Robservations: ‘Good Day Chicago’ getting earlier start

Kristen Nicole and Natalie Bomke

Robservations on the media beat:

Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 announced plans Thursday to expand “Good Day Chicago” by 30 minutes — starting at 4 a.m. Monday through Friday — effective April 10. It means an earlier wakeup call for news anchors Kristen Nicole and Natalie Bomke. “Our energetic team is ready to deliver up-to-the-minute news, traffic and weather reports that prepare early-rising commuters to take on the day,” Matt Piacente, vice president and news director of Fox 32, said in a statement. Nielsen figures for March showed “Good Day Chicago” averaging a 0.9 rating (31,167 households) from 4:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays. Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 and NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 already start their morning newscasts at 4 a.m. Representatives of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 and CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 said they have no plans to do so at this time. Continue reading

John Farneda returns to WXRT as interim music director

John Farneda (Photo: Riverside-Brookfield Landmark)

John Farneda, who signed off after more than 30 years at WXRT FM 93.1 at the end of 2014, is returning to the CBS Radio adult album alternative station to reclaim his former position as music director — at least for a while.

Greg Solk, operations manager and program director of WXRT, announced Thursday that Farneda had been named interim music director, succeeding Kelly Ransford, who resigned to take a new job in Denver. Continue reading

VSiN lures superstar exec Bill Adee to Las Vegas startup

Bill Adee

Bill Adee, long one of Chicago journalism’s most innovative and accomplished leaders, has been hired away from the parent company of the Chicago Tribune to oversee the startup of a sports gambling network in Las Vegas.

Adee, 52, has been named chief operating officer of Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN), the first multichannel sports media company dedicated to sports gambling news and analysis. The network’s headquarters and studios are at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas. Continue reading

Robservations: WGN Radio names 10 Walk of Fame honorees

WGN Radio Walk of Fame

Robservations on the media beat:

Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, the late, legendary sportscasters on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720, will be among 10 honorees added this year to the WGN Radio Walk of Fame. Others are overnight host Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield. They’ll join other WGN stars enshrined with bronze plaques embedded in front of Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue. The induction ceremony May 25 will air live at 10 a.m. on WGN. Continue reading

Robservations: Health scare for WGN’s Steve Cochran

Steve Cochran

Robservations on the media beat:

Chicago radio morning star Steve Cochran was released over the weekend after two days in the hospital for treatment of blood clots in his lungs. Tests showed the clot source was behind his left knee. Earlier in the week he had been under care for bronchitis and shortness of breath. Cochran, 56, said he expects to be back on the air Monday on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720, but may broadcast from home. “Serena Williams, Regis Philbin and me — what do we have in common?” he said. “Not much . . . but we’ve all had blood clots. DVT (deep vein thrombosis), PE (pulmonary embolism) — all quite serious, but I’m lucky as mine are meds controlled.” In 2012 Cochran felt chest pain while on the air at Salem Media news/talk WIND AM 560 and drove himself to the hospital. Continue reading

Robservations: Nielsen may drop Kenosha from Chicago radio ratings

Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Robservations on the media beat:

A new map for Chicago radio? Sources say there’s an effort underway among local broadcasters to eliminate Kenosha County, Wisconsin, from the Chicago metro market defined by Nielsen Audio. Along with the addition of Jasper County, Indiana, the proposal would more closely align the radio market with Nielsen’s Chicago television DMA (Designated Market Area). The biggest hit would be felt by Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 since it derives up to one-third of its ratings from its simulcast signal on WWDV FM 96.9, blasting into Kenosha and licensed to Zion. “This really is about creating a level playing field,” according to one source, who said the Kenosha boost gives The Drive an unfair edge over other Chicago FM stations. If nine out of 12 Nielsen subscriber groups vote to approve the change, the new boundaries could take effect later this year. Continue reading

Robservations: CSN hires David DeJesus as Cubs studio analyst

David DeJesus

Robservations on the media beat:

Look for former Chicago Cubs outfielder David DeJesus to be tapped as Cubs pre-game and post-game analyst on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, alongside host David Kaplan. He’ll replace Todd Hollandsworth, who was the network’s studio analyst for seven seasons before he was named color analyst for the Miami Marlins on Fox Sports Florida. DeJesus, who was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2013, later played for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels. Continue reading