around the clock on WLIT 93.9-FM, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary station.

Edison the Reindeer will return as mascot of “Chicago’s Christmas Music Station” to kick off the format in the studio with Lite FM personalities Melissa Forman, Robin Rock and Mick Lee. The sounds of the season will air through the end of the year. Continue reading

Robservations: Wilbon, Kornheiser to bring ESPN’s ‘PTI’ to Evanston

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon

Robservations on the media beat:

Here’s your chance to attend a taping of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” in Evanston. Hosts Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser will originate their show November 16 from Northwestern University’s newly renovated Welsh-Ryan Arena hours before the Northwestern and Binghamton University men’s basketball game. (Admission and parking are free.) Wilbon is a 1980 graduate of NU’s Medill School of Journalism (where he has been on the faculty since 2015), and Kornheiser is a 1970 graduate of Binghamton. The two also will be calling that night’s game with ESPNews play-by-play commentator Will Flemming.
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Robservations: On second thought, Sun-Times brings back TV listings

Chicago Sun-Times (November 6, 2018)

Robservations on the media beat:

Another day, another change at the Sun-Times: Citing phone calls and emails from readers, the Sun-Times has restored the evening TV grid to its pages, effective today. The move follows the return Friday of the paper’s daily crossword puzzle. Both were casualties of cutbacks announced last week. In a note explaining the latest reversal, the Sun-Times said: “Newspapering in 2018 isn't easy; in rolling out the changes, we noted that newsprint and other production costs have taken their toll on our industry. That hasn't changed. Paring back some comics and interspersing others through our classifieds space is allowing us to invest in the quality journalism you’ve come to expect.” Lottery results are back at the bottom of the TV grid page, rather than in the sports section, where they’d been running in recent days. And Ziggy? He's still a goner. Continue reading

Mike Parker 1943-2018

Mike Parker

Blessed with a deep voice, handsome features and a rare gift for storytelling, Mike Parker was a fixture at WBBM-Channel 2 for more than 35 years. The veteran broadcast journalist, who retired from the CBS-owned station in 2016, has died at 75.

On its morning news Monday CBS 2 reported Parker died overnight at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he had been admitted for heart failure last week. Continue reading

Robservations: One down: Sun-Times brings back crossword

Chicago Sun-Times

Robservations on the media beat:

The people have spoken: Just one day after the Sun-Times announced its was dropping most of its comics, puzzles and daily TV grid to save newsprint and production costs, the paper has brought back its crossword puzzle. “Based on feedback from readers, ‘Today’s Crossword’ is being restored to daily print editions,” the paper said in an unsigned editor’s note Friday. “We appreciate your feedback and thank you for reading the Sun-Times.” No word on whether Ziggy or the paper’s other banished comics have a prayer. Continue reading

Robservations: Tribune Publishing draws multiple bidders

Chicago Tribune

Robservations on the media beat:

The race is on for Tribune Publishing. Just under the deadline Thursday, multiple bidders submitted offers to buy the parent company of the Chicago Tribune. A company spokeswoman would not specify how many bids had been received or identify any of the bidders, but confirmed that more than one had come in. Bloomberg News reported there were three — McClatchy Co., William Wyatt’s Donerail Group and Jeremy Halbreich’s AIM Media. Also in the background is Michael Sacks, CEO of Grosvenor Capital Management, who was expected to make an offer for the shares of former chairman Michael Ferro. The next key date is Monday when the board of Tribune Publishing is scheduled to meet to review the bids and decide whether to move forward with any of them. Continue reading

Nothing funny about Sun-Times shrinking comics

Chicago Sun-Times (November 1, 2018)

Edwin Eisendrath, who abruptly resigned as CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday, isn't the only thing missing from the newspaper today. About half its comics and its daily TV listings are suddenly gone too.

In an unsigned message to readers Thursday, the Sun-Times said it was saving newsprint and production costs by cutting two of its three pages of comics and eliminating its TV grid. Some comics and puzzles (including the New York Times crossword) will be interspersed throughout the classifieds section. Continue reading