Ex-WBEZ host takes charge at WDCB

Dan Bindert

Dan Bindert

Dan Bindert, an on-air and behind-scenes veteran of public radio stations in Chicago and northwest Indiana, has been named station manager of WDCB FM 90.9, the College of DuPage’s public radio/jazz outlet.

Starting Monday, he succeeds Scott Wager, who retired in July after more than 30 years at the station.

Bindert most recently was vice president of radio operations at Lakeshore Public Media’s WLPR FM 89.1 in Merrillville. Earlier this year, he overhauled the station’s weekday lineup, adding hours for NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” He also launched on-air membership drives. Continue reading

Dahl in the Hall? He's staying home

RHOF logoChicago radio legend Steve Dahl won't be in attendance when he and former partner Garry Meier are inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dahl said Thursday he's decided not to attend the black-tie ceremony Nov. 9 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, citing his “general disinterest in the proceedings” and chiding Meier for not returning his phone call to discuss the event in advance. Continue reading

Hollis releasing 'Wild Chicago' DVD

Ben Hollis

Ben Hollis

Ben Hollis, the pith-helmeted host and co-creator of WTTW-Channel 11's “Wild Chicago,” is about to release a DVD featuring highlights of the fondly remembered magazine show.

From 1989 to 1992, Hollis took viewers on a weekly safari through the “urban jungle” of Chicago, spotlighting offbeat places and eccentric personalities rarely seen on television. The series continued for another decade, but the Hollis years were its defining ones.

“The love and affection from fans to this day still humbles and uplifts me,” Hollis told me. Continue reading

Univision bosses coming and going

Larry Sands

Larry Sands

The revolving door finally may have stopped spinning at Chicago’s leading Spanish-language television operation.

Despite continued ratings and revenue success, Univision WGBO-Channel 66 and its TeleFutura sister station, WXFT-Channel 60, are on their fifth vice president and general manager in eight years — and their third in just the last three years. That's a lot for any media outlet.

The appointment last June of Larry Sands as regional vice president of Univision Chicago was seen as a stabilizing move for the unit here, although he also continues to oversee the operations of Univision Puerto Rico, where he had been working since 2002. He is based in Chicago. Continue reading

The second coming of Jon Kelley?

Jon Kelley

Jon Kelley

The first time Jon Kelley came to Chicago, he was a 25-year-old rookie sportscaster at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 who became known more for his handsome face and Armani wardrobe than for his reporting or anchoring skills.

Now, more than two decades later, it looks like he may be returning to host “Good Day Chicago” on WFLD-Channel 32. Nothing's confirmed, but Kelley's recent visit to the Fox-owned station has insiders convinced he's close to a deal. Continue reading

Blue Sky takes innovative approach to new ideas

Andrea Hanis

Andrea Hanis

Think of it as a startup about startups.

The Chicago Tribune has fielded a seasoned team of editors and reporters to launch a business news enterprise dedicated to covering the city's entrepreneurs and innovators.

Blue Sky Innovation debuted Monday in the newspaper's business section, offering highlights of content from the new free-standing digital hub at blueskyinnovation.com. A premium website and newsletter focusing on the innovation, high-tech and entrepreneurial scene kicked off last Wednesday. Continue reading

Vatis leaving NBC 5 for ‘change in her life’

Kim Vatis

Kim Vatis

Off to pursue “new adventures,” WMAQ-Channel 5 reporter and news anchor Kim Vatis is resigning her full-time position at the NBC-owned station after 16 years.

Her last day anchoring weekend morning newscasts alongside Anthony Ponce is expected to be Dec. 1. But Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, is leaving the door open for Vatis to return.

“Kim has decided it’s time for a change in her life,” Whittaker said in a memo. “With her daughter, Dakota, now off to college, Kim is hoping to travel more and take on other projects outside of local television news. Continue reading

Laski goes out with a bang at WCPT

Jim Laski

Jim Laski

If there were a special wing in the Radio Hall of Fame for classless jerks, Jim Laski would be the first inductee.

The exhibit would include a recording of Laski’s final show Saturday on WCPT AM 820 in which he went after the station’s bosses for having the nerve to expect him to pay his bills. Continue reading