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.
Mike Adamle bid farewell to colleagues at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 Friday, marking his retirement after 40 years as a sportscaster. As he disclosed in February, Adamle, 67, has been diagnosed with dementia, which is believed to be the final stage of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), resulting from his years as a pro football player. Holding court in the newsroom for perhaps the last time, Adamle — at times tearful and at times funny — regaled co-workers with stories of his life’s adventures. “It’s OK to get out there and mingle,” he said of the challenge he faces. “If you stay in your room watching CNN . . . it’s gonna go faster. That’s the way it works. You have to engage people. And I have some of the greatest people in the world to engage with.”
The familiar voice of Steven Haas will return next month as overnight traffic reporter on CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9. Haas, who’s been dealing with health issues in recent months, is slated to be back on the air April 3 when the station unveils CBS Radio’s new traffic service with USTN (formerly Radiate Media). “I’ll be the first one on after the big ‘switch,’ ” he wrote on Facebook. “All healed and ready to go! Have faith, as God answers ALL prayers! Thanks be to God!” A native of Northwest Indiana and graduate of Purdue University Northwest, Haas began reporting traffic on WBBM Newsradio in 1988.
Wayne Besen, whose two-year run ended Friday as afternoon host on Newsweb Radio progressive talk WCPT AM 820, says he’s exploring his next venture, which “could be a show around the area or possibly national syndication.” In the meantime, he’s taking his show to Facebook Live. Starting Monday, he’ll broadcast from 2 to 3 p.m. weekdays on Facebook/wbesen and WayneBesen.com. As reported here earlier, replacing Besen from 2 to 5 p.m. weekdays on WCPT is Ben Joravsky, the veteran journalist and distinguished political writer for the Chicago Reader.
The day Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips taped his latest special for Turner Classic Movies in Atlanta turned out to be tougher than anyone could have imagined. Just as Phillips was ready to roll on March 6, word came that Robert Osborne had died that morning. The beloved host of the cable network since its inception was 84. Recalled Phillips: “A uniquely sad day in my experience, with everyone — including me — preoccupied with Robert’s passing and all the goodwill he created in his years at TCM.” Phillips will host the April “TCM Spotlight” on post-war melodramas, starting April 7 with “Love Letters,” “The Best Years of Our Lives” and “The End of the Affair.”