Robservations: Justin Breen shares 'secrets' with fellow entrepreneurs

Justin Breen

Robservations on the media beat:

Epic Business

North Shore native Justin Breen, the former DNAinfo Chicago senior editor who launched his own public relations and communications business in 2017, just turned author. His first book — Epic Business: 30 Secrets to Build Your Business Exponentially and Give You the Freedom to Live the Life You Want! — will be published in May. This week he unveiled a companion website for prepublication orders at “I am so thankful every day for BrEpic’s success, and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned from some of the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs," Breen said. "Creating a business from ground zero is a tremendous roller coaster of emotions, and I hope this book helps people navigate their own journeys.” Continue reading

Chicago radio ratings: Holiday cheer for 93.9 Lite FM; tough times for WGN

93.9 Lite FM

While iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT 93.9-FM dominated the ratings in December with nonstop Christmas music, Steve Cochran's swan song as morning star on news/talk WGN 720-AM marked the Nexstar Media Group station's only strong showing for the month.

Nielsen Audio figures released Wednesday gave 93.9 Lite FM its highest audience share in three years, thanks to its 19th consecutive run as “Chicago’s Christmas Station.” It also swept all four dayparts, with first-place finishes for Melissa Forman in mornings, Robin Rock in middays, Mick Lee in afternoons and the syndicated Delilah Rene in evenings. Continue reading

Sheldon Cooper 1926-2020

Sheldon Cooper (Photo: NATAS Chicago/Kathleen Virginia Photography)

Over a distinguished career that started in the early days of television, Sheldon Cooper left a lasting impression on Chicago broadcasting as general manager of WGN-Channel 9 and founding president of Tribune Entertainment.

Cooper died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Sunday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to his daughter, Cheryl Cook. He was 93. Continue reading

Robservations: Jennifer Roberts leaves afternoons on The Mix

Kevin “Koz” Koske and Jennifer Roberts

Robservations on the media beat:

Kevin “Koz” Koske will be flying solo for the time being as afternoon personality on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM. That's because co-host Jennifer Roberts signed off last week to accept a new job in corporate communications. “A lot of people get prematurely put ‘on the beach’ in this business and I’m thrilled that I’m making my exit completely on my terms,” she tweeted. “There was no threat on the horizon, just a calling in my soul for something better.” Roberts, whose real name is Jennifer Ashrafi, joined The Mix as an intern in 2004 and moved up to afternoon traffic reporter and co-host in 2008. Jimmy Steal, vice president of brand and content at The Mix, said a search is on for her successor. Continue reading

Robservations: Will angry Cubs fans turn off TV and boost The Score?

670 The Score

Robservations on the media beat:

If Marquee Sports Network turns out to be the disaster some critics are predicting, another broadcast partner of the Chicago Cubs stands to benefit handsomely. Fans who booed bossman Tom Ricketts when he mentioned the cable network at last weekend's Cubs Convention — and others alienated by the loss of free games on TV and the unknown cost of the new service — can still hear it all on Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM. Under a long-term deal through 2022, Cubs broadcasts on The Score (with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer) "will remain as free as sunshine and a summer breeze," in the words of Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal, who surmised nearly a year ago: "Hughes and Coomer might even gain listeners amid all the upheaval from the 2020 Marquee launch." If reaction to Ricketts's botched rollout Friday is any indication, he's right. (Here is the link via Aldo Soto.) Said one avid reader of this space and lifelong Cubs fan: "Guess I’m going to be listening to the radio a lot more this season." Continue reading

With or without Comcast, Marquee Sports Network to launch Feb. 22

Marquee Sports Network

With just 34 days to go, Marquee Sports Network still has no deal with the Chicago area’s largest cable company. But the new television home of the Chicago Cubs announced it would launch with or without Comcast Xfinity on February 22.

Official word of the start date along with news of key talent hires came Saturday during the annual Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Continue reading

New WGN news director hopes to uphold ‘great journalism tradition’

Dominick Stasi

Following a legend in any job is never easy — especially when that legend will still be working down the hall from you.

On Wednesday Dominick Stasi was named to succeed Jennifer Lyons as news director of WGN-Channel 9 following Nexstar Media Group’s promotion of Lyons to vice president of news for WGN America. Lyons will oversee “News Nation,” a three-hour nightly newscast to premiere this summer on the Chicago-based cable network. Continue reading

WGN America to launch primetime national newscast from Chicago


Nexstar Media Group will launch a three-hour nightly national newscast from Chicago this summer on its WGN America cable network.

“News Nation” will air from 7 to 10 p.m. daily from a new newsroom and studio under construction at WGN-Channel 9 headquarters at 2501 West Bradley Place. It’s expected to debut in July and reach about 75 million households served by WGN America. Continue reading