With Walt Flakus hosting middays, Rock 95.5 rolls out talent lineup

Walt Flakus

Walt Flakus, well-known to Chicago rock radio listeners for his years at The Loop and Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX 101.1-FM, has returned to host middays on WCHI 95.5-FM, iHeartMedia’s new rock station.

Flakus, a Chicago native who most recently worked at KNDD in Seattle, will be heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays as part of the new talent lineup unveiled today at Rock 95.5. Continue reading

Home at last, anchorman Ray Cortopassi debuts tonight on 'Chicago's Very Own'

Ray Cortopassi

Growing up in south suburban Dolton, Ray Cortopassi fondly remembers another Ray — the legendary children's show performer Ray Rayner — who was a fixture on WGN-Channel 9 for 20 years.

Tonight begins the era of a new Ray at "Chicago's Very Own" as Cortopassi debuts alongside Micah Materre as co-anchor of the station's 5, 6, 9 and 10 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscasts. Continue reading

Robservations: 'Those Were the Days' celebrates radio's greatest hits

Orson Welles

Robservations on the media beat:

Steve Darnall

Kicking off its celebration of radio's 100th anniversary, "Those Were the Days" will air a monthlong series of milestone and landmark broadcasts from the Golden Age of Radio. This weekend's show will feature what host Steve Darnall calls "the most famous radio broadcast of all time" — Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air's 1938 production of "The War of the Worlds." Other treats include Bing Crosby's first appearance on network radio in 1931, Agnes Moorehead's first performance of "Sorry, Wrong Number" in 1943, and a 1940 "Fibber McGee and Molly" broadcast, during which they open their famous hall closet for the first time. "Obviously, the 100th anniversary of radio is a pretty special event, and we wanted to celebrate by demonstrating — as completely as we can — what makes it special," Darnall said. "It's our hope that these broadcasts will give everyone listening an understanding of how radio was transformed from a novelty item into a necessity." "Those Were the Days" airs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on College of DuPage WDCB 90.9-FM and online at wdcb.org. Continue reading

Robservations: The Record debuts as news site for North Shore communities

Martin Carlino, Joe Coughlin and Megan Bernard

Robservations on the media beat:

The Record North Shore

Today marks the launch of The Record North Shore, the nonprofit local news site founded by three former editors of 22nd Century Media. Joe Coughlin, Megan Bernard and Martin Carlino created the startup with a crowdfunding campaign and backing from the Institute for Nonprofit News. It initially will serve the North Shore suburbs of Wilmette, Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth and Glencoe. In a welcoming message to readers, co-founder and editor-in-chief Coughlin wrote: "The Record is a nonprofit digital newsroom built on integrity, courage and care. The platform change allows us to better serve your community, and we are going to do this the right way, placing reporters on the ground to cover your hometown every single day, not just when a big story breaks. . . . While donations via a successful Kickstarter campaign got us off the ground, our events and subscriptions will keep us in the air. Much of our site’s content (public-service journalism like breaking news, police reports, public-safety news and more) will be free to read, but our other work will be for subscribers who value dedicated local reporting." 22nd Century Media, which published 14 community newspapers and websites in the area, ceased operations in March after 15 years. Continue reading