One city under tronc

Chicago Tribune

“Keep in mind our competition is ESPN and DNAinfo and Facebook and Google and lots of other places than just the Sun-Times.” — Bruce Dold, publisher and editor of the Chicago Tribune, on “Chicago Tonight” May 16.

With the proposed sale of Wrapports Holdings LLC to the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, these area publications would be owned and operated by tronc: Continue reading

Robservations: Ready set go at WGN

WGN News set

Robservations on the media beat:

WGN logo

Now it’s WGN-Channel 9’s turn to show off fancy new digs. On its 4 p.m. newscast Wednesday the Tribune Media station will debut a new news set, featuring “the latest in studio technology, including two video walls, video panels, and LED lighting,” according to officials. “We are excited to have a set that fully supports all of our news programs and are thrilled with the ‘state-of-the-art’ result,” Paul Rennie, president and general manager of WGN, said in a statement. Also look for “Chicago’s Very Own” to unveil a new logo. Let’s just hope the new overlords from Sinclair Broadcast Group approve. Continue reading

Tom Joyner ending Chicago radio run

Tom Joyner

After more than four decades as a fixture on Chicago’s airwaves, the superstar who dubbed himself “The Hardest Working Man in Radio” won’t be working on the air here anymore.

Tom Joyner, who catapulted to fame and fortune as the legendary “Fly Jock” in the 1980s, is being dropped by Crawford Broadcasting urban adult-contemporary WSRB FM 106.3, which has aired his syndicated morning show for eight years. Continue reading

Eric & Kathy ready for a Hart break?

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

The most popular morning radio show in Chicago is in its third week without co-host Kathy Hart — and without explanation to co-workers or fans for her extended absence.

After 20 years alongside Eric Ferguson on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9, Hart has insiders guessing if or when she’ll return to “The Eric and Kathy Show.” Even her bosses aren’t sure what’s up. Continue reading

Sun-Times sale to Tribune owners would unite old rivals

Chicago Sun-Times

The final chapter in the history of robust competition among Chicago’s daily newspapers may have been written Monday with news that the Chicago Sun-Times is headed for a sale to the parent company of the rival Chicago Tribune.

Wrapports Holdings LLC, owner of the Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader, announced that it was negotiating to be acquired by Tribune owner tronc in a deal that could be finalized by June 1.

Unless another bidder comes forward — an unlikely scenario considering the financial distress of the Sun-Times and the onerous printing and distribution agreements it has with tronc — the deal appears headed for approval by government regulators. Terms have not been finalized, according to tronc. Continue reading

Tronc could buy Sun-Times by month’s end, publisher says

Chicago Sun-Times

Unless another buyer comes forward, the Chicago Sun-Times could be acquired by the parent company of the Chicago Tribune by the end of the month, according to a statement from Jim Kirk, editor and publisher of the Sun-Times.

In an email to employees Monday, Kirk said the non-binding letter of intent by Tribune owner tronc to buy the Sun-Times, the Reader “and other assets” from owner Wrapports requires government antitrust approval. Continue reading

Chicago Tribune owner tronc moves to buy Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is in negotiations to be acquired by the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, according to an announcement Monday by Sun-Times owner Wrapports.

Tronc, the former Tribune Publishing Co. headed by tech entrepreneur Michael Ferro, could operate the Sun-Times separately “keeping in place the independent newsroom” under the proposal. Ferro previously headed Wrapports.

Terms of the offer were not disclosed. Continue reading

Rockford meteorologist joins ‘WGN Morning News’

Morgan Kolkmeyer

Morgan Kolkmeyer, who’s been forecasting weather in her hometown of Rockford since 2014, is moving up to Chicago’s top-rated morning show.

Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 announced Monday that Kolkmeyer will join “WGN Morning News” as 4 to 6 a.m. weekday meteorologist. Starting later this month, she succeeds Demetrius Ivory, who now reports weather for “WGN Midday News” and the station’s 4 p.m. newscast. Continue reading

Robservations: Landecker nominated for Radio Hall of Fame

John Records Landecker (Photo: Rick Kaempfer)

Robservations on the media beat:

John Records Landecker, an iconic Chicago radio personality since the 1970s, has been nominated for induction in the National Radio Hall of Fame. It’s his first time on the ballot for induction in the Chicago-based shrine to radio’s greatest performers and programs. Landecker, 70, is one of four nominees (and the only Chicagoan) in the Longstanding Local/Regional category. A total of 24 nominees in six categories were announced Monday. (A complete list is at radiohof.org.) Online public voting in two categories — Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality — will begin June 5. The rest will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals. Winners will be announced June 26. Induction ceremony will be November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Continue reading

Jamie Kalven wins Watchdog Award again at Lisagors

Jamie Kalven

For the second straight year the Chicago Headline Club has honored independent investigative journalist Jamie Kalven for reporting on corruption in the Chicago Police Department.

Kalven was named winner Friday of the Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting at the 40th annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism. He was cited for “Code of Silence,” a 20,000-word, four-part investigation about two Chicago police officers who uncovered a massive criminal enterprise in the department. It was published by The Intercept. Continue reading