Robservations: Ronnie Ramos named BGA's first editor in chief; Cassie Walker Burke joins WBEZ; Chaz Ebert wins Ruby Dee Humanitarian Award

Reinaldo “Ronnie” Ramos

Robservations on the media beat:

Better Government Association

Reinaldo “Ronnie” Ramos, former executive editor of the Indianapolis Star, has been hired as editor in chief of Chicago's Better Government Association. In the newly created position he will oversee the Illinois Solutions Partnership, a $10 million collaboration between the nonprofit government watchdog and investigative reporting group and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Ramos most recently served as executive editor of the Daily Memphian, a nonprofit news site in Memphis, Tennessee. “We’re looking for new solutions to chronic problems, and we felt that requires a fresh perspective,” David Greising, president and CEO of the BGA and ISP, said in a statement. “In Ronnie, we’ve found a seasoned and skeptical journalist, with deep digital and startup experience – one who knows both how to uncover what is wrong and also find solutions to the old Chicago way.”

Cassie Walker Burke

Cassie Walker Burke, founding editor of the nonprofit education news outlet Chalkbeat Chicago, is joining Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM as its first external editor. Starting March 14 she will oversee WBEZ's newsroom freelance program, expanding its coverage of culture, the arts, business, transportation and the environment. Before joining Chalkbeat in 2018, Burke was assistant managing editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and executive editor of Chicago magazine. WBEZ also announced the hiring of Mawa Iqbal as Illinois Public Radio statehouse reporter. A native of Crystal Lake, Iqbal most recently was a reporter for WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Chaz Ebert

Chaz Ebert, publisher of and wife of the late film critic Roger Ebert, will receive this year's Ruby Dee Humanitarian Award from the Black Reel Awards. Citing her work as a film producer and businesswoman, Tim Gordon, Black Reel Awards founder and CEO, said: "Ms. Ebert's journey has been one of quiet resiliency and achievement as she has been an ambassador for the legacy of her husband's work and simultaneously forged a path uniquely her own." The 22nd annual Black Reel Awards will be live streamed February 28 starting at 7 p.m. (Here is the link.)

Jeff Nuich

Jeff Nuich, the veteran communications and media professional, has been named communications and events manager for the Midtown/Metro Educational Foundation. The Chicago-based nonprofit organization supports inner-city urban youth and their families through academic enrichment programs, personal and professional development and enhanced parental engagement. Nuich previously spent 28 years at NBC Sports Chicago and its predecessors, where he rose to senior director of communications. He's widely regarded as one of the best in the business.

Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson, vice president of news and content development at Shaw Media, was elected president of the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors board Thursday. Before joining Shaw Media in 2020, Anderson was executive editor of the Peoria Journal Star. Earlier he held several editorial management positions at the Daily Herald. On the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors board, he replaces Chris Coates, who resigned his position following his appointment by Lee Enterprises as executive editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. Coates had been Lee’s central Illinois editor, based in Bloomington.

Thursday’s comment of the day: Mike Leiderman: Kudos to Harvey [Moshman] and Will [Clinger]. For the record, I covered the Kennebunkport Town Dump Bicentennial in 1976. (The town was founded in 1683, but the dump in 1776 — as the town historian says: “The first years, we were too poor to throw anything away.") Ten thousand marchers convened on the town's main street, July 4, 1976, led by Grand Marshall Oscar the Grouch. Medallions were struck. "Trash stamps" were issued. The parade ended at the dump — and disbanded. If you can wait until 2076, guys, you can catch it again!