Robservations on the media beat:
Here’s hoping it’s always sunny in Philadelphia for meteorologist Tammie Souza, who’s just been hired by NBC-owned WCAU there. Souza will sign off at the end of February after six years at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. “A once in a lifetime opportunity was offered to me several months ago and after deep prayer and much family discussion I have accepted a dream job as a meteorologist on NBC10 in Philadelphia,” she told friends on Facebook. “My bosses at Fox have been supportive and the decision to leave was entirely mine.” This was Souza’s second stint in Chicago, following a six-year run at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and two years at Fox 32. She returned to Fox 32 in 2011.
On Thursday iHeartMedia Chicago filled a longstanding vacancy at urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 with the promotion of Johnnie D to program director. Since 2015 Johnnie D (whose real name is Johnnie Glover) has been assistant program director of WGCI and urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7. “It’s a pleasure to recognize Johnnie’s hard work with this promotion, and it certainly comes with great expectations as he manages all facets of the 107.5 WGCI FM brand,” Derrick Brown, director of urban programming for iHeartMedia Chicago, said in a statement. The Chicago native previously held programming jobs at Crawford Broadcasting urban contemporary WPWX FM 92.3 and stations in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.
Mark Edwards, the digital marketing consultant and former Chicago radio programmer, nailed the folks at tronc for some pretty dumb — if not deceptive — marketing Wednesday. The subject line of an email he received offering a digital subscription to the Chicago Tribune teased: “Start 2017 on a smart note! Only $1.25 for 1 year of digital access.” Only near the bottom of the ad did it clarify the deal was for $1.25 a week — not an entire year. For hours Edwards got the runaround while trying to get someone at tronc to make good on the offer. He recounts his ordeal in a sharply critical blog post headlined: “Sloppy Email Can Cost Your Business Millions.”
Terry Boers, retiring after 25 years at CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670, will be saluted with “Toast to Terry” from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday. The invitation-only event, featuring appearances by past and present hosts of The Score, will originate from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage at CBS Radio studios in Two Prudential Plaza. Boers, a former Sun-Times sports columnist, was among the hosts who launched The Score on January 2, 1992. No word yet on his replacement alongside afternoon partner Dan Bernstein.
Tom O’Toole, an enduring voice of rock radio in Chicago for 40 years, is filling in as afternoon host on WLS FM 94.7 while the Cumulus Media classic hits station awaits a permanent replacement for Robert Murphy. Murphy, whose contract was not renewed, signed off last Friday after three years at the station. Although sources insist a deal already is set, program director Brian Thomas said: “We have some interesting candidates that have surfaced in and out of the market.” O’Toole, who’s been a weekend and fill-in host at WLS since 2009, was the first morning man on WLUP FM 97.9 way back in 1977.
David Kaplan, veteran sportscaster on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and ESPN Radio WMVP AM 1000, has written Lovable Winners: Bryant, Rizzo, and the Rise of the Cubs. Billed as “the definitive account of a new era on the North Side,” the book (originally titled The Plan: Epstein, Maddon and the Audacious Blueprint for a Cubs Dynasty) chronicles the steps leading to the 2016 World Series championship and features exclusive interviews with Theo Epstein, Tom Ricketts and other team insiders. Published by Triumph Books, the 256-page hardcover will be released in March. Pre-orders are available on Amazon.
An on-air image campaign for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 is targeting fake news, according to a post Wednesday on NewscastStudio.com. “Now more than ever, the news you count on has to be the news you can trust. So where has Chicago always turned?” an announcer says as members of the public are shown meeting ABC 7 news anchors. Shots include enthusiastic viewers greeting and hugging anchors on the set, “while the voiceover and viewer interview clips focus on the station’s accuracy and dependability,” the report says. Here is one of the commercials: