Robservations: Entercom takes over CBS Radio today

Jimmy deCastro

Robservations on the media beat:


Look for Jimmy deCastro to hit the ground running as the new senior vice president and Chicago market manager of Entercom, which officially takes over CBS Radio today. The veteran Chicago radio impresario has an ambitious agenda to boost ratings and revenues at the company’s seven stations here. Staffers bid farewell Thursday to Tim Pohlman, who held the job since January 2016. The $1.7 billion merger with Entercom effectively ends the CBS Radio brand, which dates back to 1927 when Chicago native William S. Paley and his family bought a struggling network of 16 stations called the Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System. Now it’s history.

Jeff Mayes

Not everyone at the Chicago Sun-Times will be making the move this weekend to the new headquarters at 30 North Racine Avenue. Jeff Mayes, editor of the Sun-Times Wire 24-hour breaking news service, was laid off Tuesday as part of a newsroom restructuring. He also was editor of the paper’s Homicide Watch website. A graduate of Valparaiso University, Mayes joined the Sun-Times as news editor of the Red Streak in 2003 after seven years as sports editor of the Post-Tribune in Merrillville, Indiana. No other newsroom positions were affected, sources said.

Kerry Lester

Staffers at the Daily Herald will learn today which of their colleagues will be leaving next week. Employees who have applied for voluntary buyouts will be notified if they’ve been accepted. In an effort to reduce operating expenses, Paddock Publications has offered one week of severance pay for each year of employment up to a maximum of 26 weeks, along with health benefits paid for three months. The only announced participant so far is columnist and senior writer Kerry Lester.

Cheryl Burton and Alan Krashesky

You’ve got four chances to catch WLS-Channel 7’s hourlong special on the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the 26th annual kickoff to the holiday season. In addition to airing it live at 6 p.m. Saturday, the ABC-owned station will rebroadcast the event at 4 p.m. December 2, 11 p.m. December 9, and 1 p.m. December 10. It also will be streamed live and on demand at Hosting the broadcast of the parade, musical performances and fireworks will be ABC 7 news anchors Cheryl Burton and Alan Krashesky.

Saturday Night Live: The Experience

Former “Saturday Night Live” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney will join Steve Cochran when he broadcasts his WGN AM 720 morning show Tuesday from the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. That’s the site of Saturday Night Live: The Experience, an immersive multimedia exhibition taking visitors behind the scenes of the late-night comedy series. In the coming months other hosts from the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station, including Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder, John Williams, and Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes, will originate their shows from the exhibit.

Thursday’s best comment: Greg Cameron: Carol Marin lost Chet Coppock?! She’ll never work in this town again!