Robservations: ‘WGN Morning News’ gets primetime showcase

Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten

Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten

Robservations on the media beat:

OK, it’s not the comeback of “Bozo’s Circus,” but it’s still pretty big: Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9 is finalizing plans for a two-hour, live primetime special showcasing Chicago’s “must watch” morning news. The special nighttime edition of “WGN Morning News” will air from 7 to 9 p.m. September 14. Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten are main anchors of the top-rated show, which airs from 4 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. The ensemble also features Dan Ponce, Lourdes Duarte, Paul Konrad, Pat Tomasulo, Dean Richards, Ana Belaval, Erin McElroy, Demetrius Ivory, Marcus Leshock — and a cast of thousands. Continue reading

Robservations: Daily Herald cuts downtown delivery

Daily Herald

Daily Herald

Robservations on the media beat:

Doug Ray

Doug Ray

It’s about to become a lot harder to find a copy of the Daily Herald in Chicago. Sources said the suburban newspaper will cease delivery in downtown Chicago as of this weekend. “We have been studying each single-copy location for sales and have found that the paid circulation in the city was trending lower, thus removing boxes and locations where only a few are sold each day,” said Doug Ray, publisher and CEO of Daily Herald Media Group. “We believe the Daily Herald e-edition and web site will be attractive to those wanting newspaper content online and with the web site immediacy of our suburban news content.” The Daily Herald is owned by Paddock Publications, a privately held company based in Arlington Heights. Paddock recently acquired 12 daily and weekly newspapers in southern Illinois from GateHouse Media. Continue reading

Robservations: WTTW brought ‘McLaughlin Group’ to PBS

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

Robservations on the media beat:

William McCarter

William McCarter

“The McLaughlin Group” may be the ultimate Washington insiders’ show, but it owes its status as a national institution to Chicago. It was William McCarter, the visionary architect of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and former president and CEO of Window to the World Communications who partnered in production of the groundbreaking show and brought it to PBS in 1982. Host John McLaughlin, who died Tuesday at 89, once called McCarter “one of the best programming minds in the business.” McCarter retired in 1998 and died in 2011. Dan Schmidt, who succeeded McCarter, said Tuesday “The McLaughlin Group” was “emblematic of public media’s dedication to political commentary and discussion.‎” No word on plans for the show, which airs here at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays on WTTW. Continue reading

US 99 rounds out new on-air lineup

Kimmie Caruba

Kimmie Caruba

With the hiring of a new nighttime personality Monday, CBS Radio finalized the weekday talent lineup on its refreshed and rebranded country WUSN FM 99.5.

Kimmie Caruba, a Chicago native who once worked as a morning show intern for iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5 and programming intern for Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11, was signed to host from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday on US 99, starting August 29. Continue reading

Robservations: BGA staff votes to unionize

Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw

Robservations on the media beat:

Investigators, reporters and other staff members of Chicago’s Better Government Association voted unanimously last week to seek representation by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The unionizing move could be seen as a challenge to Andy Shaw, who has headed the nonprofit investigative news organization and civic watchdog group since 2009. It comes just weeks after the resignations of Robert Reed as director of programming and Robert Herguth as director of investigations. Their departures reportedly were prompted by changes in the organization’s structure and revisions in its investigative strategy. No comment yet from Shaw or SAG-AFTRA officials. SAG-AFTRA recently won elections to represent producers of “Chicago Tonight” at Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11, and staffers who work in content and technical areas at Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5. Continue reading

WGN’s Robert Jordan to retire with ‘profound gratitude’

Robert Jordan (Photo: Bart Shore)

Robert Jordan (Photo: Bart Shore)

Capping a distinguished 43-year career in Chicago television news, Robert Jordan announced plans Sunday to retire next month as weekend news anchor at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9.

“Bob has dedicated his career to informing Chicago for more than four decades,” Jennifer Lyons, news director of WGN, said in a statement. “His dedication is unparalleled; he is truly a legend in Chicago broadcasting.” Continue reading

B96 afternoon stars Stylz & Roman jump to US 99 mornings

Doug Stylz and Justin Roman

Doug Stylz and Justin Roman

Another Chicago radio bombshell: Doug Stylz and Justin Roman, the highly-rated afternoon duo on Top 40 WBBM FM 96.3 for the past 10 years, are switching to WUSN FM 99.5 as the country music station’s new morning team, CBS Radio announced Thursday.

Effective September 6, they’ll replace Lisa Dent and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens, who parted company with US 99 last week. Stevens moved to Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 as morning co-host with Big John Howell. Continue reading