Robservations on the media beat:
Business must be bad even for Crain’s Chicago Business: Three newsroom positions were eliminated Monday at the privately-owned weekly business publication and website. Forced out in the cost-cutting move were two assistant managing editors — Tom Corfman, who led coverage of government and politics, and Craig Newman, who headed daily news and digital operations. Corfman first joined Crain’s in 1997 and returned in 2006 after six years at the Chicago Tribune. Newman was managing editor of the Sun-Times before joining Crain’s last March. Also laid off was copy editor Richard Skews, who signed on last February after 35 years at Advertising Age.
The launch of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in national syndication 30 years ago and its remarkable rise to daytime dominance and cultural phenomenon is the subject of a three-part podcast produced by Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5. Hosted by Jenn White, “Making Oprah” features interviews with key players at the time, including Phil Donahue, Dennis Swanson, Debbie DiMaio and Winfrey herself. The three weekly episodes are at wbez.org and on the WBEZ app via Apple App Store and Google Play.
John Chase, a Chicago Tribune investigative reporter specializing in politics and government, has been hired as deputy director of investigations at the Better Government Association. The move reunites him with Bob Secter, another Tribune veteran recently named director of investigations at the nonprofit government watchdog agency. Secter called his colleague “a dogged and skilled practitioner of the trade.” Before joining the Tribune in 1998, Chase was a reporter for the Daily Herald and City News Bureau of Chicago.
Slowly but surely Pete McMurray seems to be making his way back to Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720. The Chicago radio veteran had spent 20 months away as morning host at Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 (alongside Dan McNeil most of that time). On Wednesday McMurray is slated to fill in for WGN morning personality Steve Cochran. And that’s only the beginning. Look for McMurray to be back subbing for Cochran on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, too.
A deep bow to the great Bill Plante, CBS News senior White House correspondent, who’s retiring after a distinguished 52-year run with the network. The Chicago native and graduate of Loyola University joined CBS News in 1964 and was a correspondent in the Chicago bureau from 1966 to 1976. Except for four years as State Department correspondent, he has covered every president since Ronald Reagan. On personal note, Plante was a charter member of the Walter Cronkite Fan Club, founded by a young admirer from Skokie in 1972. Godspeed, Bill.
Glenn DuBose, a renown producer of arts programming for local and national audiences at Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11 and across the PBS spectrum, died Thursday of melanoma in Miami Beach at 81. In addition to specials on Doris Day, Patti LaBelle, Etta James and others, his productions at WTTW spotlighted Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Hubbard Street Dance. He also worked for WNET in New York and helped launch CBS Cable. At PBS DuBose rose to national director of arts programming before retiring in 2008.