When another anchor sailed home

Bill Kurtis and Diane Sawyer (1982)

Bill Kurtis and Diane Sawyer (1982)

Zoraida Sambolin isn’t the first Chicago news anchor to come home after bailing out of a network morning news show. Three decades earlier, Bill Kurtis did the same thing.

To the delight of Sambolin’s fans, WMAQ-Channel 5 announced Wednesday that the Chicago native was returning to co-anchor “NBC 5 News Today” after two years in New York as host of CNN’s “Early Start.” She stepped down last December after anchoring the two-hour weekday morning news show first with Ashleigh Banfield and later with John Berman. Continue reading

Zoraida Sambolin rejoins NBC 5 as morning anchor

Zoraida Sambolin

Zoraida Sambolin

Zoraida Sambolin, who left her job as CNN morning news anchor last December to move back home to Chicago, is rejoining NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5.

Starting May 22, Sambolin will co-anchor “NBC 5 News Today” with Stefan Holt from 4:30 to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. She will replace Daniella Guzman, who is moving to KNBC-TV, the NBC-owned station in Los Angeles, as anchor of a revamped “Today in L.A.”  Continue reading

TV anchor job comes before diploma

Giacomo Luca

Giacomo Luca

Journalism major Giacomo Luca doesn’t graduate from Roosevelt University until May 2, but he’s already working as a weekend news anchor in the nation’s 187th largest market.

Luca, 21, commutes four hours each way between Chicago and Lima, Ohio (population 40,000), where he’s been anchoring and producing the 6 and 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday newscasts on NBC affiliate WLIO-TV since March 9. Continue reading

Biondo report called ‘wildly inaccurate’

Trish Biondo

Trish Biondo

Trish Biondo and her agent are disputing as “wildly inaccurate” an online report about her imminent return to Chicago radio.

Biondo, who left CBS Radio country WUSN FM 99.5 after 27 years last December, was the subject of a Chicagoland media blogger’s post late Friday speculating that she was “on her way back to the Chicago airwaves in the very near future.” The report was picked up by the trade website Radio Ink.

Attributed to unnamed “inside sources,” the blog report said Biondo’s agent, Chicago attorney Todd Musburger, “has been in negotiations with Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Chicago to bring Biondo to WLIT-FM/93.9 MYfm.” It added that “some think it could be as morning show co-host.”

Continue reading

RogerEbert.com names content editor

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico

Chicago film critic Brian Tallerico, editor of Magill’s Cinema Annual and a regular guest on news/talk WGN AM 720, has been named content editor of RogerEbert.com, the movie-review website and digital repository of the late film critic’s work.

Tallerico, who reports to New York-based editor-in-chief Matt Zoller Seitz, succeeds Hank Sartin, who stepped down as managing editor earlier this month to join the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Continue reading

Chicago radio’s afternoon delights

Here’s a look at Chicago’s most popular afternoon stars, according to radio ratings released last week 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 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, followed by average share of audience. Continue reading

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