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!"
A new colleague is about to join the Chicago media beat. Crain's Chicago Business has announced the hiring of Dalton Barker as a full-time reporter, starting May 13. In addition to covering media and marketing, Barker's portfolio will include consumer products and "big food" (in the corporate sense), restaurants, beer and spirits, and retailing. A cum laude journalism graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia, he most recently reported on metals and manufacturing for Euromoney Institutional Investor and FastMarkets Ltd. "Dalton impressed us with his zeal for beat reporting and breaking news, and he has experience being a scrappy underdog stealing scoops from much bigger rivals, which makes him well-suited to our newsroom culture," said Ann Dwyer, editor of Crain's Chicago Business.
Welcome back to Audrina Bigos, who returned to CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 as a reporter Tuesday. Since November she'd been out on medical leave for an undisclosed ailment. "I'm happy to be back and so grateful for my CBS management and colleagues supporting me every step of the way," she said. "Now it’s time to continue serving Chicago, one story at a time." Bigos joined CBS 2 in 2015 from WCCB, the CW affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was a reporter and weekend news anchor.
Lourdes Duarte, news anchor and investigative reporter at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence at DePaul University. Duarte, a 1999 graduate of DePaul, will be honored at a luncheon Thursday along with Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times and former reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He'll receive the Distinguished Journalist Award. Carol Marin and Don Moseley are co-directors of the center.
A public memorial service for Chet Coppock will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Saint Pauls United Church of Christ, 2335 North Orchard Street in Chicago. The famed sportscaster and self-styled "Godfather of Sports Talk Radio" died April 17 in Savannah, Georgia — 11 days after he was injured in a car accident in Okatie, South Carolina. Coppock would have turned 71 on April 30. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities.