Chicago TV battles over stormy weather

NBC Chicago Storm Team 5 (June 29, 2015)

NBC Chicago Storm Team 5 (June 29, 2015)

On Monday night, WMAQ-Channel 5 preempted “NBC Nightly News” for Brant Miller’s coverage of storms 100 miles west of Chicago. One week earlier, WGN-Channel 9 repeatedly interrupted a Cubs baseball broadcast for Tom Skilling’s updates on tornadoes in the area.

Decisions to break into regularly scheduled programming can be costly to stations in terms of lost advertising revenue and unhappy viewers. But when it comes to the perceived threat of danger, Chicago broadcasters seem increasingly willing to accept the risks. Continue reading

WKQX gets new program boss

Troy Hanson

Troy Hanson

Troy Hanson, corporate program director of rock formats for Cumulus Media, Friday was named program director of WKQX FM 101.1, the company’s alternative rocker in Chicago.

Hanson replaces P.J.Kling, who has been program director since 2012. A holdover from Merlin Media ownership, Kling previously was interim operations manager of classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and director of user insight for Tribune Interactive. Continue reading

WGN overnight host Nick Digilio sidelined for health reasons

Nick Digilio

Nick Digilio

Weeks after marking his 30th year on Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720, overnight host Nick Digilio has been sidelined for undisclosed health reasons.

Digilio, 49, was hospitalized this week and said to be undergoing tests to determine his illness. He’d been off the air most of last week and returned early Monday morning sounding strangely weak, according to numerous listeners. He hasn’t been heard from since. Continue reading

WTTW promotes Reese Marcusson to chief operating officer

Reese Marcusson

Reese Marcusson

Reese Marcusson, chief financial officer of Window to the World Communications, was promoted Wednesday to chief operating officer and CFO.

His responsibilities will include continued financial oversight, management of day-to-day operations, and new business development opportunities for the parent company of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical music WFMT FM 98.7. Continue reading

NBC 5 on Stern prankster: ‘We believed caller to be legit’

Brant Miller (NBC 5, June 22, 2015)

Brant Miller (NBC 5, June 22, 2015)

Despite an embarrassing snafu involving a Howard Stern prankster, NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 is defending its decision to put live calls on the air during Monday night’s coverage of tornadoes in the area.

Chief meteorologist Brant Miller handled the awkward moment when “Ryan,” identified as an eyewitness to the storm calling from the back of his tractor trailer in Morris, Illinois, said the wind was blowing “like it’s a blast from Howard Stern’s asshole.” Continue reading