Robservations on the media beat:
Starting next week, there’ll be less of “You & Me” on WCIU-Channel 26. Weigel Broadcasting is trimming its weekday morning talk-and-entertainment show from three hours to two. “You & Me” will air from 6 to 8 a.m., with the syndicated “Dr. Phil” returning to the 8 a.m. slot. The move is part of an effort to realign programming on The U in advance of the fall season, according to Steve Farber, senior vice president of operations at Weigel Broadcasting. Hosted by former Chicago radio personalities Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow, “You & Me” debuted in 2009 and expanded to three hours in 2014. In the May Nielsen sweep, the show averaged a 0.2 rating (6,950 households) — half the audience it had two years ago.
Doug Banks was posthumously inducted Saturday in the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Marv Dyson, former president and general manager of WGCI FM 107.5 and WVAZ FM 102.7, presented the award to Banks’s wife, Wendy Banks, at the iHeartMedia Chicago celebration of the beloved broadcast star at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Bronzeville. Calling Banks “the best on air personality to ever crack a mic on radio in Chicago,” Dyson said: “When Doug was on, it was the best part of our day. When Doug was serious we paid attention, when Doug was funny we laughed, when Doug asked us to help we helped, and when Doug said he loved us we felt the love — and it was real.” Banks died April 11 of complications from diabetes at 57.
Thirty-four years in the making, the Alan Krashesky Era begins today at WLS-Channel 7. Following the retirement of Ron Magers, Krashesky, 55, ascends to the top job at the ABC-owned station, co-anchoring with Cheryl Burton at 5 p.m. and Kathy Brock at 6 and 10 p.m. A Philadelphia native and graduate of Ithaca College, Krashesky joined ABC 7 in 1982 as a reporter from KTBC, then a CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas. He became the first anchor of ABC 7’s weekday morning newscast in 1989, moved up to anchor the 5 p.m. newscast in 1994 and later shifted to the 4 and 6 p.m. newscasts. Rob Elgas succeeds Krashesky on the 4 p.m. newscast alongside Linda Yu.
Seven more veterans of Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720 will be enshrined Friday in the WGN Walk of Fame outside the station’s Tribune Tower studios at 435 North Michigan Avenue. This year’s inductees are: Max Armstrong, agriculture and business reporter; Floyd Brown, announcer and program host; Jim Carollo, director of engineering; Dan Fabian, program director and vice president/general manager; Marilyn Miller, producer of Wally Phillips’s morning show; Tom Petersen, news director and morning news anchor; and Dean Richards, program host, entertainment reporter and critic. Ceremonies are open to the public and will be broadcast live on WGN, starting at 10 a.m.
Bill Kurtis narrates “Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan,” a one-hour documentary about the training of U.S. Navy pilots here in the 1940s and efforts to recover their lost planes from the bottom of the lake today. It premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on WTTW-Channel 11 (with a repeat at 6 p.m. Sunday). Produced by John Davies and Harvey Moshman, the documentary is a greatly expanded and updated version of “Top Guns of ’43,” a half-hour special they produced in 1988 for the Window to the World Communications station. Just in time for Memorial Day, it’s a fascinating contribution to World War II history — and Chicago’s largely forgotten role.
Broadcast colleagues are mourning the loss of Keith Warner, a longtime Chicago radio engineer who took medical leave in 2012 as chief engineer of former Hubbard Radio adult contemporary WILV (now WSHE FM 100.3). Warner, who was 60, died Tuesday in Sumter County, Florida, after a long battle with leukemia. A Northwest Side native and graduate of Lane Tech High School, he worked for a variety of Chicago stations over several decades. Visitation will be June 2 at Willow Funeral Home, 1415 West Algonquin Road in Algonquin.