Robservations: Can this new morning team pump up ‘The Jam’?

Felicia Lawrence, Jon Hansen and Amy Rutledge

Robservations on the media beat:

Weigel Broadcasting finally announced what readers here have known for weeks: Amy Rutledge, former traffic and feature reporter at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, has signed on as co-host of “The Jam,” the weekday morning talk and entertainment show on WCIU-Channel 26. She'll join Felicia Lawrence and newly promoted co-host Jon Hansen later this month. Carly Henderson, who'd co-hosted for the last year, will shift to a contributing role as field reporter. The show's third co-host, Jordan Cornette, left in May. "It's a new team and new day for 'The Jam,'" said Steve Bailey, head of local programming and creative for CW26. "Felicia, Jon and Amy will help evolve and grow the show's unique morning TV news style." After two years on the air (and a total of six co-hosts), the show may be living on borrowed time. In the latest Nielsen averages, "The Jam" ranked dead last among local morning shows with a negligible 0.2 rating (6,502 households) from 6 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday. Continue reading

Robservations: Editor says Sun-Times may restore reader comments

Chris Fusco

Robservations on the media beat:

It's been more than five years since the Sun-Times disabled its online reader comments, claiming to be developing a new system that would be introduced "in the weeks to come." Now that may be happening at last. "I think we’re getting to the point where hopefully soon we can restore comments in sort of a targeted way on the right stories," editor-in-chief Chris Fusco said on Ben Joravsky's podcast Saturday. "Comments are a tool that, if we use them wisely, I think they can be back on a targeted basis and help us build more engagement." Added Fusco: "I think there’s a lot of things we’re improving, and that said, we’ve still got a long way to go toward really keeping this place around for the 70-something years that it’s been here, to give it 70-something more." Continue reading