Top anchorman Ron Magers retiring from ABC 7, insiders say

Ron Magers

Ron Magers

Ron Magers, anchorman of Chicago’s top-rated newscasts at 5 and 10 p.m. and one of the city’s most respected newsmen for more than three decades, is planning to retire this year, sources said.

Insiders at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 said Magers, 71, could step down as soon as this summer, if all goes as planned. The move is believed to be entirely voluntary by Magers, who’s widely regarded as the best in the business and still at the top of his game. Continue reading

Sun-Times owner Michael Ferro buys $44.4 million stake in Tribune

Michael Ferro

Michael Ferro

Chicago’s two daily newspapers may have moved a step closer to common ownership Thursday with the stunning announcement of a $44.4 million investment in Tribune Publishing by Michael Ferro, a principal owner of the Sun-Times.

With Ferro’s Merrick Media becoming the largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing stock and Ferro being named non-executive chairman of the board, the eventual merger of the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times would appear inevitable. Continue reading

WTTW cuts two execs for ‘budgetary reasons’

Window to the World Communications

Window to the World Communications

Two senior management positions at WTTW-Channel 11 were eliminated this week in response to a budgetary shortfall at parent company Window to the World Communications.

Parke Richeson, senior vice president of WTTW National Productions and a 27-year veteran of the company, and Mark Jahnke, vice president and chief technology officer at WTTW, were the highest profile employees affected by the latest reductions. Continue reading

Ex-Chicago journalist tied to fake quotes in stories

Juan Thompson

Juan Thompson

A former Chicago journalist has been linked to a “pattern of deception” involving fabricating quotes and creating fake email accounts while writing for The Intercept, a New York-based online publication.

Juan Thompson, whose employment as a staff reporter for The Intercept ended last month, previously worked as an intern at Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5 and at DNAinfo.com Chicago. (In his bio, he exaggerated his roles with both Chicago companies.) Continue reading

Robservations: Tribune spins political newsletter

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Robservations on the media beat:

The field of political newsletters in Chicago keeps getting more crowded. Latest to enter the race for readers is the Chicago Tribune. Morning Spin, the Tribune’s political briefing posted online every weekday, is now available as an email newsletter. Monday also marks the official launch of Crain’s On Politics, a Monday-through-Friday political newsletter from Crain’s Chicago Business. Other notable players include Politico Illinois Playbook from politico.com, Daily Tip Off from RebootIllinois.com, and the subscription newsletters Aldertrack.com and CapitolFax.com. Think this might be an election year? Continue reading

WGN’s Matt Bubala joins DNAinfo as broadcast editor

Matt Bubala

Matt Bubala

Matt Bubala, weekend host and former producer at WGN AM 720, has been hired as broadcast editor of DNAinfo.com Chicago, the hyperlocal news operation covering Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Starting next week, Bubala will head the site’s broadcast division, with duties including embedding interviews, creating podcasts and delivering neighborhood news segments on WGN, the Tribune Media news/talk station. Continue reading

Tribune’s Michael Phillips hosts WFMT series on great movie music

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Throughout the month of February, Chicago’s classical music station will be going to the movies — musically speaking — with Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips.

Leading up to the 88th annual Academy Awards on February 28, WFMT FM 98.7 will air a daily feature on great music from the movies, hosted by Phillips, who will share his favorite compositions written for films from the 1930s through the present. Continue reading