Robservations: Health scare for WGN’s Steve Cochran

Steve Cochran

Robservations on the media beat:

Chicago radio morning star Steve Cochran was released over the weekend after two days in the hospital for treatment of blood clots in his lungs. Tests showed the clot source was behind his left knee. Earlier in the week he had been under care for bronchitis and shortness of breath. Cochran, 56, said he expects to be back on the air Monday on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720, but may broadcast from home. “Serena Williams, Regis Philbin and me — what do we have in common?” he said. “Not much . . . but we’ve all had blood clots. DVT (deep vein thrombosis), PE (pulmonary embolism) — all quite serious, but I’m lucky as mine are meds controlled.” In 2012 Cochran felt chest pain while on the air at Salem Media news/talk WIND AM 560 and drove himself to the hospital. Continue reading

Robservations: Nielsen may drop Kenosha from Chicago radio ratings

Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Robservations on the media beat:

A new map for Chicago radio? Sources say there’s an effort underway among local broadcasters to eliminate Kenosha County, Wisconsin, from the Chicago metro market defined by Nielsen Audio. Along with the addition of Jasper County, Indiana, the proposal would more closely align the radio market with Nielsen’s Chicago television DMA (Designated Market Area). The biggest hit would be felt by Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 since it derives up to one-third of its ratings from its simulcast signal on WWDV FM 96.9, blasting into Kenosha and licensed to Zion. “This really is about creating a level playing field,” according to one source, who said the Kenosha boost gives The Drive an unfair edge over other Chicago FM stations. If nine out of 12 Nielsen subscriber groups vote to approve the change, the new boundaries could take effect later this year. Continue reading

Robservations: CSN hires David DeJesus as Cubs studio analyst

David DeJesus

Robservations on the media beat:

Look for former Chicago Cubs outfielder David DeJesus to be tapped as Cubs pre-game and post-game analyst on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, alongside host David Kaplan. He’ll replace Todd Hollandsworth, who was the network’s studio analyst for seven seasons before he was named color analyst for the Miami Marlins on Fox Sports Florida. DeJesus, who was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2013, later played for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels. Continue reading

Jimmy deCastro launches sports marketing company

Jimmy deCastro

Jimmy deCastro, who stepped down last fall as president and general manager of Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720, is back in business.

The longtime Chicago media executive announced the launch Monday of After The Whistle LLC, a sports marketing company and representation firm. With offices to be located at 414 North Orleans Street, the new enterprise is an offshoot of The Content Factory, deCastro’s national syndication and new media company. Continue reading

It’s official: WGN News rises and shines at top of the morning

WGN Morning News

Chicago’s most entertaining morning news show is now its most popular one, too.

Results of the latest Nielsen sweep show WGN-Channel 9 winning every hour from 5 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday with an average of 105,275 households.

WGN Morning News has led the advertiser-coveted 25-to-54 age demographic for six years, but February marked the first time the Tribune Broadcasting station surpassed ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 in total morning viewership as well. Continue reading

Robservations: Sun-Times to welcome back Roger Simon

Roger Simon

Robservations on the media beat:

Six weeks after he retired as chief political columnist for the venerable Roger Simon is back in print. Starting Friday, he’ll write a monthly column exclusively for the Sun-Times. The freelance deal is a homecoming of sorts for the South Shore native, who first joined the Sun-Times in 1972 and spent 12 years as an investigative reporter and columnist. For his initial column, Simon says what he thinks of President Donald Trump’s budget and first weeks in office. Continue reading