It’s official: Jeffrey T. Mason lands middays on K-Hits

Jeffrey T. Mason

Jeffrey T. Mason

Jeffrey T. Mason, who’s been filling in since the legendary Tommy Edwards retired as midday personality at WJMK FM 104.3 last fall, has landed the job permanently at the CBS Radio classic hits station.

Making the long-awaited promotion official Wednesday, program director Todd Cavanah said Mason signed a multiyear contract to host from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on K-Hits. Continue reading

ABC 7 tries to fight back at sweeps’ end

ABC 7's Mark Giangreco, Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers, Kathy Brock and Jerry Taft

ABC 7’s Mark Giangreco, Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers, Kathy Brock and Jerry Taft

In a last-ditch effort to stave off defeat in the May sweeps, perennial market leader WLS-Channel 7 is pulling out all the stops — and some of the commercials — from its 10 p.m. Monday through Friday newscast.

On Monday and Tuesday night, the ABC-owned station dropped two commercial breaks from its late news, postponing its first interruption until 10:21 p.m. It’s a maneuver designed to retain audience ratings by discouraging viewers from channel surfing. Continue reading

Lori Rackl unpacks blog on TV, travel

Lori Rackl

Lori Rackl

By the time Lori Rackl accepted a buyout from the Sun-Times last February, she’d earned a solid reputation as an insightful TV critic and a seasoned travel editor.

Now making her mark as an independent journalist, Rackl has combined both interests — television and travel — in a smart new website.

TVtrippin.com officially debuted this week with a review of Sunday night’s “Mad Men” series finale and a feature on a “mystery man” who tracks TV series and movies filming around Chicago for a Twitter account.

Rackl calls her new blog “a work in progress” that she has been fine-tuning with Web designer Rex Chekal. In the meantime, she is continuing to write free-lance travel pieces for the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe, among other publications. Continue reading

Gunfire-dodging reporter joins Telemundo Chicago

Jorge Enrique De Santiago

Jorge Enrique De Santiago

Jorge Enrique De Santiago, a news anchor and reporter from the Telemundo station in San Antonio, Texas, has been hired as a general assignment reporter at WSNS-Channel 44, the Spanish-language network’s station here.

While working for KVDA-TV in San Antonio, De Santiago made headlines in 2014 when a murder suspect he was interviewing at an apartment complex opened fire on his news crew. Continue reading

NBC 5 may have top story at 10 p.m.

Rob Stafford and Allison Rosati

Rob Stafford and Allison Rosati

With three days to go in the May sweeps, all eyes are on Chicago’s late-news ratings race, where there could be an upset in the works.

NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 appears poised to overtake the market’s perennial front-runner, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, among viewers between 25 and 54 at 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. That’s a key demographic driving local stations’ advertising revenue. Continue reading

Robinson’s radio roles up in the air

Robin Robinson at WVON

Robin Robinson at WVON

How long can Robin Robinson work as a no-nonsense news anchor on one radio station and as an opinionated talk show host on another? We’ll soon find out.

The Chicago broadcast news veteran started this week as a part-time host on urban news/talk WVON AM 1690. Her “Robin’s Nest” talk show airs from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays under an arrangement that allows her to sell advertising sponsorships, according to Melody Spann-Cooper, president and general manager of the Midway Broadcasting station. Continue reading

WLIT goes back to local morning show

Kristina Zsenyuk

Kristina Zsenyuk

In a welcome return to a live and local morning show, WLIT FM 93.9 has hired a 34-year-old radio personality from Portland, Oregon, who calls herself Kristina with a K.

Kristina, whose full name is Kristina Zsenyuk, joins the iHeartMedia hot adult-contemporary station here June 1. She will replace Paul “Cubby” Bryant, whose New York-based morning show has been airing on 93.9 MyFM since July 2013. Continue reading

Rahm puts ‘Chicago Tonight’ on agenda

Phil Ponce and Rahm Emanuel

Phil Ponce and Rahm Emanuel

As he begins his second term in office with a reputation for being inaccessible to the media, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed to make regular appearances on “Chicago Tonight,” the flagship news program of public television WTTW-Channel 11.

Starting tonight, Emanuel is expected to turn up every four to six weeks for what the Window to the World Communications station is calling “a series of in-depth conversations” with various staffers on the show. “Chicago Tonight” airs at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and streams on WTTW.com. Continue reading

The Drive gets up to speed in mornings

Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil

Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil

No one was sure what would happen when Hubbard Radio teamed up Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil to host mornings on classic hits WDRV FM 97.1.

After all, the two Chicago radio veterans had never worked together before, and one of them — McNeil — had earned a reputation over the years as rather mercurial, to put it mildly. In addition, the two professional talkers were replacing Steve Downes, a popular but low-key personality who’d hosted the music-intensive morning show for 14 years. Continue reading