CBS 2 announces Harry Porterfield retirement

Harry Porterfield

Harry Porterfield

Harry Porterfield, dean of Chicago television news anchors whose signature series was “Someone You Should Know,” is stepping down after a legendary career spanning more than 50 years, CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 announced Thursday.

Porterfield, 87, who most recently co-anchored the 11 a.m. weekday newscast with Roseanne Tellez, made his final appearance on the air last Friday. He was on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment. Continue reading

WBEZ buys Kankakee public station

WKCC

WKCC

Chicago Public Media, parent company of news/talk WBEZ FM 91.5, has agreed to buy WKCC FM 91.1, rescuing the Kankakee Community College public radio station.

Effective Friday, WBEZ programming will be simulcast full time on WKCC, which was forced to cease operations because of budget constraints. The move extends the reach of WBEZ’s signal south to a potential audience of 200,000 listeners in Kankakee and Iroquois counties. Continue reading

For sale: Tribune Media puts WGN-TV studios on the market

WGN studios

WGN studios

Tribune Media plans to put another piece of Chicago real estate on the market by selling the North Side studios and offices of WGN-Channel 9, sources confirmed Wednesday.

Opened in 1961, the headquarters of “Chicago’s Very Own” occupies a 132,000 square-foot building at 2501 West Bradley Place near Western Avenue and Addison Street in the North Center neighborhood. The 10-acre property includes a large surface parking lot. Continue reading

New program director at ‘La Ley’

Victor Cerda

Victor Cerda

The man who put Spanish-language adult contemporary WPPN FM 106.7 on the air for Univision Radio is about to join rival WLEY FM 107.9.

Victor Cerda was named program director Tuesday of the Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican station, effective December 21. He succeeds Juan Tapia, who was ousted after 18 months as program director and midday personality.

“Victor has a proven track record in the Chicago market and will be solely focused on improving ratings,” said Leti Aguilera, vice president and general manager of La Ley.

During his 10-year run with Univision Radio, Cerda launched WPPN as Pasion 106.7. It’s now branded as Amor 106.7. Continue reading

CPB grant opens ‘Illinois Newsroom’

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Fortified with a $715,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, seven public radio and television stations in downstate Illinois announced formation of a regional news collaboration Monday.

With “Illinois Newsroom” as its working title, the partnership will employ eight journalists who will focus on three key topics — political issues, education, and health and environment. Stories they produce will air on partner stations and contribute to national programs such as “PBS NewsHour” and NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” Continue reading

Robservations: Another WFMT host follows Oregon trail

Peter van de Graaff

Peter van de Graaff

Robservations on the media beat:

Oregon radio has claimed another announcer from Chicago’s WFMT FM 98.7. Peter van de Graaff, chief announcer and former program director of the Window to the World Communications classical music station, has been named music director and morning host at KWAX in Eugene, Oregon, starting March 1. He’ll continue to be heard here as voice of the syndicated “Through the Night with Peter van de Graaff,” which he produces and hosts for WFMT’s Beethoven Network. In an unrelated move, announcer Suzanne Nance left WFMT in August to join KQAC in Portland, Oregon, as program director and afternoon host. “Peter is a treasure of the station and of our international radio network,” said WFMT program director David Polk. “While we’ll miss working in the same office as someone as knowledgeable and collegial as Peter, he will remain an important presence on WFMT as he has for nearly 30 years.” A Chicago native and graduate of Brigham Young University, van de Graaff joined WFMT as a staff announcer in 1988. Continue reading

Tribune drops Printers Row Journal print edition

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Say goodbye to Printers Row Journal. The premium weekly book section produced by the Chicago Tribune will cease publication at the end of the year.

December 27 will mark the final appearance of the print section, which was launched with great fanfare as a 24-page weekly supplement in 2012. In addition to books reviews, it featured author interviews, essays, literary news and a weekly work of short fiction. Continue reading