Robservations on the media beat:
Great news for fans of MeTV FM: Weigel Broadcasting’s popular soft-rock oldies station at WRME 87.7-FM won't be going away any time soon, according to owners of the low-power analog station. The Federal Communications Commission had set July 13 as the deadline for all low-power Channel 6 TV stations operating as radio stations on 87.7 FM to cease broadcasting. But Venture Technologies Group, which owns the license for the frequency, confirmed Thursday it has devised a technical solution to keep MeTV FM on the air. Paul Koplin, CEO of Venture Technologies, said the FCC has approved the company's plans to keep its station on in San Jose, California, with the same fix currently under way in Chicago. "The only entity to oppose this has been NPR because they don't want any signal left of their dial," Koplin said. "We still need to make this a permanent solution. But in the meantime, MeTV FM will live and thrive, and we are lucky to have someone like Neal Sabin [vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting and creator of MeTV FM] entertain us." In the latest Nielsen Audio survey MeTV FM ranked 10th overall with a 3.2 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 509,300.
Another hometown meteorologist is joining the weather team at Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9. Tim Joyce, a west suburban native and alum of Oak Park and River Forest High School, will anchor weather on Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting later this month. The weekend morning meteorologist position has been open since Mike Hamernik died in March. Joyce, who graduated from the University of Kansas and studied meteorology at Mississippi State University, most recently worked for KCPQ, the Fox-owned station in Seattle, and KRCW, the CW affiliate in Portland, Oregon.
Former Chicago radio personality Sam Sylk turned up Thursday as afternoon host on Streetz 95.1/105.1 HD 2, the hip hop and R&B station launched in April. His new show airs from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. The Chicago native previously hosted afternoons on iHeartMedia hip hop WGCI 107.5-FM and Crawford Broadcasting hip hop WPWX 92.3-FM and worked as a news anchor for the short-lived FM News 101.1 operated by Merlin Media. Since 2013 Sylk has been on the air in Cleveland. Veteran radio programmer Steve Hegwood, whose Atlanta-based Core Radio Group has been expanding its “Streetz” brand on HD2 signals and translators across the country, is behind the venture.
Katherine Murphy, another alum of FM News 101.1 (as well as Audacy country WUSN 99.5-FM, Oprah Radio and Rivet Radio), has been named communications and external affairs manager for the city of Bloomington, Illinois. She most recently was news director of WJBC 1230-AM in Bloomington. Murphy began her career in Peoria after graduating from Illinois State University. "I'm grateful for the chance to give a voice to all of the wonderful stories that happen right here in our own backyards," she said.
Danny Parkins, afternoon personality on Audacy sports/talk WSCR 670-AM, will host a 24-hour radiothon to benefit Athletes for Justice’s Austin Harvest food project. In partnership with former Chicago Bear Sam Acho, the inaugural “What About Chicago Radiothon” will kick off at 9 a.m. June 23 and air around the clock. “The name ‘What About Chicago’ is a defiant response and this radiothon will hopefully highlight what Chicago is really about – a Chicago radio station partnering with a Chicago charity with a mission to help improve the lives of Chicago kids in a Chicago neighborhood,” Parkins said in a statement.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Steve Scott: I’m proud of my friend and former colleague Roe Conn. Reinventing oneself is a sign of resilience and character. Roe is a very smart guy who can lend a new set of eyes and a fresh approach to the sheriff’s department. Don’t sell him short. Congratulations, Roe!