Business lures Tribune columnist Harris

Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris is leaving the Chicago Tribune after six years as a business columnist to join Origin Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, as vice president of marketing.

“This is an opportunity for me to be on the vanguard of the crowdfunding movement as I will be responsible for a new online platform, allowing investors like you and me to participate side-by-side with big pension funds and endowments in their real estate acquisitions,” she announced on her Facebook page Tuesday. Continue reading

Ratings look healthy for iHeart stations

iHeart Media Chicago

iHeart Media Chicago

Corporate radio behemoth iHeart Media again landed four of its seven Chicago stations in the top 10 rankings, including urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7, which jumped back to the No. 1 spot overall.

Nielsen Audio ratings released Tuesday showed the company’s Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5, urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 and adult contemporary WLIT FM 93.9 also in the top 10 among all listeners for the period from August 13 to September 9. Continue reading

Robservations: Harry Volkman recalled as ‘paragon of class’

Harry Volkman

Harry Volkman

Robservations on the media beat:

Tom Skilling

Tom Skilling

Legendary Chicago TV weatherman Harry Volkman was remembered Sunday as a larger-than-life personality, a generous mentor, and a man of faith. The beloved meteorologist for four local stations died August 20 at age 89 after a brief illness. Friends and family gathered at Glenview United Methodist Church to celebrate Volkman’s life. Among the speakers was an emotional Tom Skilling, who called Volkman “the broadcast meteorologist who literally set the bar for on-air meteorological integrity,” adding: “Through it all, Harry was a father who raised a lovely family, a devoted member of this church, and a paragon of class and dignity in his profession.” Fellow broadcasters at the memorial tribute included Steve Baskerville, Rick DiMaio, Chuck Schaden, Bob Sirott, Roger Triemstra, and Volkman’s son, Eddie Volkman. Continue reading

Apologetic WGN vows to be ‘more sensitive going forward’

Tom Negovan (WGN-TV, September 22)

Tom Negovan (WGN, September 22, 2015)

Newsroom employees of WGN-Channel 9 will attend training and educational sessions on the Holocaust and related issues to prevent a recurrence of the “horrible error” that turned a story about Yom Kippur into a worldwide embarrassment for the Tribune Media station.

Greg Easterly, president and general manager of WGN, said Friday an investigation is continuing into how a symbol of the Nazi persecution of Jews was used to illustrate a story about the Jewish Day of Atonement on Tuesday’s late newscast. Although the station apologized immediately, the image went viral and continues to heap shame on WGN. Continue reading

WTTW special reunites Chicago’s legendary rock bands

“Cornerstones of Rock: American Garage"

“Cornerstones of Rock: American Garage”

Some of the top garage bands that emerged from Chicago and rose to national fame in the 1960s and ’70s will come together next month in the WTTW-Channel 11 studio that still produces the music series “Soundstage.”

“Cornerstones of Rock: American Garage,” featuring The Ides of March, The Buckinghams, The Cryan Shames, The New Colony Six, The Shadows of Knight, The McCoys and The American Breed, will be taped October 16 at the Window to the World Communications public television station, 5400 North St. Louis Avenue. Continue reading

The Drive puts Zander back on the air

Mark Zander

Mark Zander

Saying he missed being on the air, Chicago radio veteran Mark Zander is stepping down as program director of Weigel Broadcasting’s soft rock/oldies WRME FM 87.7 to join Hubbard Radio classic hits WDRV FM 97.1 as weekend and fill-in personality.

“I know everybody on The Drive and I’ve worked with everybody on The Drive,” Zander said Thursday. “So it kind of feels like I’m coming back to a very familiar place.” Continue reading

‘Extremely embarrassed’ WGN tries to atone for ‘horrible error’ on Yom Kippur

Tom Negovan

Tom Negovan

While Jews around the world were observing a day of fasting and repentance for their sins Wednesday, Tribune Media’s flagship station WGN-Channel 9 found itself begging for forgiveness and apologizing to viewers and the Jewish community.

Saying they were “extremely embarrassed” by an epic lapse in judgment, WGN officials acknowledged that the station was wrong to use a universally reviled symbol of the Holocaust to illustrate a story heralding the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, on its late newscast Tuesday. Continue reading

Guild asks Sun-Times advertisers to ‘stand with us’

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago News Guild has reached out to advertisers of the Sun-Times for help to forestall another round of layoffs at the newspaper.

No new cutbacks have been announced or even rumored, but the union representing reporters, editors and photographers at the Sun-Times cited September 27 as the expiration of a six-month moratorium on layoffs negotiated with the company. Continue reading

Robservations: Chicago publishers ‘welcome’ New York Post

New York Post

New York Post

Robservations on the media beat:

Jim Kirk

Jim Kirk

The publishers of Chicago’s two major daily newspapers don’t seem bothered a bit by the arrival this week of the New York Post on local newsstands. In fact, the Chicago Tribune stands to benefit since it’s getting paid to deliver the Big Apple tabloid to retail locations here. “Chicago Tribune Media Group is proud to be a distribution partner for the New York Post,” says Tribune publisher Tony Hunter. The move marks a return for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owned the Sun-Times from 1984 to 1986. “We welcome another paper to the market and wish the Post a lot of luck,” says Jim Kirk, publisher and editor in chief of the Sun-Times. “As Chicago’s hometown newspaper, we’re confident our readers will continue to turn to us for our great local news, sports, political and feature content daily in print, and 24/7 online.” Adds Kirk: “You do have to wonder what it means for RedEye. I’d worry a little bit about overlap between the two in certain areas.” (Not nearly as friendly was Chicago magazine, owned by Chicago Tribune Media Group, which headlined its story: “The New York Post is Coming to Chicago and We’re Not Sure What We Did to Deserve This.”) Continue reading