Robservations on the media beat:
The start of White Sox baseball on WLS AM 890 Monday also will bring a new weeknight lineup to the Cumulus Media news/talk station. Michael Savage, whose syndicated talk show previously aired from 6 to 9 p.m., is trading places with syndicated talker Mark Levin, who’s been on from 9 p.m. to midnight. On nights when the shows are preempted by White Sox broadcasts, they’re expected to stream online in their entirety. Peter Bowen, vice president and Chicago market manager of Cumulus Media, called the timeslot swap “an internal programming decision,” but declined further comment. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WLS ranked 17th in evenings with a 2.5 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 122,900.
Monday also marks Opening Day for Cubs baseball on WSCR AM 670, with the CBS Radio sports/talk station going all out to promote its new partnership. The iconic voice of Wayne Messmer will be heard on the The Score’s imaging, and local band Tributosaurus has composed a new theme song for the station’s Cubs broadcasts. Pre-game and post-game shows also are being expanded. “We are truly honored and privileged to be the flagship for Cubs baseball,” said Mitch Rosen, operations director of The Score. “The tradition and the way the organization has built this team both on and off the field have the possibilities of being an historic season, and for The Score to be part of that will be amazing for our listeners.”
Nominations are open for the National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Suggestions are being solicited by email at email@example.com in these categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more); Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality; and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality. “This is one of the best times in preparing for the induction ceremony because we get to see firsthand the tremendous amount of talented people who deserve recognition,” Kraig Kitchin, Radio Hall of Fame chairman, said in a statement. “It’s a proud moment for everyone involved.” Induction ceremonies will be November 17 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Chris Petlak, social media manager at Hubbard Radio Chicago, and Chicago actor Jim Kozyra are creators, writers, co-executive producers and stars of “The Jamz,” an original online comedy series produced by New York Television Festival’s NYTVF Productions. Set in Chicago’s fictional top-rated radio station, the workplace sitcom centers on a couple of incompetent late-night disc jockeys hoping for a shot at the coveted morning slot. The first four half-hour episodes will premiere at a screening Monday at the Logan Theatre, 2646 North Milwaukee Avenue. Eric Ferguson, morning host at WTMX FM 101.9, will moderate a panel with the cast and producers after the screening. “The Jamz” debuts April 12 on iTunesTV.
Eminent Chicago journalist Larry Green, former executive editor of the Sun-Times, has joined Injustice Watch as senior reporter. The not-for-profit media organization works to “expose institutional failures that stand in the way of a just and fair society.” The group’s co-founder and co-director (with Rick Tulsky) is Rob Warden, who worked with Green at the former Chicago Daily News in the 1970s. Green also was Chicago bureau chief and national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and publisher of Pioneer Press newspapers and NorthShore magazine.
Candace Jordan, the Chicago Tribune “Candid Candace” social columnist and ChicagoNow blogger, has been named 2016 Woman of Vision for Eversight Illinois. She will be honored by the group dedicated to preservation and restoration of sight June 23 at the Peninsula Chicago, 108 East Superior Street. “As a member of the media community, I am acutely aware of how extraordinary the gift of sight can be,” Jordan said in a statement. “The work this organization is doing to ensure greater access to vision for anyone in need is something I deeply respect and support.”
Longtime arts and entertainment writer Mark Caro, who knows a thing or two about comedy from his years on the beat at the Chicago Tribune, is hosting an intriguing film series at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue. “Is It Still Funny?” is the title of his four-week series at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, starting April 12. Caro will screen the classic comedies “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978), “Blazing Saddles” (1974), “Duck Soup” (1933) and “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), and weigh in afterwards on whether each stands the test of time.
Chicago radio colleagues are mourning the death of Dave Mitchell, 60, longtime news anchor and traffic reporter at CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9, and former news director and morning news anchor at Moody Radio Christian talk WMBI FM 90.1. Mitchell was killed Sunday morning when the car he was driving on Interstate 65 struck a concrete median wall near 61st Avenue in Merrillville, Indiana, according to police reports. A full-time broadcaster since 1973, Mitchell joined WBBM Newsradio in 1992. He worked at WMBI until 2013.