Urban programmer comes home to WGCI, V103

Johnnie D

Johnnie D

As iHeartMedia Chicago continues to redefine its urban contemporary brands, the company has hired a new assistant program director with old ties to a competitor.

One day after iHeartMedia raided rival Crawford Broadcasting and lured two top personalities from WPWX FM 92.3, it announced the hiring of Johnnie D as assistant program director of urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 and urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7, effective June 1.

Johnnie D (whose real name is Johnnie Glover), previously held programming positions at Power 92 here as well as at stations in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The Chicago native most recently was music director and morning show producer at WVEE in Atlanta. Continue reading

WGCI raids top hip-hop jocks from Power 92

Tone Kapone

Tone Kapone

In a talent raid reminiscent of an earlier era in radio, iHeartMedia Chicago lured two top personalities Wednesday from Crawford Broadcasting’s competing hip-hop station.

In one fell swoop, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI FM 107.5 stole midday host Frankie Robinson and afternoon host Tone Kapone (whose real name is Anthony May), both mainstays of Crawford Broadcasting’s WPWX FM 92.3. Continue reading

It’s official: Jeffrey T. Mason lands middays on K-Hits

Jeffrey T. Mason

Jeffrey T. Mason

Jeffrey T. Mason, who’s been filling in since the legendary Tommy Edwards retired as midday personality at WJMK FM 104.3 last fall, has landed the job permanently at the CBS Radio classic hits station.

Making the long-awaited promotion official Wednesday, program director Todd Cavanah said Mason signed a multiyear contract to host from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on K-Hits. Continue reading

ABC 7 tries to fight back at sweeps’ end

ABC 7's Mark Giangreco, Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers, Kathy Brock and Jerry Taft

ABC 7′s Mark Giangreco, Cheryl Burton, Ron Magers, Kathy Brock and Jerry Taft

In a last-ditch effort to stave off defeat in the May sweeps, perennial market leader WLS-Channel 7 is pulling out all the stops — and some of the commercials — from its 10 p.m. Monday through Friday newscast.

On Monday and Tuesday night, the ABC-owned station dropped two commercial breaks from its late news, postponing its first interruption until 10:21 p.m. It’s a maneuver designed to retain audience ratings by discouraging viewers from channel surfing. Continue reading

Lori Rackl unpacks blog on TV, travel

Lori Rackl

Lori Rackl

By the time Lori Rackl accepted a buyout from the Sun-Times last February, she’d earned a solid reputation as an insightful TV critic and a seasoned travel editor.

Now making her mark as an independent journalist, Rackl has combined both interests — television and travel — in a smart new website.

TVtrippin.com officially debuted this week with a review of Sunday night’s “Mad Men” series finale and a feature on a “mystery man” who tracks TV series and movies filming around Chicago for a Twitter account.

Rackl calls her new blog “a work in progress” that she has been fine-tuning with Web designer Rex Chekal. In the meantime, she is continuing to write free-lance travel pieces for the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe, among other publications. Continue reading

Gunfire-dodging reporter joins Telemundo Chicago

Jorge Enrique De Santiago

Jorge Enrique De Santiago

Jorge Enrique De Santiago, a news anchor and reporter from the Telemundo station in San Antonio, Texas, has been hired as a general assignment reporter at WSNS-Channel 44, the Spanish-language network’s station here.

While working for KVDA-TV in San Antonio, De Santiago made headlines in 2014 when a murder suspect he was interviewing at an apartment complex opened fire on his news crew. Continue reading

NBC 5 may have top story at 10 p.m.

Rob Stafford and Allison Rosati

Rob Stafford and Allison Rosati

With three days to go in the May sweeps, all eyes are on Chicago’s late-news ratings race, where there could be an upset in the works.

NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 appears poised to overtake the market’s perennial front-runner, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, among viewers between 25 and 54 at 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. That’s a key demographic driving local stations’ advertising revenue. Continue reading