Robservations: ‘Those Were the Days’ celebrates 50th year Saturday

Chuck Schaden and Steve Darnall

Robservations on the media beat:

Fifty years to the day after Chuck Schaden premiered "Those Were the Days," he'll be back to mark the half-century milestone of the nostalgic weekly showcase for the Golden Age of Radio. Joining Steve Darnall, who succeeded him as host and producer in 2009, the Radio Hall of Famer will rebroadcast his entire first show exactly as it aired on May 2, 1970 (featuring "Ma Perkins," "The Thin Man," Frank Sinatra, Eddie Cantor, "Fibber McGee and Molly" and more), and reminisce about the program’s earliest days. "Listening to this first 'TWTD' broadcast today, it's a fascinating snapshot of the time when it was produced and a fascinating document of what radio used to be — which is what our show has been about from the beginning," Darnall said. It will air from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday on College of DuPage’s WDCB 90.9-FM and stream live on Personally, I can't think of a better way to spend Saturday afternoon.

Julie Unruh

Julie Unruh, who's been a top-notch general assignment reporter for WGN-Channel 9 since 2001, was promoted Thursday to midday news co-anchor at the Nexstar Media Group station. She joins Dina Bair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, marking the first female anchor duo for the newscast. A Chicago native and graduate of Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette and Indiana University, she joined WGN after two years at CLTV. “As one of 'Chicago’s Very Own,' Julie is a consummate journalist, with a breadth and depth of reporting that make her ideal as a co-anchor of WGN Midday News,” said news director Dominick Stasi. Unruh replaces Steve Sanders, who retired in February after 37 years at WGN. Tweeted Sanders: "Congratulations, Julie Unruh! WGN could not have chosen a more worthy successor!"

Jordan "JRDN" Foster

"Virtual Prom 2020," a two-hour commercial-free concert featuring music mixes from celebrity DJs including Alesso, DJ Pauly D, Loud Luxury and Martin Garrix, will air at 8 p.m. Saturday on iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM. It will be hosted on the air by Kiss FM evening personality Jordan "JRDN" Foster and co-hosted on Instagram Live by social media stars Chantel Jeffries and Loren Gray. “Chicagoland high school seniors deserve an epic night of celebration,” said program director James Howard. “This year’s high school prom may be at home due to the pandemic, but it’s going to be loud and never forgotten.”

John Idler

Television and radio stations throughout Illinois raised more than $1.5 million to relieve shortages at food banks in the wake of COVID-19. Illinois Broadcasters Uniting Against Hunger was a monthlong public-service marathon sponsored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association in partnership with Feeding Illinois. “Our campaign began with a hopeful $250,000 goal but exceeded every expectation after raising more than $1.5 million to help feed our hungry neighbors,” said John Idler, board chairman of the IBA, and president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. “It is a testament to what is possible when TV and radio broadcasters throughout our state stand united in times of crisis.”

Bruce Dold

It's been a momentous and bittersweet week for Bruce Dold, former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune. Thursday marked his last day on the payroll after 42 years at the paper, where he rose from reporter to columnist and editorial page editor before being named to the top job in 2016. He was forced out in a corporate purge at Tribune Publishing in February. Earlier this week, Dold lost his mother, Margaret Noll Dold, who died in Virginia at 94, and he welcomed a granddaughter, Mae Christman. "There is a lot of change and a lot of uncertainty, and then there is Mae, born on Sunday to Kristen and Peter, and suddenly everything feels wonderful again," Dold wrote on Facebook.

Daniel E. Baumann

I'm proud to join my colleagues in saluting Daniel E. Baumann on his retirement this week as chairman emeritus of the Paddock Publications board after 56 years with the parent company of the Daily Herald. In a memo to staff, publisher, CEO and board chairman Doug Ray said Baumann "made an impact at every level — from award-winning reporter and editor to business executive guiding the Daily Herald from a small suburban weekly to one of the finest newspaper companies in the country. Through it all, Dan never wavered from his commitment to excellence and set a high standard for all of us."

Thursday’s comment of the day: Sherman Kaplan: Karl Gaisser, what do you really know about WBBM's news anchors, reporters, writers, the entire staff? Do you have any first-hand knowledge to back up your assertion? Put up or shut up. I worked there for 46 years and am proud of every moment. This was and is a staff of professionals to care.