A change of address for "Chicago's Very Own," the end of free TV for the Chicago Cubs, a doomsday prediction for the Chicago Tribune, and a wayward alligator dubbed Chance the Snapper occupied the Chicago media spotlight in 2019.
Date Archives → December 2019
Final fade-out for CLTV leaves Chicago poorer
At precisely 6 p.m. Tuesday — just six hours before a new year begins — CLTV will sign off the air forever.
Paul Lisnek's "Politics Tonight" will be the last program viewers see before Nexstar Media Group pulls the plug on the 24-hour cable news channel. Lisnek, who taped the final show last week, said he closes with a farewell statement. Continue reading
Robservations: On New Year's Eve, Steve Darnall will party like it's 1958
Robservations on the media beat:
Steve Darnall, host of "Those Were the Days," will ring in 2020 retro-style with his third annual "New Year's Eve Big Band Dance Party" on College of Du Page's jazz station WDCB 90.9-FM. Starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday, the seven-hour music marathon will present a 1957-58 New Year's countdown show from Chicago's Pump Room along with broadcasts from the Golden Age of Radio featuring Count Basie, Doris Day, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and others. He'll also air an all-star one-hour New Year's Eve special from 1945. Said Darnall: "We've been delighted by the response to our first two New Year's Eve specials and we're always delighted for the chance to ring in the new year the way it was done for so many years on radio." Continue reading
Media in memoriam — 2019
Gone but not forgotten: A look back at Chicago media luminaries who left us in 2019. Continue reading
Chicago radio ratings: 93.9 Lite FM back on top with Christmas music
Christmas came early for WLIT 93.9-FM, which again catapulted to the top of Chicago's radio ratings with its nonstop holiday music.
Nielsen Audio figures released Monday showed the iHeartMedia adult contemporary station jumping from fifth place to first, doubling its total audience share from 4.7 to 9.5 percent.
As "Chicago's Christmas Station" for the 19th consecutive year, 93.9 Lite FM swept all four dayparts, with first-place rankings for Melissa Forman in mornings, Robin Rock in middays, Mick Lee in afternoons and the syndicated Delilah Rene in evenings. Continue reading
Robservations: Promotion to WGN Radio boss 'surpasses any dream’ for Mary Sandberg Boyle
Robservations on the media beat:
Overshadowed by news of the morning-drive shakeup Friday at Nexstar Media WGN 720-AM was the appointment of the first female general manager in the 95-year history of the news/talk station. Mary Sandberg Boyle, who rose from executive producer to director of news and operations to acting general manager in just four years, has been promoted to the top job. The post had been vacant since Jimmy de Castro left WGN in 2016 (although Todd Manley held the title of station manager until September). “I am thrilled to be named general manager at WGN Radio,” Boyle told me. “I’ve spent my entire life and career here [in Chicago]. To have the opportunity to lead the greatest radio station in Chicago surpasses any dream I've ever had.” Before joining WGN in 2015, Boyle was executive producer of “The Steve Dahl Show” on multiple outlets and exec producer of the morning show at Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM. She’s a graduate of Carmel Catholic High School and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Continue reading
Silenced by WGN Radio, Steve Cochran thanks ‘incredible audience’
Steve Cochran didn’t know until after he got off the air Friday that it was his last show on WGN 720-AM. So he wasn’t able to thank his loyal listeners — until now.
"The morning show at WGN was the highlight of my career,” Cochran told me Sunday in his first comment since his abrupt departure. “To follow Wally [Phillips], Bob Collins, and Spike [O’Dell] has been an honor, and I want to thank that incredible audience for all the support. I’ll miss connecting with them everyday.” Continue reading
Steve Cochran out, Bob Sirott in as WGN Radio morning host
In a major shakeup involving two of Chicago's best-known radio personalities, Steve Cochran is out and Bob Sirott is in as morning host at WGN 720-AM, the Nexstar Media Group news/talk station announced Friday.
Cochran, who has hosted mornings since 2013, was informed of the change moments after he got off the air Friday. He is expected to be paid through the remainder of his contract, which runs through the end of 2020, sources said. Continue reading
As CLTV fades to black, former staffers share fond memories
The announcement this week that Nexstar Media Group was closing down the 24-hour local cable news channel CLTV at the end of the month elicited an outpouring of fond and funny memories from many who worked there over its 27-year run.
Here are highlights of comments from CLTV alumni: Continue reading
WXRT morning star Lin Brehmer moving to middays
Lin Brehmer, the likable and literate morning personality on WXRT 93.1-FM since 1991, will move to middays early in the new year, the Entercom adult album alternative station announced Wednesday.
Succeeding Brehmer in mornings will be Richard Milne, a 33-year veteran of the station who currently hosts middays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Continue reading