Robservations on the media beat:
You may be thinking about Labor Day, but the folks at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 already have their plans for New Year’s Eve. For the second consecutive year, NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago WSNS-Channel 44 will broadcast “Chi-Town Rising,” the outdoor countdown and music special live on December 31. “We’re thrilled that the city of Chicago is supporting this great New Year’s Eve celebration once again, and look forward to bringing the broadcast to our viewers who can experience the excitement from home and from giant monitors around the downtown area,” David Doebler, president and general manager of NBC 5, said in a statement Thursday. Last year’s event won the ratings for NBC 5, with 594,000 households tuned in at midnight.
Dean Richards, veteran entertainment reporter for Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9 and WGN AM 720, will host “An Evening with Tom Dreesen: Celebrating a Life in Comedy” from 6 to 8 p.m. September 27 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. Dreesen, the pride of Harvey, Illinois, will be honored for his 48 years in show business and his extraordinary legacy in standup comedy and philanthropic activities. Tickets are on sale at museum.tv.
That’s Marianne Murciano gracing the cover of the new edition of Modern Luxury NS. The veteran Chicago broadcaster and Wilmette resident, who now spends most of her time running the food blog Suso’s Fork, is among six North Shore tastemakers and trendsetters profiled in the issue’s feature on Women of Style. “Jewel tones and color matter a lot — they’re eye candy to me,” she says. Radio note: Murciano and her husband, longtime on-air partner Bob Sirott, are filling in next week for morning hosts Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens from 5 to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Friday on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890.
Midnight Thursday marked the return of WGN-Channel 9 to fully independent status after more than two decades of network affiliation. With the move away from The CW Network now official, the Tribune Media station unveiled what a spokeswoman called its “new interim logo.” More local programming is expected to follow. Coinciding with the change, Fox-owned WPWR-Channel 50 picks up CW programming and rebrands itself CW50.
DePaul University men’s basketball will continue to air on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670 under a three-year extension announced Thursday. “We are so proud of our partnership with DePaul athletics to carry men’s basketball games on The Score for the 20th consecutive season,” Mitch Rosen, operations director of The Score, said in a statement. “Over the years DePaul has become part of the DNA of The Score in play-by-play sports. The relationship with [athletic director] Jean Lenti Ponsetto and her staff demonstrates the strong bond between the university and the radio station.” The season opens November 13 against Robert Morris.
Sad to note the passing of Bob Reichblum, respected television news and programming executive and media strategist, who died Monday, nine months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was 58. A former executive producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and vice president of programming at CNBC, Reichblum was chief executive officer of Chicago-based WebFN, a digital and broadcast business news venture of Weigel Broadcasting and Bridge Information Systems, from 2000 to 2003. Earlier in his career he was a news director and executive producer for stations in Miami, Washington, D.C., Detroit and Philadelphia. Funeral services were Wednesday in Skokie.