Gene Siskel among nine named to TV Academy’s Silver Circle

Gene Siskel

Gene Siskel

Gene Siskel, the late, great Chicago journalist who redefined film criticism in America along with dueling colleague Roger Ebert, will be honored this spring with induction into the Silver Circle of the Chicago Television Academy.

Siskel’s long-overdue recognition will acknowledge his work as film critic for CBS 2 news and “CBS This Morning,” and his legendary 24-year partnership with Ebert on their nationally syndicated movie-review show. Siskel, who also was a critic and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, died in 1999. (Ebert, who was inducted into the Silver Circle in 2005, died in 2013.) Continue reading

Robservations: Hubbard Radio cuts four Chicago jobs

Paul Webber

Paul Webber

Robservations on the media beat:

Paul Webber, who excelled in a number of key programming, production and marketing jobs over 23 years at Hubbard Radio and its predecessor, was among four Chicago staffers cut this week in layoffs at the company. Webber most recently doubled as direct marketing manager for the three-station group and assistant program director of adult contemporary WSHE FM 100.3 and classic rock WDRV FM 97.1. Colleagues say he’s one of the best in the business. Also cut were the jobs of veteran production director John Siuntres, promotions assistant Ryan Williams and graphic designer Bianca Cordova. Jeff England, newly named vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, said the layoffs were not tied to a revenue shortfall. “We’re always trying to improve how we serve our listeners, our clients, our community, and operational efficiencies mean trying to do it more profitably,” he said. “But I wouldn’t characterize it as a cut because of disappointing revenue results or anything like that.” Continue reading

Terry Boers retiring from ‘greatest job’ after 25 years at The Score

Terry Boers

Terry Boers

Terry Boers, one of Chicago’s most enduring and outspoken sports radio personalities, made it official Tuesday: He’s hanging it up in January after 25 years at CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670.

“As I write this, I’m 66 years old and I’m going to retire, leaving behind one of the greatest jobs you can have, talking sports or movies or TV or life for five hours a day on a station I couldn’t be prouder of,” Boers wrote in a lengthy blog post titled “It’s Time To Say Goodbye.” Continue reading

Tribune Media moving to Wacker Drive

303 East Wacker Drive

303 East Wacker Drive

With the impending sale of its iconic Tribune Tower headquarters, Tribune Media will be packing up and moving its offices across the Chicago River to the bland and boxy Illinois Center complex next year.

A Tribune Media spokesman confirmed Monday that the company has leased two full floors of the 28-story high-rise at 303 East Wacker Drive. The move will be completed in the third quarter of 2017, according to Gary Weitman, senior vice president/corporate relations. Continue reading

ABC 7 sweeps late-news ratings in November

Alan Krashesky and Kathy Brock

Alan Krashesky and Kathy Brock

WLS-Channel 7 won Chicago’s 10 p.m. news ratings race in overall viewership and narrowly edged out its closest competitor to capture the top spot among viewers between 25 and 54 in the just-completed November sweep.

The victory for the ABC-owned station coincided with the first Nielsen sweep since Alan Krashesky succeeded Ron Magers as 10 p.m. news anchor alongside Kathy Brock. Magers retired last May after after 35 years in Chicago television news, including the last 18 at ABC 7. Continue reading

Robservations: Cubs radio ratings ‘momentous’ for The Score

Cubs Radio

Cubs Radio

Robservations on the media beat:

Mitch Rosen

Mitch Rosen

The Chicago Cubs World Series run propelled WSCR AM 670 to an all-time ratings high, according to Nielsen Audio figures released Monday. The CBS Radio sports/talk station, in its first season as radio flagship of the Cubs, jumped to No. 2 in the market with a 6.1 percent audience share. (Only CBS Radio all-news combo WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9 had a higher share with a 6.5.) On November 2 — the day of Game 7 and the last day of the ratings survey — more than 1 million people listened to The Score, according to program director Mitch Rosen. “There were times in Game 7 that half of all Chicago radio listeners were tuned into The Score to hear the hometown call of Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer,” Rosen said. “What an amazing first year it’s been for WSCR as the radio home of [the] Cubs. . . . To experience the World Series on this station as we approach our 25th anniversary makes this even more momentous. When The Score first launched, the station was a daytime-only frequency; now the same brand is the home of the World Champion Cubs.” Continue reading

Robservations: Radio cheers for Hall of Famers Eric & Kathy

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

Robservations on the media beat:

A sell-out crowd packed the Museum of Broadcast Communications Thursday for the induction of Chicago morning stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart along with 11 other longtime broadcasters into the National Radio Hall of Fame. In a ceremony that dragged on way past Eric & Kathy’s bedtime, the duo was honored — including a standing ovation — for their extraordinary success over 20 years at Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9. Radio Hall of Famer and syndicated host Scott Shannon smoothly emceed the proceedings, which also inducted Steve Harvey, Michael Savage (both no-shows), George Beasley, Delilah Rene, Bob Kingsley, Kidd Kraddick, Jeff Detrow, Jerry Cesak & Tommy Sablan, Tony Roberts and Neil Rogers. Continue reading

Robservations: Bosses bail in crisis at Crain’s

David Snyder and Lisa Emerick

David Snyder and Lisa Emerick

Robservations on the media beat:

Woe is Crain’s Chicago Business. The stunning resignations of top management Tuesday bodes tough times ahead for the privately-owned weekly business publication. Publisher David Snyder, highly respected and widely admired 33-year veteran of the company (and a former editor of Crain’s), called it an amicable split with KC Crain, scion of Detroit-based Crain Communications. But he left no doubt of serious disagreements: “KC and I have different visions for the future of Crain’s,” Snyder said. Also out is associate publisher Lisa Emerick, who was elevated to the No. 2 job in 2014. Both are seeking new opportunities. The shakeup, effective at the end of the year, follows cost-cutting layoffs of three editors earlier in the week. KC Crain claims he’ll be running the show for now. Continue reading