Moody’s storyteller calls it a night

Mike Kellogg

Mike Kellogg

Listeners to Moody Radio’s WMBI FM 90.1 will have to make it through night without Mike Kellogg to inspire their spirits and soothe their souls.

After 42 years of broadcast ministry in Chicago, Kellogg is stepping down as senior announcer at the Christian talk station and host of “Music Thru the Night” from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday. His retirement is effective May 31 (although his final show for WMBI aired earlier this week). Continue reading

Jones fulfills request for obit after ‘truly sad, strange’ final act

Chris Jones

Chris Jones

As chief theater critic and culture columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones is used to getting lots of story pitches from people who read him. But few come postmortem.

In the Tribune’s Arts and Entertainment section Thursday, Jones wrote an obituary of theater preservationist Ray Shepardson, who committed suicide Monday, according to police, by jumping off the roof of the parking lot at the Hollywood Casino near the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

In the fifth paragraph of the piece, Jones noted that Shepardson, 70, “had left behind, in a note, a small group of last wishes. This obituary — published in this newspaper, by this writer — is the fulfillment of one of those requests.” Continue reading

‘Robust agenda’ for suburban websites: Guest editors, podcast network

HP NewsTake a look at this week’s edition of the Highland Park News and you’ll see Billy Corgan on the cover: “Musician, Businessman, Editor: Smashing Pumpkins founder Billy Corgan takes over his hometown paper,” reads the headline.

The entrepreneurial rocker is the first “guest editor” in a series of local celebrities taking on weeklong editorships at the Pioneer Press publications in the coming months. Others on tap include author Scott Turow at the Evanston Review, author Elizabeth Berg at the Oak Leaves in Oak Park and chef Norman Van Aken at the Mundelein Review. Continue reading

Midday masters of Chicago radio

Here’s a look at Chicago’s most popular midday stars, according to radio ratings released Monday for the period from Feb. 27 to March 26.

Following are the top-rated shows as measured by Nielsen Audio among all listeners age 6 and older from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, followed by average share of audience. Continue reading

Early to rise: Chicago’s morning stars

There’s a new morning line in Chicago, according to radio ratings released Monday for the period from Feb. 27 to March 26.

Here’s a look at Chicago’s top 10 morning shows (as measured by Nielsen Audio among all listeners age 6 and older from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday), followed by average share of audience. Continue reading

Chicago boss out at Hubbard Radio

Jerry Schnacke

Jerry Schnacke

Jerry Schnacke, a highly regarded 17-year Chicago broadcasting veteran, was forced out Monday as vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago.

The surprise move came as Hubbard Radio executives said they wanted “a fresh set of eyes” to oversee their three blue chip Chicago stations — hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9, classic hits WDRV FM 97.1 and adult contemporary WILV FM 100.3.

Drew Horowitz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hubbard Radio, will serve as interim market manager until a successor is named. Continue reading

Sun-Times turnoff: Keep your comments to yourself

Sun-Times signFor an outfit that loves to brag about being tech savvy and “digital first,” the Sun-Times always seems to take two steps back for every step forward.

Over the weekend came word of the latest retro move: Readers won’t be allowed to post comments online about stories in any Sun-Times Media Group publications until a new system is put in place at some unspecified point in the future. Continue reading

Coleman ready to weather retirement

John Coleman

John Coleman

John Coleman, the father of The Weather Channel and the court jester of “happy talk” news in Chicago, is calling it quits after more than 60 years in the weather business.

Coleman, 79, spent the last 20 years as chief meteorologist at KUSI-TV in San Diego. He surprised his colleagues by announcing his retirement Thursday while he was out of town attending a tropical weather conference in South Padre Island, Texas. Continue reading