Robservations: Brian Peck joins K-Hits as midday host

Brian Peck

Robservations on the media beat:

Jeffrey T. Mason

Brian Peck signs on today as midday personality at WJMK FM 104.3, the CBS Radio classic hits station. Also at K-Hits, Jeffrey T. Mason shifts from middays to afternoons, replacing Gary Spears, who left last month to move to Florida. Dave Fogel continues in mornings. “Adding Brian to K-Hits gives us a unique opportunity to reset our on-air lineup with three veteran Chicago voices, all perfectly suited for their dayparts,” Greg Solk, program director and operations manager, said in a statement. “Brian is a great fit for K-Hits and Chicago listeners will be thrilled to have him back on the air.” Peck, who’s been on Chicago radio since 1992, hosted mornings on Hubbard Radio adult contemporary WSHE FM 100.3 until late last year. “I cannot wait to get back on the air and reconnect with this magical city’s radio listeners,” he said. “They are the best anywhere.” Continue reading

Union vote doomed money-losing DNAinfo

Joe Ricketts

A vote last week by newsroom employees in New York to unionize was a factor in the decision by Joe Ricketts to shut down the digital news sites DNAinfo Chicago and Chicagoist, the company acknowledged Thursday.

A reported 115 journalists in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington suddenly found themselves out of work after the closing of DNAinfo and its affiliated sites by Ricketts, the company’s billionaire founder and CEO. Continue reading

Ricketts shuts down DNAinfo

DNAinfo Chicago

DNAinfo Chicago, the hyperlocal digital news enterprise, was abruptly closed Thursday along with its counterparts in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, putting more than 100 journalists suddenly out of work.

“Today, I’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue publishing DNAinfo and Gothamist,” Joe Ricketts, founder and CEO of the company, said in a public post. “Reaching this decision wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t one I made lightly.

“While we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn’t been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded.” Continue reading

Robservations: Decades documentary recalls golden era of Walter Cronkite

Robservations on the media beat:

On the eve of what would have been Walter Cronkite’s 101st birthday, the Decades Network will premiere an original documentary that couldn’t be more timely. “Eye on the World: The Rise of Walter Cronkite and The Evening News” is a masterful account of the legendary anchorman’s career at CBS News, culminating in his acclamation as “The Most Trusted Man in America.” With a wealth of footage from the network’s archive and interviews with colleagues, scholars and admirers (including yours truly), it chronicles a golden era of broadcast journalism before media fragmentation and allegations of “fake news” took hold. The two-hour documentary, produced and directed by Billy Miossi, airs at 7 p.m. Friday (repeated at 7 p.m. Monday) on Decades Network, the digital channel of CBS and Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting. It’s seen here on Comcast Channel 338. Don’t miss it. Continue reading

Cumulus names Marv Nyren boss of Chicago stations

Marv Nyren

Marv Nyren, who headed classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and alternative rock WKQX FM 101.1 for seven years under Emmis Communications, is back in charge of both stations, now owned by Cumulus Media.

As the new vice president and market manager of Cumulus Media Chicago, Nyren will be running The Loop and 101WKQX in addition to news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic hits WLS FM 94.7, the company announced Wednesday. He succeeds Peter Bowen, who was released in September. Continue reading