Robservations on the media beat:
Longtime WLS-Channel 7 news anchor Hosea Sanders, who’s been out since February for treatment of prostate cancer, returned to the ABC-owned station Wednesday. He was expected back on the 7 p.m. weeknight newscast he co-anchors with Cheryl Burton, produced by ABC 7 for Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26. “While I still have a long way to go on this current cancer battle, I’m excited to return to sharing your company and telling your stories,” he wrote on Facebook. “Thanks for your continued and much-appreciated support!” Sanders, 60, a 23-year veteran of ABC 7, also is slated to co-host live coverage of the 88th annual Bud Billiken Parade August 12 along with Burton and Jim Rose.
Chicago broadcasting may have another family dynasty in the making: Elise Menaker, a sports anchor and reporter at NBC affiliate WTMJ in Milwaukee, is joining Big Ten Network as a sideline reporter covering college sports. She’s the younger sister of Michelle “Showbiz Shelly” Menaker, morning co-host and entertainment reporter on CBS Radio Top 40 WBBM FM 96.3. Both North Shore natives graduated from New Trier High School and have degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
“Saturday Night Live: The Experience,” a multimedia exhibit celebrating four decades of the NBC comedy show, may be coming this fall to Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. Billed as an “immersive experience,” including sets, props, costumes and other artifacts, the exhibit first opened in New York in 2015. Officials hope it’ll boost attendance at the museum, which narrowly escaped foreclosure, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, by securing an extension on a $2.5 million mortgage payment that was originally due in December.
Chicago’s Better Government Association has become the exclusive Illinois affiliate of PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking initiative launched by Poynter Institute’s Tampa Bay Times. PolitiFact researches and rates claims made by politicians, public figures and pundits. It previously partnered with Reboot Illinois under former publisher Madeleine Doubek, who now serves as director of policy and civic engagement for the BGA. Said BGA president and CEO Andy Shaw: “We view the addition of PolitiFact as a critical tool in carrying out our mission as a watchdog shining a light on the credibility of those we as taxpayers entrust, or consider entrusting, to manage government resources wisely, fairly and efficiently.”
Colleagues are mourning the loss of Joe Collins, veteran Chicago radio traffic reporter, who died Tuesday of congestive heart failure. Collins, who was 58, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 2006. Best known for his long run as traffic reporter on CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9, Collins was beloved as a gracious friend and a consummate professional over more than 30 years in the business. Also active in the Chicago theater community, he was a graduate of Marist High School and St. Xavier University.