Robservations on the media beat:
While WGN AM 720 continues to negotiate for Chicago White Sox radio rights, the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station is adjusting its weekend sports lineup. Joe Brand will anchor sports on Saturday mornings as part of Lou Manfredini’s “Mr. Fixit Show” and “The John Williams Show.” Brand, who graduated from Marist High School and Illinois State University, has been the play-by-play voice of the Kane County Cougars since 2014. Also at WGN, Andy Masur will join “The Dean Richards Show” as Sunday morning sports anchor. As for the White Sox, they’re losing their current radio home on news/talk WLS AM 890 as owner Cumulus Media reorganizes from bankruptcy. Announcement of a new station is expected any day.
Northwestern University was rocked Wednesday by an open letter signed by 10 former Medill School of Journalism students accusing a prominent professor of workplace abuses and predatory behavior. The letter to Medill Dean Bradley J. Hamm demanded the ouster of Alec Klein, citing “discriminatory, emotionally and verbally abusive behavior.” Klein, who runs the wrongful conviction project at Medill, “categorically” denied the allegations and said he intends to take legal action — but did not specify against whom. Northwestern says it will review the allegations.
Citing declining enrollment, Columbia College Chicago has suspended admissions to its master’s degree program in journalism for the 2018-19 academic year. There were six students in the program this year and only 10 applicants for the next academic year, according to a college spokesman. Columbia’s undergraduate journalism and communications programs are not affected by the move. A new graduate opportunity – the Civic Media master’s degree program — will be launched in January 2019. “We’ll also be looking closely at other graduate-level offerings in journalism,” said spokesman Mark Rosati.
Chas Goudie, who founded the Chicago-based digital news website TheSixThirty.com with his brother Keegan Goudie, has been hired as a digital media specialist at the Sun-Times. Chas Goudie will develop new media projects, according to Carol Fowler, senior vice president of digital news products. He is the son of Chuck Goudie, veteran chief investigative reporter at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.
Rick Kogan, the Chicago Tribune columnist and WGN weekend host, will moderate “Conversations in Comedy,” a panel on “Saturday Night Live” and The Second City, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The March 8 event will feature SNL and Second City alum Tim Kazurinsky, Second City’s Kelly Leonard and Beth Kligerman, and Anne Libera, director of comedy studies at Columbia College. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Second City,” said Justin Kulovsek, the museum’s vice president of innovation. “So many cast members from ‘Saturday Night Live’ got their start on Second City’s stage.” For ticket information see museum.tv.
Wednesday’s best comment: Walter J. Podrazik: Your headline [“Tronc’s Michael Ferro bids L.A. goodbye”] got me humming the 1970s Ides of March tune “L.A. Goodbye,” and thinking the new L.A. owners might be smiling at that song’s lyrical reference to being “light years from Chicago.”