Robservations on the media beat:
WGN AM 720 will celebrate the life and legacy of talk show host Milt Rosenberg, starting at 8 p.m. tonight. Hosted by Justin Kaufmann, the special broadcast will include tributes from Lorna Gladstone, former program director of the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station, Bruce DuMont, first producer of Rosenberg’s “Extension 720,” and Joe Morris, Rosenberg’s close friend and frequent guest, among others. “The show will be filled with classic interviews and conversation about his lasting impact on Chicago and American radio,” said Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content and programming at WGN. Rosenberg, who was pushed out of WGN after 39 years in 2012, died Tuesday at 92.
For the eighth time in 21 years, Chicago Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes has been named 2017 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. He shares the honor this year with Mark Giangreco, longtime sports anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. “I’d like to dedicate this award to three special parties,” Hughes said in a statement. “First, I have the best announcing partner in baseball in Ron Coomer. We both work for the finest executive producer in America, and that is Mitch Rosen. And, the Chicago Cubs fans are the sweetest listening audience on the planet. They all share this award with me, along with Mark Giangreco.”
After 14 years on the Chicago Bears beat for Entercom all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9, Zach Zaidman is shifting to pre-game and post-game host of Chicago Cubs broadcasts on sports/talk WSCR AM 670. He’s trading places with Mark Grote, who moves to the Bears after three years with the Cubs. Zaidman starts his new role this weekend, hosting from the 2018 Cubs Convention from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday on The Score. “Extremely grateful for my time covering the Bears,” he tweeted. “It’s been quite the journey. Excited to join the Cubs broadcast team.”
Twenty years after he was forced out as president and general manager of NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, Lyle Banks is back in the business. Meredith Corp. this week named him vice president and general manager of its two stations in Atlanta — CBS affiliate WGCL and independent WPCH. Banks most recently was a consultant. His rocky tenure at NBC 5 ended in January 1998 after the hiring of talk show host Jerry Springer as a commentator led to the resignations of top news anchors Carol Marin and Ron Magers.
Bob Veasey, producer of WLS-Channel 7’s top-rated 6 p.m. weekday newscast, is retiring February 9 after 35 years at the ABC-owned station. Veasey joined ABC 7 as a weekend producer from CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and worked closely with legendary anchorman Floyd Kalber. “It’s staggering to think about the amount of history Bob’s witnessed from his producer chair,” Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director of ABC 7, told staffers Wednesday. “His deep knowledge of Chicago news, inquisitive mind and commitment to our product has made him a true leader in our newsroom.”
Mazel tov to Bill Zwecker, veteran Sun-Times columnist and entertainment reporter for Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, and longtime partner Realtor Tom Gorman. They tied the knot last month in a private ceremony officiated by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. “Yes, after 17½ years . . . it did seem like it was time to make it official!” Zwecker told me.
Correction: In Tuesday’s post I mistakenly described the new 11 a.m. newscast on Telemundo Chicago WSNS-Channel 44 as “Chicago’s first Spanish-language midday newscast.” In fact, Univision Chicago WGBO-Channel 66 was first with its 11:30 a.m. newscast, which premiered last June.
Wednesday’s best comment: Christopher FitzHenry Robling: I loved you, Milt. Farewell. Thank you for your interviews, programs, insights and jokes. You set a standard few will ever reach. We will never forget your many other distinctions, and among them: 2008 National Humanities Medalist Milton J. Rosenberg. (Here is the link.)