Robservations: Jim Lovell shares heavenly thoughts with Sirott & Murciano

Bob Sirott, Marianne Murciano and James Lovell (Photo: WTTW)

Robservations on the media beat:

Capping a week of special programming tied to the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, WTTW-Channel 11 will air a half-hour interview of former astronaut James Lovell, hosted by Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano. "Sirott & Murciano with Astronaut Jim Lovell" debuts at 10 p.m. July 11 on the Window to the World Communications station. In a wide-ranging and engaging conversation, Lovell, 91, recalls the historic missions of Apollo 8 and Apollo 13, and shares insights about his early years at NASA, his 67-year marriage to Marilyn Lovell and his thoughts about Heaven. The special, taped at Booth One in the Gold Coast and produced by Steve Fanizza, marks a return of sorts for Sirott, who hosted WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" from 2002 to 2005.


An online petition drive has been launched to save "Worldview," the long-running international affairs talk show airing at noon weekdays on WBEZ 91.5-FM. As reported here last month, the Chicago Public Media news/talk station plans to cancel the show this fall as part of a revised midday lineup. Jerome McDonnell, who has hosted "Worldview" for 25 years, will shift to reporting on energy and environmental issues for the station. "'Worldview' is one of the few reliable sources for critical information on U.S. foreign policy and the climate science behind climate warming," reads the petition. "At a time when democracy is in peril, such quality programming is essential to inform the voting public."

Garry Meier

Podcaster and former Chicago radio personality Garry Meier is filling in this week for morning host Mancow Muller on WLS 890-AM, the Cumulus Media news/talk station. On last Friday's show, Muller assured Meier he was only kidding when he told me: “Radio’s greatest second-banana lands the greatest honor of his career — filling in for me. . . . This is very big for him!” Meier's response: "Do I look like I care at this point? I'm having a good time when I do this. Otherwise I'm not going to do it."

Kalyn Belsha

Kalyn Belsha, former education reporter for The Chicago Reporter, Catalyst Chicago and the suburban Chicago Tribune, has been hired by Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization covering schools. Starting July 1, she'll be a Chicago-based reporter on the national desk focusing on issues facing schools serving low-income students and efforts to improve those schools. Belsha, who also taught journalism and media at Loyola University for six years, most recently held a Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting at Columbia University in New York.

Ryan Chiaverini

Friday’s comment of the day: Joshua Conner: Ryan Chiaverini embodies Renaissance Man in every sense of the word. From his witty two-minute warnings, charismatic interviewing and versatile co-hosting, Mr. Chiaverini truly inspires Chicagoans. I love how he uses his music platforms to make a difference in the causes he cares about like in his "Chicago" music video and this one — supporting suicide prevention and mental health awareness, respectively.