V103 celebrates 25 years at the top

V103logoOn the eve of its 25th anniversary as Chicago’s pioneering urban adult-contemporary radio station, WVAZ FM 102.7 has more to celebrate than its groundbreaking format and illustrious history.

Ratings released Monday by Nielsen Audio (previously known as Arbitron) show V103 leading the market with a commanding 6.2 percent share of all listeners and a cumulative weekly audience of 1,128,600.

And that’s no fluke: The Clear Channel station has been No. 1 overall in 17 of the last 18 books. Continue reading

Joel Daly channels ‘Network’ anchor

Joel Daly

Joel Daly

In close to 40 years as an anchorman in Chicago, Joel Daly delivered more than a few impassioned commentaries along with his newscasts. But I’m reasonably certain he never uttered the words: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Now, at long last, he will. The 78-year-old television news legend has been tapped to play Howard Beale, the fictional anchorman and “mad prophet of the airwaves,” in a staged reading based on the 1976 film “Network.” Beale shouts the “mad as hell” line as he incites viewers from coast to coast to join in venting their anger.

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Tribune TV exec changing channels

Steve Charlier

Steve Charlier

The management overhaul of Tribune Broadcasting continued Friday with the departure of Steve Charlier as senior vice president of local media.

Charlier told colleagues he was leaving to launch a multi-platform media company. “That means I can finally experiment with some of my ‘less than traditional ideas’ as an entrepreneur,” he said in an email. “I’m a little scared, very excited and more than anything, thankful for the opportunity to have worked with you all for the past five and a half years.” Continue reading

Tribune Co. confirms: ‘Everything is on the table’

Peter Liguori

Peter Liguori

Plans to cut costs and reduce staff at Tribune Co. newspapers have been confirmed as the parent company of the Chicago Tribune prepares to spin off the publishing side of the business into a separate entity.

A report here Thursday said Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori ordered executives to come up with $100 million in budget cuts at its eight daily newspapers. Slated to begin taking effect Dec. 1, the cuts are expected to affect all areas of operation, including the newsrooms, sources said.

A Tribune Co. spokesman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the company has started a budget review process and that newspaper managers have been asked to look for efficiencies. Continue reading

Tribune boss orders $100 million in cuts

Tribune TowerIt’s not clear how they’re supposed to do it, but Tribune Co. executives have been ordered to come up with $100 million in budget cuts, sources said, as the company prepares to spin off the publishing side of the business.

In a meeting with vice presidents of publishing units at Tribune Tower Wednesday, Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori directed them to begin drawing up plans immediately to hit the $100 million mark in savings. The cuts will start to be put into effect Dec. 1, sources said, and are expected to affect all areas of operation, including the newsrooms. Continue reading

ABC 7′s Ebert coverage up for Emmy

Ron Magers

Ron Magers

WLS-Channel 7′s coverage of the life, death and legacy of legendary film critic Roger Ebert has been nominated for a Chicago Emmy Award.

The ABC-owned station’s extensive reporting on the night of Ebert’s death April 4 was one of eight finalists in the spot news category announced Tuesday by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Continue reading

Help wanted: New boss for WGN-TV

Steve Farber

Steve Farber

After one year as acting general manager of WGN-Channel 9, Steve Farber is moving back to a corporate job with Tribune Broadcasting. And the search for a new boss of “Chicago’s Very Own” goes on.

Larry Wert, president of Tribune Broadcast Media, announced Wednesday that he has appointed Farber senior vice president/operations, overseeing the company’s digital networks, Antenna TV and THIS-TV, and “The Bill Cunningham Show” in syndication. Before he was named acting general manager of WGN in September 2012, Farber had been vice president of programming operations for Tribune Broadcasting. Continue reading

Jeff Ruby leaving laughs behind at Chicago magazine

After 16 years with Chicago magazine, chief dining critic and resident humor columnist Jeff Ruby is stepping down from his full-time staff position. But he’ll continue to serve as the magazine’s main man on the eat beat.

Ruby said Tuesday he made the decision to leave the staff of the Tribune Co.-owned monthly “after years of soul-searching.” His last day will be Oct. 10. Continue reading

Bald is beautiful for Jim Williams

Jim Williams

Jim Williams

On behalf of the “bald community,” as Larry David would say, let me officially welcome Jim Williams.

The veteran news anchor and reporter at WBBM-Channel 2 returned from vacation sporting a surprising new look on the weekend newscasts he anchors with Mai Martinez. He’d shaved his head bald. Continue reading