Ken Davis closing down ‘Chicago Newsroom’

Ken Davis

“Chicago Newsroom,” the weekly roundtable of local journalists and newsmakers, is bowing out at the end of May after a nine-year run on Chicago Access Network TV.

For host Ken Davis and his all-volunteer operation, it’s been a labor of love since he launched the show on the nonprofit CAN TV public-access channel September 9, 2010 — in the twilight of Richard M. Daley’s last term as mayor of Chicago.

“We aired our first show two days after Rich Daley announced he wasn’t running again, and we’ll end it 10 days after Lori Lightfoot assumes office,” Davis said. “So ‘Chicago Newsroom’ kind of book-ended the Emanuel administration, which we talked about almost every week.”


Guests on the premiere were columnists Eric Zorn of the Tribune and Ben Joravsky of the Reader along with Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union. That set the stage for the 450 editions or so that followed, with Davis and his panel dissecting the biggest stories of the week and deep-diving into politics, media and public-policy issues with gusto.

Davis proved a genial and knowledgeable moderator, drawing on his considerable experience as a talk show host, program director and news director of Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM and his background in the Daley administration as director of the city's Municipal Television system and public information officer for the Department of Environment.

“There’s no overriding issue driving the show’s retirement, but it takes up a fair amount of time and I think I want to channel my energy into something else for a while,” Davis said. “Guess I feel a bit like Daley did when he said: 'In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less. . . . I've been thinking about this for the last several months. . . . It just feels right.' "

The final edition of “Chicago Newsroom” will air May 30.

Monday’s comment of the day: Steve Robinson: The mayor-elect would do well to read your terrific column and the helpful and hopeful comments of those who contributed to it. P.S.: I presume you considered but wisely rejected the headline: "Tips for Starting Off on the Right Foot."