Robservations: Bill & Wendy pulling the plug on Cumulus podcast

Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder

Robservations on the media beat:

Ending their 15-month run as a podcasting team, Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder will record their final episode Monday. Since February 2020 the longtime Chicago radio duo have been co-hosting “The Bill and Wendy Show” for Cumulus Media, parent company of news/talk WLS 890-AM. But with the launch of “Toon In With Me” earlier this year, Leff has been focusing on his role as host of the weekday morning cartoon show on MeTV. "More than anything, I can't thank the fans enough," he said of the podcast. "The past year was so rough for so many people, and the idea that we helped people get through it means a ton. Does this mean that Wendy and I will never work together again? No, we'd love to. We just need the right opportunity."

James VanOsdol

One podcast that's still humming along after seven years is James VanOsdol's "Car Con Carne." Billed as “the world’s only food podcast recorded in a car,” it originated with VanOsdol interviewing his guests over a meal in the front seat of his Mazda 3. Once the pandemic hit, he switched to a nightly-from-home format. To celebrate his 600th episode, VanOsdol will host what he's calling “Night of 1000 Stars,” starting at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The special will feature dozens of former guests video-streaming on YouTube and Facebook Live. (Here is the link.)

Alex Salvi

Alex Salvi, who grew up in northwest suburban Hawthorn Woods and worked as a nightly news anchor for One America News Network, has joined Newsmax as an international correspondent based in Rome. Since 2019 he'd been hosting OANN's “After Hours With Alex Salvi” from San Diego. Salvi graduated from Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, DePaul University and Valparaiso University School of Law. After law school he earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.

Ron Magers

DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence will present its long-delayed annual awards in a virtual event today. Ron Magers, the retired Chicago news anchor, will receive the Distinguished Journalist Award, and Chicago Tribune police reporter Jeremy Gorner will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Carol Marin and Don Moseley are co-directors of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence, which they launched in 2016.

George J. Manisco

A new radio adaptation of the 1902 Broadway play "The Virginian," a love story set in the Old West, will be performed over the next two Sundays by a cast of 20 on the arts show "Playtime" with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall. It will air from 1 to 3 p.m. April 25 and May 2 on Evanston Broadcasting news/talk WCGO 1590-AM. The radio version is produced and directed by Chicago actor George J. Manisco from an adaptation by Turck and Manisco. Manisco said he'd long been a fan of the TV series "The Virginian," starring the late James Drury. Timothy Drury will be on hand to dedicate the radio performance to his father.

Wednesday’s comment of the day: Dan Miller: Maureen O'Donnell transformed obit writing into a specialized area of expertise, like headline writing. I once asked a former Sun-Timesman why he is so prolific in posting personal details of his life on Facebook. He said, "I want to help Maureen to write my obit."