Robservations on the media beat:
Steve Cortes, who’s been an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump as a CNN political commentator and a member of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council, is signing on today as afternoon host at WIND 560-AM, the Salem Media news/talk station. From 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, he’ll be on in place of Joe Walsh, the former suburban congressman who stepped down in August to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. “The insight and political acumen that Steve will bring to our audience each day will be second to none,” Jeff Reisman, regional vice president and general manager of Salem Radio Group, said in a statement. “As we enter this election year, Steve will provide an inside perspective on what’s happening on the campaign trail.” Said Cortes: “I’m looking forward to being on the air in my hometown of Chicago. I hope that I can be a spokesperson for the ‘deplorables’ and a champion of American nationalism.”
Look for Mary Dixon to turn up on Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM occasionally over the next couple of weeks before she formally takes over in early February as new morning anchor and local host of NPR’s "Morning Edition" from 5 to 10 a.m. weekdays. Her first day on the job will be Wednesday. It turned out to be a spectacularly happy landing for the former morning news anchor on WXRT 93.1-FM whose position was eliminated last month when morning host Lin Brehmer announced his move to middays at the Entercom adult album alternative station. "We’re truly excited to welcome Mary to our team, and can’t wait to have her on our air to help Chicagoans get their mornings off to a great start," said Steve Edwards, vice president, chief content officer and interim CEO of WBEZ. "As host of 'Morning Edition,' Mary will be providing regular updates throughout the hour, connecting Chicagoans to the latest news, weather, traffic and other happenings around town. She’ll also be doing more live interviews with newsmakers and leading conversations with reporters and others during the shift." Dixon succeeds Lisa Labuz, who also moves to middays, where she'll become news anchor for “Reset with Jenn White,” the news and talk show from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ramonski Luv, the longtime Chicago radio personality who's been hosting evenings on 95.1 FM Clubsteppin', steps up to mornings on the urban adult-contemporary station. Starting today, he'll be on from 5 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, succeeding Tom Joyner, the syndicated legend who retired last month. "I'm standing on the shoulders of some great morning men," said Luv, whose real name is Ramon Wade. "We're going to have a whole lot of fun, great conversation, entertainment, encouragement, laughter. I want to get you started — your official alarm clock." 95.1 FM Clubsteppin' airs on a leased HD Radio signal.
Now fans of "Eric in the Morning" can hear their hero six mornings a week. Airing from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturdays on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM since late November, "Eric in the Morning Saturday Show" features highlights of the previous week's shows with morning star Eric Ferguson, co-hosts Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch, and traffic reporter Violeta Podrumedic.
Good news for Block Club Chicago: Eighteen months after its launch, the nonprofit subscription-based digital news site founded by former editors of DNAinfo Chicago just added its 10,000th paying subscriber. In addition to full access to stories on the site, subscribers receive twice-weekly neighborhood-specific newsletters featuring news, events and ways to get involved. "Our readers have shown us time and again that if local news is relevant to their lives, they will support it," said Stephanie Lulay, managing editor and co-founder of Block Club Chicago. "We can't thank them enough for believing in us."
Friday's comment of the day: Janet Joliat Dahl: Bob [Sirott] is a paragon of decency and kindness. I wish him well, and hope that WGN maintains its live and local vibe. AM radio has difficulty finding new fans outside of sports, so keeping the loyal listeners is a wise direction. His warmth and curiosity will make the morning start with a friend in Chicago's ears.