Robservations on the media beat:
Ben Joravsky, the longtime Chicago Reader political writer who’s been moonlighting as a talk radio host, is out as afternoon personality on WCPT 820-AM. His last day on the Newsweb Radio progressive talk station was Thursday. “We want to thank Ben for all of his hard work and dedication to Newsweb Radio Company,” said Mark Pinski, general manager of WCPT. “Ben did a great job of moving our brand forward, and we want our next host to take us to the next level.” (Audience figures for WCPT are not available because Newsweb Radio does not subscribe to Nielsen Audio ratings.) Joravsky had been hosting afternoons since he succeeded Wayne Besen in March 2017. He’ll continue with the Reader, where he’s been a full-time staff writer and columnist since 1990. Until a permanent replacement is named, Pinski said, a “rotating cast of experienced broadcasters” will be filling in from 2 to 5 p.m. weekdays, starting today with Joan Esposito, the former Chicago news anchor.
With the Chicago Bears headed for the playoffs, NBC Sports Chicago is launching “Da Playoff Show,” a nightly half-hour showcase for updates and analysis throughout the team's run to the Super Bowl. Starting Wednesday, it will air at 6 p.m. weeknights (and repeat at 11 p.m.). Luke Stuckmeyer will host along with rotating analysts including Dave Wannstedt, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte, Olin Kreutz and Hub Arkush. “The 2018 Bears season has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, so we have created a new program for Bears fans that will both educate and entertain them during this incredible run,” Kevin Cross, vice president of content for NBC Sports Chicago, said in a statement.
Steve Darnall, host of “Those Were the Days,” presents his second annual "New Year's Eve Big Band Dance Party," a seven-hour extravaganza featuring the best bands of the swing era as they were heard on radio. It starts at 10 p.m. Monday on College of DuPage’s WDCB 90.9-FM with a New Year's Eve broadcast from 1938 starring Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. Included will be a 1964 New Year's Eve broadcast from Chicago’s Sherman House starring Les Elgart and His Orchestra, and an all-star New Year's Eve special presented over Armed Forces Radio Service in 1943. “We're thrilled for the chance to celebrate the end of the year the way it was done on radio for so many years — with the big bands,” Darnall said.
Steven Lattimore, a reporter for CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 from 2000 to 2003 and longtime adjunct professor of broadcast journalism at Columbia College, died December 20. He was 55. “He loved his students and was always happy to see them excel,” said his daughter, Maya Tatum-Lattimore. “Known for his big smile, generous heart and sense of humor, he brightened any room he entered.” A Chicago native and Columbia College alum, Lattimore also worked for City Colleges of Chicago’s former WYCC-Channel 20 and Lakeshore Public Radio. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church, 5472 South Kimbark Avenue, Chicago.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Jeff Nuich: For anyone in the communications/PR field, it was imperative that you knew Mary Cameron Frey. She was very kind, but also tough in a good way. She knew what our role was and it was our job as publicists to make sure we were doing it the right way. Earning her respect over the years was truly a gift I will always cherish.