Robservations on the media beat:
Just in from New York, radio veteran Ron Parker hits the air today as new afternoon personality on WLS FM 94.7, the Cumulus Media classic hits station. The Bronx native most recently worked for Sirius XM Radio and at WNSH and WCBS FM in New York. Previous markets included San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Tallahassee. “Ron is one of the premier talents of the classic hits format and has always achieved ratings success,” Brian Thomas, program director of WLS FM, said in a statement. The two worked together earlier at WNSH and WCBS. Hosting from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays, Parker replaces Robert Murphy, who signed off December 30 after his contract was not renewed.
Steve Stewart just added a third job to his busy schedule. In addition to doubling as program director and midday personality at iHeartMedia country WEBG FM 95.5, Stewart has signed on as host of “The Road,” the long-running live country music show syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks. His hiring coincides with Big 95.5 becoming the flagship radio home of “The Road,” where it airs from 10 p.m. to midnight Saturdays. Calling it “a dream come true,” Stewart wrote on Facebook: “I can’t tell you how excited I am to host this show. I have been a fan of ‘The Road’ for so long and to be able to be the new host on stations across the country is a huge honor.”
Melissa Kennedy has announced her resignation after seven years as marketing manager of Weigel Broadcasting, Chicago-based parent company of WCIU-Channel 26 and Me-TV, among other digital networks. She told friends she’ll be joining Zacuto, a filmmaker equipment company, to lead the launch of a new division focused on content acquisition and web distribution. A graduate of Columbia College, Kennedy previously worked as promotions manager at CBS Radio all news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9.
It’s taken 30 years, but credit Tom Taylor Now with getting the legendary Sherman Kaplan to reveal the real story about how he covered the funeral of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington for Newsradio 780 in 1987: “Rather than send someone along with the cortège and then to the burial, I was asked to provide a description from the anchor desk,” Kaplan recalled. “We had TV monitors in the studio, so I could see everything the cameras covered. I was able to fill in the blanks as the funeral, the prayers at graveside and the lowering of his casket into the ground took place. I never claimed that I was anywhere near the cemetery, nor did I say that I wasn’t. Later that evening, when I was home, a friend called to say he was surprised that I was back doing street coverage. No one else ever asked, and I have not told this story until now.”