Former Tribune publisher Tony Hunter exits tronc

Tony Hunter

Tony Hunter

Tony Hunter, a straight-shooting Chicago guy who rose from circulation manager to publisher of the Chicago Tribune, is leaving the newspaper’s parent company — now known as tronc — at year’s end.

Hunter, 55, will step down as president of national revenue and strategic initiatives of tronc subsidiary Tribune Publishing, effective December 23, according to a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “He will be eligible for severance benefits in accordance with the terms of his employment agreement,” the filing stated. Continue reading

The U renews 7 p.m. news agreement with ABC 7

Jerry Taft, Hosea Sanders, Cheryl Burton and Jim Rose

Jerry Taft, Hosea Sanders, Cheryl Burton and Jim Rose

ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 will continue to produce primetime news for Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26 for at least another year.

Although ratings for the one-hour newscast have been lackluster to say the least, the unusual arrangement has proved beneficial to both stations since “ABC 7 Eyewitness News on WCIU The U” launched in January 2014. Continue reading

Robservations: For the record, Pat Hughes delivers Cubs CD

“The Chicago Cubs Win the World Series!”

“The Chicago Cubs Win the World Series!”

Robservations on the media beat:

Pat Hughes

Pat Hughes

The ideal holiday gift for any Chicago Cubs fan: Pat Hughes, radio voice of the World Champions on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670, has just released “The Chicago Cubs Win the World Series!” It’s a 70-minute CD featuring the 2016 season’s greatest moments as broadcast on The Score by Hughes and color commentator Ron Coomer. “If you love the Cubs, you will love this CD,” promises Hughes. It’s available online for $19.95 at baseballvoices.com. Continue reading

Gene Siskel among nine named to TV Academy’s Silver Circle

Gene Siskel

Gene Siskel

Gene Siskel, the late, great Chicago journalist who redefined film criticism in America along with dueling colleague Roger Ebert, will be honored this spring with induction into the Silver Circle of the Chicago Television Academy.

Siskel’s long-overdue recognition will acknowledge his work as film critic for CBS 2 news and “CBS This Morning,” and his legendary 24-year partnership with Ebert on their nationally syndicated movie-review show. Siskel, who also was a critic and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, died in 1999. (Ebert, who was inducted into the Silver Circle in 2005, died in 2013.) Continue reading

Robservations: Hubbard Radio cuts four Chicago jobs

Paul Webber

Paul Webber

Robservations on the media beat:

Paul Webber, who excelled in a number of key programming, production and marketing jobs over 23 years at Hubbard Radio and its predecessor, was among four Chicago staffers cut this week in layoffs at the company. Webber most recently doubled as direct marketing manager for the three-station group and assistant program director of adult contemporary WSHE FM 100.3 and classic rock WDRV FM 97.1. Colleagues say he’s one of the best in the business. Also cut were the jobs of veteran production director John Siuntres, promotions assistant Ryan Williams and graphic designer Bianca Cordova. Jeff England, newly named vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, said the layoffs were not tied to a revenue shortfall. “We’re always trying to improve how we serve our listeners, our clients, our community, and operational efficiencies mean trying to do it more profitably,” he said. “But I wouldn’t characterize it as a cut because of disappointing revenue results or anything like that.” Continue reading

Terry Boers retiring from ‘greatest job’ after 25 years at The Score

Terry Boers

Terry Boers

Terry Boers, one of Chicago’s most enduring and outspoken sports radio personalities, made it official Tuesday: He’s hanging it up in January after 25 years at CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670.

“As I write this, I’m 66 years old and I’m going to retire, leaving behind one of the greatest jobs you can have, talking sports or movies or TV or life for five hours a day on a station I couldn’t be prouder of,” Boers wrote in a lengthy blog post titled “It’s Time To Say Goodbye.” Continue reading

Tribune Media moving to Wacker Drive

303 East Wacker Drive

303 East Wacker Drive

With the impending sale of its iconic Tribune Tower headquarters, Tribune Media will be packing up and moving its offices across the Chicago River to the bland and boxy Illinois Center complex next year.

A Tribune Media spokesman confirmed Monday that the company has leased two full floors of the 28-story high-rise at 303 East Wacker Drive. The move will be completed in the third quarter of 2017, according to Gary Weitman, senior vice president/corporate relations. Continue reading

ABC 7 sweeps late-news ratings in November

Alan Krashesky and Kathy Brock

Alan Krashesky and Kathy Brock

WLS-Channel 7 won Chicago’s 10 p.m. news ratings race in overall viewership and narrowly edged out its closest competitor to capture the top spot among viewers between 25 and 54 in the just-completed November sweep.

The victory for the ABC-owned station coincided with the first Nielsen sweep since Alan Krashesky succeeded Ron Magers as 10 p.m. news anchor alongside Kathy Brock. Magers retired last May after after 35 years in Chicago television news, including the last 18 at ABC 7. Continue reading