Jordan Cornette leaving ‘magical experience’ on ‘The Jam’

Jordan Cornette

Jordan Cornette, one of the three original co-hosts of “The Jam,” is leaving the weekday morning news, talk and entertainment show on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26 at the end of the May ratings sweep.

Cornette declined to say where he’s going next, but hinted that he'd be making an announcement soon. “I’m excited for what lies ahead,” he told me. Continue reading

Robservations: WGN Radio strengthens ties with Crain’s Chicago Business

WGN Radio

Robservations on the media beat:

Crain's Chicago Business

In March Crain’s Chicago Business teamed with Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM on “The Daily Gist,” a new weekday afternoon podcast hosted by Amy Guth. That was just the beginning. Starting next week, the partnership will expand with installation of a WGN microphone inside the Crain’s newsroom. Reporters from the business weekly will turn up each day at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” and at 12:50 p.m. on WGN’s “Wintrust Business Lunch,” according to Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content at WGN. Said Jim Kirk, publisher and executive editor of Crain’s: “The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.” Continue reading

Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame to honor George Will

George F. Will

George F. Will, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, television commentator, bestselling author and noted Chicago Cubs fan, has been chosen for induction in the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Will, who was born in Champaign and worked for the Urbana Courier, will be honored May 16 at a gathering of the statewide organization in Chicago. His syndicated column appears in the Daily Herald. Continue reading

Robservations: WGN scores with Lin Brehmer's ode to the Cubs

Lin Brehmer

Robservations on the media beat:

Lin Brehmer

Fans know Chicago radio treasure Lin Brehmer as a rock and roller who writes with the soul of a poet. That was on display Sunday when WGN-Channel 9 set Brehmer's glorious essay about the 1984 Cubs season to pictures and music during the Cubs pregame show. (Here is the link.) Credit Bob Vorwald, director of production at the Tribune Broadcasting station, with bringing "Lin's Bin" to life on TV. (Here's the link to an earlier one — on Opening Day March 28.) Brehmer is in his 28th year as morning star of Entercom adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM. Sadly, the Cubs are in their final year on WGN. Continue reading

Robservations: As May sweep opens, CBS 2 ratings still flatlining

Brad Edwards and Irika Sargent

Robservations on the media beat:

Following a surprising change to its anchor lineup, WBBM-Channel 2 begins the May ratings sweep no better off than before. In April the CBS-owned station's 10 p.m. newscast averaged a 3.1 rating (100,790 households) and 6 percent share. That's precisely the rating and share it had in February — the month before CBS 2 replaced 13-year veteran Rob Johnson with Brad Edwards alongside Irika Sargent. In other words, while the station cut a hefty salary, it doesn't appear to have won or lost viewers. Perhaps that was management's goal all along. ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 still leads the pack with 6.7 rating (217,837 households) and a 13 share for its late news, anchored by Alan Krashesky and Cheryl Burton. Continue reading

Robservations: WBBM Newsradio tops radio’s cash register

WBBM Newsradio

Robservations on the media beat:

WBBM 780-AM and WCFS 105.9-FM, the Entercom all-news combo and radio home of the Chicago Bears, again was the top-billing station in the market with revenue of $39 million, according to figures for 2018 released today by BIA Advisory Services. It was down 2.5 percent from 2017 and down 13.3 percent from 2016. Nationally WBBM Newsradio ranked ninth in billing and was the only Chicago station to make the top 10. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP in Washington, D.C., retained the top spot with $69 million. Continue reading

Chicago honors iHeartMedia exec with 'Angela Ingram Day'

Angela Ingram

For 24 years Angela Ingram has been making everyone else at iHeartMedia Chicago look good. Now the company’s veteran marketing and communications chief is getting some recognition of her own.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proclaimed Thursday “Angela Ingram Day in Chicago” to honor her leadership in a wide range of community endeavors and to “acknowledge all her accomplishments and role in making Chicago a better and more welcoming city.” Continue reading

Robservations: Peggy Kusinski debuts sports podcast with son

Jason Kinander and Peggy Kusinski

Robservations on the media beat:

"The Sportscaster and Her Son" is the self-explanatory title of an appealing new podcast series launched this week on Soundcloud by Peggy Kusinski, the award-winning sports reporter for NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. Co-host is her 16-year-old son, Jason Kinander, a junior at Saint Ignatius College Prep and a budding journalist who writes for Fansided. Every two weeks they'll upload a new episode, each on a particular theme. Tuesday's opener focused on role models, with special guest Hawk Harrelson. It took Kusinski almost a year to talk her son into joining her on the project, but it was worth it. "Lo and behold we are both having a blast," she said. "He’s learning and I’m talking sports again, while also producing and gathering guests. I’m not sure it’s a 50/50 split, but I’ll take this time with my kids any day!" Continue reading

Robservations: Pulitzer for L.A. Times reflects Chicagoan’s key role

Jim Kirk (Photo: Stephen J. Serio)

Robservations on the media beat:

Jim Kirk’s brief tenure as editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times last year yielded more than just the respect and gratitude of the staff for the veteran Chicago journalist. Last week the newspaper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series Kirk helped guide. Reporters Harriet Ryan, Paul Pringle and Matt Hamilton were cited for stories about a former University of Southern California gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students. L.A. Times insiders, including executive editor Norman Pearlstine, credited the vital role played by Kirk, who’s now publisher and executive editor of Crain's Chicago Business. “I’m thrilled for the Times’ team that worked on getting this difficult and important story told,” Kirk told me. “Thanks to dogged reporting by Harriet, Paul and Matt, and strong guidance by a stable of top-notch editors, this is what heroic journalism looks like. I’m grateful for the time I had working alongside them and everyone else in the newsroom.’’ Continue reading