Robservations: WTTW drives convention coverage

Evan Garcia and Paris Schutz

Evan Garcia and Paris Schutz

Robservations on the media beat:

Reprising their roles from the GOP bash in Cleveland, WTTW-Channel 11 reporter Paris Schutz and digital producer Evan Garcia drove their branded Subaru (“blasting The Grateful Dead”) to Philadelphia this week to cover the Democratic National Convention for “Chicago Tonight.” Embedded with the Illinois delegation, they’ve been posting stories online, uploading Facebook videos and live tweeting updates throughout the week. Each night Schutz wraps up the day’s action from the convention floor following “PBS NewsHour”/NPR coverage on a special edition of “Chicago Tonight” with Phil Ponce. Continue reading

Robservations: Dear Amy, where are you?

Amy Dickinson (Photo: Dede Hatch)

Amy Dickinson (Photo: Dede Hatch)

Robservations on the media beat:

Amy Dickinson, whose “Ask Amy” advice column has been on hiatus from the Chicago Tribune since July 14, said Sunday she’ll be back in the paper “some time this week.” She declined to discuss the reason for her absence, which had her legion of fans buzzing. “The only upside to hiatus is that it is nice to be missed,” she said. “I’m hearing from lots of readers, too.” Dickinson succeeded the late Eppie Lederer (aka Ann Landers) at the Tribune in 2003. Her column is widely syndicated across the country. Dickinson’s latest book, a followup to the bestselling memoir The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter and the People Who Raised Them, will be published in March by Hachette Book Group. Continue reading

Robservations: Michael Ferro celebrates 50th birthday in tronc style

Michael Ferro (Photo: Christopher Michel)

Michael Ferro (Photo: Christopher Michel)

Robservations on the media beat:

Michael Ferro, the Chicago media mogul who turned Tribune Publishing into tronc, celebrated his 50th birthday Thursday night with 200 of his closest friends. (No, I wasn’t there.) For the event he reserved the dining room and outdoor patio at Chicago Cut, the LaSalle Street steakhouse in which Ferro is an investor. Crain’s Chicago Business reported the invitation came in a fancy black box. “Inside the box was another hinged black box with a glass top delivering an early party favor — a shiny gold deck of cards emblazoned with a $100 bill, two rows of gold coins and five gold dice (some of which apparently are covered in real gold foil),” Crains noted. Don’t worry if you haven’t bought Ferro a present yet. His actual birthday isn’t until Sunday. Continue reading

ABC 7 promotes Cheryl Scott to 10 p.m. weather forecaster

Cheryl Scott and Jerry Taft

Cheryl Scott and Jerry Taft

Meteorologist Cheryl Scott will move up to the 10 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscast on WLS-Channel 7, the ABC-owned station announced Wednesday.

Scott, 31, who joined ABC 7 in 2014 after three years as weekend weather forecaster at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, will add the 10 p.m. newscast to her duties, starting August 1. She also will appear on ABC 7′s 4 and 5 p.m. newscasts. Continue reading

Robservations: Website kicks off for love of college football

The Media Guides: Chris Dufresne, Herb Gould and Mark Blaudschun

The Media Guides: Chris Dufresne, Herb Gould and Mark Blaudschun

Robservations on the media beat:

Herb Gould

Herb Gould

Herb Gould, who spent nearly four decades as a sportswriter for the Sun-Times, has teamed up with counterparts from two other cities to launch a subscription website devoted to covering college football in all its glory. Calling themselves The Media Guides, Chris Dufresne, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, Mark Blaudschun, formerly of the Boston Globe, and Gould just unveiled TMGcollegesports.com. The founders aim to provide “well-written and well-informed analysis that is increasingly in short supply at newspapers” along with news and insight on hot topics in the college football world. It’s available for $19.95 for the full season (with an early-bird rate of $14.95). “We’re going to have fun with this,” said Gould, who still contributes to the Sun-Times. “We remember when sports was less of a business and more of a game — and as aging baby boomers, we’re going to do everything we can to keep it that way.” Continue reading

New digital program director joins iHeartMedia Chicago

Ashley Trybula

Ashley Trybula

Ashley Trybula, who once worked as a morning show intern at urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5, is returning to iHeartMedia Chicago as regional digital program director.

Trybula, who most recently was regional online editor for Radio One, will oversee digital content strategy and social media platforms for six iHeartMedia stations here — WGCI, urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7, Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5, adult contemporary WLIT FM 93.9, country WEBG FM 95.5, and gospel WGRB AM 1390. Continue reading

Robservations: After 25 years, Catalyst folds into Chicago Reporter

Catalyst Chicago

Catalyst Chicago

Robservations on the media beat:

Linda Lenz

Linda Lenz

It’s the end of an era for Catalyst Chicago, the highly influential journal on public education and school reform. This week marks its final edition as a print publication. After 25 years of award-winning reporting, it’s merging with The Chicago Reporter, the investigative news organization focusing on race, poverty and income inequality. Both are funded by the non-profit Community Renewal Society. Once the merger is complete in 2017, the Catalyst brand will be retired, according to a statement from the organization, which added: “Thank you all for reading and supporting Catalyst over the years.” The move coincides with the retirement of veteran journalist Linda Lenz, the founder and publisher of Catalyst Chicago. Continue reading

Robservations: Anthony Ponce quits NBC 5

Anthony Ponce

Anthony Ponce

Robservations on the media beat:

Chicago television is about to lose one of its Ponces. Anthony Ponce has resigned as reporter and weekend morning news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 to pursue other opportunities outside of TV news. Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, said Ponce’s last day on the air will be July 24. “We appreciate all that he has done over the years,” Whittaker told staffers in a memo. Ponce, who joined the station in 2007, recently was passed over for promotion to weekday morning news anchor after the departure of Stefan Holt. Ponce’s brother, Dan Ponce, continues as morning news anchor at Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9. Their father, Phil Ponce, hosts “Chicago Tonight” on Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. Continue reading