Robservations on the media beat:
Nominations open today for the 2020 class of the Radio Hall of Fame. Fans are invited to submit suggestions online for nominees in six categories. (Here is the link.) This year's induction ceremony, which will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the radio industry, is expected to be held in late October. “We are excited to welcome the Radio Hall of Fame back to its hometown of Chicago,” said David Plier, board chairman of the Museum of Broadcast Communications. “However, we continue to monitor the COVID-19 guidelines daily. If the state of Illinois cannot reach the goals of a Phase 5 reopening for large gatherings, we will seek other alternatives, including holding the event outside of Illinois.”
Only in tough times like these would being furloughed for three weeks without pay be considered a victory. But that's what's in store for newsroom employees who make $40,000 a year or more at the Chicago Tribune. After reaching an agreement this week with the company, the Chicago Tribune Guild said it was able to fend off permanent pay cuts and three-month furloughs of journalists in sports and features. “We stood firm against those outrageous and possibly illegal bullying tactics,” the Tribune Guild tweeted. The union said it also was able to forestall any further cuts until at least the end of July.
WFMT 98.7-FM, the Window to the World Communications classical music station, has extended its weekly series of recorded performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through June 30. "From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice — For All Music Lovers in These Difficult Times" airs from 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays. The series is curated by CSO music director Riccardo Muti and hosted by Kerry Frumkin. The initial six-week series debuted in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It also streams live at wfmt.com and the WFMT app and on demand at csosoundsandstories.org.
Even though the launch has been delayed, Rob Martier says he's raring to go as host of "The Last Shot," the 7-to-9-p.m. weeknight sports show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM. "I applaud the foresight of the station to want to pursue a sports talk program during a time when most think there's not much to talk about in sports. I beg to differ," Martier told me. "There is so much happening with the Blackhawks, Bears, Cubs, White Sox and Bulls. Along with news from the NFL, MLB, NCAA and motor sports, 'The Last Shot' will be chock-full of topics. 'The Last Shot' will also feature thoughtful contributors, conversation and debate. I am also excited about giving the other stations a run for their money."
It's musical chairs for "Eric in the Morning" as Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM moves a few players around on Eric Ferguson's morning show. To make up for the layoffs earlier this month of producer Cynthia DeNicolo and social media manager Melissa “Mel D” Dever from 101.9 The Mix, they've shifted traffic reporter Violeta Podrumedic to social media for the show and returned Melissa McGurren to her former traffic reporting duties. McGurren continues as Ferguson's co-host along with Brian "Whip" Paruch.
Will O'Brien, former business and opinion editor for Tribune News Service, has been promoted to chief copywriter and senior account executive at Aileron Communications, Dave Lundy's Chicago-based strategic communications agency. O’Brien joined Aileron as an account executive in 2017. The Marquette University journalism graduate previously worked as an editor for 22nd Century Media.
Happy to note the hiring this week of Lindsay Eanet as public address announcer for the Chicago Red Stars women's professional soccer club. She’s said to be the first female PA announcer for any pro sports team in Chicago. Eanet, a journalism graduate of the University of Missouri, is executive director of the North Center Chamber of Commerce and co-author of Back in the Game, the memoir of former Chicago sportscaster Rich King. She’s also the daughter of Dave Eanet, sports director of Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM and longtime radio voice of Northwestern University football.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Regine Schlesinger: Felicia [Middlebrooks] has worked hard and devoted herself to WBBM and its listeners for more than 35 years, most of that time as morning drive co-anchor. What a remarkable achievement and a great career! As a friend and former colleague, I wish her fulfillment and happiness in her next chapter.