Chicago radio ratings: Christmas puts WLIT on top again

Kristina Kage and Edison the Reindeer

Kristina Kage and Edison the Reindeer

While most of Chicago radio went home for the holidays, it was another December to remember for WLIT FM 93.9 and its annual Christmas music marathon.

Making merry for more than 3.6 million listeners, the iHeart Media adult contemporary station doubled its audience share from the previous month and rose to the top of the pack, according to Nielsen Audio ratings released Tuesday for December 3 to 30. Continue reading

Lori Rackl named Tribune travel editor

Lori Rackl

Lori Rackl

Eleven months after she accepted a voluntary buyout from the Sun-Times and stepped down as TV critic, Lori Rackl is back in the daily newspaper business.

Rackl starts Wednesday as editor of the Chicago Tribune’s travel section, a position she previously held at the Sun-Times. She succeeds Ross Werland, who accepted a buyout at the end of last year. Rackl also will serve as editor of the Tribune’s health and family section. Continue reading

ABC 7 offers grief support to staffers

Anne Swaney

Anne Swaney

Grief management professionals will be on hand at WLS-Channel 7 Tuesday and Wednesday to help employees cope with the sudden loss of their colleague, Anne Swaney, who was executive producer of online operations at the ABC-owned station.

Swaney, 39, was found murdered last week in Belize near the resort where she was vacationing. Police were continuing to search the area where her body was found. Continue reading

Robservations: Kris Kelley remembered for legacy of talent

Kris Kelley

Kris Kelley

Robservations on the media beat:

The radio world was saddened Sunday by news of the untimely death of Kris Kelley, former midday personality on urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7 and former program director of urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 and Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5. Kelley, who was 45, was found dead last week in her Philadelphia apartment, according to published reports. A 15-year employee of Clear Channel Radio, the predecessor of iHeart Media, Kelley exited the company in December 2013. “While Kris Kelley took great pride in her ratings, her joy came from discovering new talent and developing leaders,” Tony Coles, senior vice president/programming for iHeart Media, wrote on Facebook. “She did not make the process easy for them – because she knew that getting what you really want is never an easy process. She left us too soon, but we are so thankful for her legacy.” Continue reading

WGN sportscaster Rich King announces retirement

Rich King

Rich King

After 48 years in the business, veteran Chicago sportscaster Rich King is ready to call it quits. King announced Sunday he plans to retire June 15 as sports anchor and reporter at Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9.

“I still feel I am in top form and could go on for a year or two, but it is better to go out on your feet instead of being carted out the door feet first on a stretcher,” he wrote on Facebook. Continue reading

ABC 7 producer murdered in Belize

Anne Swaney, executive producer of online operations at WLS-Channel 7, was found murdered Friday while vacationing in Belize, the ABC-owned station reported Friday.

Swaney, 39, who was traveling in the Cayo district of western Belize, was staying at the Nabitunich Farm near the town of San Jose Succotz, according to an ABC 7 report. The hotel owner told the station he had reported Swaney missing Thursday and that her body was discovered by police Friday near the hotel. Continue reading

Norm Winer moves to new role at ’XRT

Norm Winer

Norm Winer

Capping an unparalleled run as program director of WXRT FM 93.1, Norm Winer has shifted to a new role at the adult album alternative station he has led with distinction since 1979.

CBS Radio Chicago announced Wednesday that Winer has been named director of music initiatives and special programming at WXRT. The newly created position is intended to capitalize on Winer’s “years of experience and expertise stewarding the WXRT brand,” according to the company’s statement. Continue reading