Robservations on the media beat:
Newsroom employees of the Chicago Tribune — give or take a few who were on assignment or out of town — assembled Wednesday for their 2016 class picture. Even with the recent wave of voluntary buyouts, they’re still a formidable (if not distinctly diverse) collection of some of Chicago’s most seasoned journalists. Staff photographer Michael Tercha shot the photo from atop a ladder. “We take a newsroom photo every year to commemorate the staff and our time together,” said Tribune editor Gerry Kern, who’s front and center in shirt and tie. “The Chicago Tribune staff is such a talented and courageous group, and we’re proud of the work we do.” Kern said readers enjoy seeing the photo on social media.
More than 5,600 hours of Studs Terkel radio programs from WFMT FM 98.7 will be digitized and uploaded with funding from a Kickstarter campaign launched Thursday. The Chicago History Museum and WFMT Radio Network are working together to create a free public digital archive of Terkel’s interviews, taped from 1952 to 1997 at the Window to the World Communications classical music station. “We cannot afford to lose the priceless history, insight, and intelligence that Studs Terkel captured from his studio in Chicago over the course of nearly 50 momentous and turbulent years,” Steve Robinson, general manager of WFMT, said in a statement. Terkel, Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, died in 2008.
It’s another honor for WTMX FM 101.9: The National Association of Broadcasters will recognize the Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary station with its Crystal Heritage Award. The award, to be presented April 19 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, cites stations that have won five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts. Only five other stations have ever received them. “Giving back to the community is a big part of who we are and what we do at WTMX,” said John Gallagher, vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago. “It always has been — going back to our inception and now as part of the Hubbard Radio family.”
Wednesday marked the debut of “Chicago Tonight Daily Briefing,” a weekday morning email newsletter from the producers of WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight.” The daily roundup features links to top news stories on the show’s website and previews of topics to be covered on that night’s broadcast. The morning alert replaces the afternoon e-newsletter sent to subscribers. “We’ll update info about stories in development throughout the day on the ‘Chicago Tonight’ homepage and on Twitter and Facebook,” said Anne Gleason, senior vice president of marketing and interactive media for Window to the World Communications. “We’re going to be doing more in the coming months both with the daily alert and our other platforms.”
Dick Rakovan, former Chicago radio executive and longtime industry statesman, will be saluted by the Illinois Broadcasters Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Rakovan, whose career included a stint as vice president and general manager of the former WFYR under RKO Radio in the 1980s, stepped down last November after more than 20 years as senior vice president of the Radio Advertising Bureau. “No one can ever accuse ‘Rackets’ of not having been there, done that,” Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, said in a statement. “His contribution to the radio industry in general, and particularly that of Illinois, is most admirable.” Only the fourth broadcaster ever to receive IBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Rakovan will honored at the group’s annual conference June 14 in Champaign-Urbana.