Robservations: Sports anchor Jim Rose signs three-year renewal with ABC 7

Jim Rose

Robservations on the media beat:

Jim Rose, who's been a key player on WLS-Channel 7's sports team since 1982, signed on Wednesday for three more years with the top-rated ABC-owned station. "For almost 40 years JR has been serving sports fans and the Chicago community,” said John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7. “His passion for excellence and professionalism has created a legacy that we are thrilled to continue.” Rose, 67, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Rhode Island College, joined ABC 7 as a sports anchor and reporter from WIXT, the ABC affiliate in Syracuse, New York. In 2013 Rose was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His new deal solidifies ABC 7’s front line in sports, following a three-year extension for lead sports anchor Mark Giangreco last fall. Continue reading

Robservations: Will Leila Rahimi become the new face of The Score?

Leila Rahimi

Robservations on the media beat:

In the wake of Dan McNeil's sudden firing Tuesday for posting what his bosses called a "degrading and humiliating" tweet about a female ESPN reporter, Danny Parkins is expected to host afternoons solo for now on WSCR 670-AM. But the Entercom sports/talk station would be wise to seize this opportunity — though long overdue — to promote a woman to full-time weekday host. At the top of many fans' lists would be Leila Rahimi, who's been filling in on various shifts at The Score since she was laid off last month after an outstanding five-year run at NBC Sports Chicago. Just one day before McNeil's ouster, Rahimi was tapped to co-host middays once a week — from 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday — with Dan Bernstein, starting today. Rahimi tweeted Tuesday night she was "very happy for this opportunity that’s for sure." Continue reading

Robservations: The Score's Dan McNeil under fire for sexist tweet

Dan McNeil

Robservations on the media beat:

Maria Taylor

It doesn’t really matter what Dan McNeil was thinking when he posted a disparaging comment about ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor's outfit during Monday night’s NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. “NFL sideline reporter or a host for the AVN annual awards presentation?” McNeil tweeted, suggesting her attire might be more appropriate for the annual pornography award show presented by Adult Video News. McNeil deleted the tweet about 30 minutes later, according to Awful Announcing, but not before it had been seen (and archived) countless times. In the social media firestorm that followed, one of the fiercest responses came from Julie DiCaro, the writer and former host on Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM, where McNeil co-hosts afternoons with Danny Parkins. "Always disappointed, never shocked," DiCaro tweeted about her former co-worker. "It's almost as if there's a connection between the lack of women on air and the blatant sexism. I think a serious question that listeners need to ask themselves is why men feel comfortable doing something like this in 2020, and why they've gotten that message?" No comment yet from McNeil's bosses at The Score, where the perennial bad boy is on his third stint in 28 years. Taylor's response? "Well Danny Dearest if you would like to continue making sexist comments about me . . . please bring your misogyny with you to the NBA Countdown double header I’ll be hosting tomorrow night," she tweeted. "Hey ladies remember you can wear whatever you feel confident in!" Continue reading

Kiss FM’s Angi Taylor to host mornings on new ‘Rock 95 Five’

Angi Taylor

Angi Taylor, who’s been a mainstay of mornings on Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM since 2008, is about to move up to solo morning host at iHeartMedia Chicago’s brand-new rock station.

Sometime in the coming weeks Taylor will sign off as Christopher “Fred” Frederick’s morning show partner on Kiss FM and shift to WCHI 95.5-FM, which flipped from country music to a rock format September 3. Continue reading

'Beacon of journalism' Carol Marin says she's bowing out of TV news

Carol Marin

Carol Marin, one of Chicago's most honored and respected journalists of all time, is bringing down the curtain on her legendary TV news career after 48 years.

Marin, 71, surprised colleagues today by announcing that she will step down as political editor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and correspondent for “Chicago Tonight” at Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11 after she covers the presidential election November 3. Continue reading

New CEO choice withdraws before getting started at WBEZ


In an embarrassing setback for the nonprofit parent company of news/talk WBEZ 91.5-FM, it’s back to square one in the search for a new president and chief executive officer of Chicago Public Media.

Andi McDaniel, who accepted the job in May and was expected to start at the end of September, withdrew her acceptance Friday in the wake of a scandal that occurred on her watch at her previous employer. Continue reading

Robservations: Masked man Bill Kurtis 'goes wild' in promoting cover-up

Bill Kurtis

Robservations on the media beat:

When Bill Kurtis talks, people listen. Now the legendary Chicago anchorman wants to have a word with you about wearing a mask. Strictly on a lark, Kurtis has recorded a marvelous series of over-the-top public service announcements from his north suburban Mettawa home to promote wearing masks during the pandemic. Each of the seven spots features Kurtis narrating a mock-dramatic vignette (mostly in film noir style), backed by music from David Huizenga, former composer for Kurtis Productions. "When you’re in shelter for six months, one’s creativity goes wild," said Kurtis, who turns 80 later this month. "I think I was channeling Ken Nordine, Chicago radio of the 1930s, 'The Lone Ranger,' etc. . . . Call them mini-radio shows or whatever. It’s certainly fun doing the voices and writing." So far they've aired only on Bob Sirott's morning show on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM. (Here is the link.) Kurtis also just began posting them on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. "It’s my first experience with social media and it’s amazing," he told me. "Lightning fast reaction." Continue reading

Robservations: 'News Nation' edict costs Nexstar stations access to CNN video

"News Nation"

Robservations on the media beat:


Every startup has growing pains, but “News Nation” may be having more than its share. Just 10 days after the launch of the Chicago-based three-hour primetime national newscast on WGN America, Nexstar Media Group is facing trouble on two fronts. Starting with less than stellar ratings for its opening night, the Nielsen numbers have been falling off in the second and third hours of the newscast. (Most nights are averaging less than 100,000 viewers nationwide.) In addition, staffers at Nexstar stations — including WGN-Channel 9 here — are said to be apoplectic over the decision by CNN to terminate its video sharing agreement with the company's 197 affiliates. As first reported by, the move came in retaliation for a Nexstar corporate edict that its local stations withhold breaking news video from competing networks so "News Nation" can have it first. “This was screwed up from the beginning and now we’re paying for it,” one Nexstar station news director told the industry website. A company spokesman declined to comment. Continue reading