Feder flashback: WLS meets the Beatles

WLSThe Beatles’ first American television appearance 50 years ago next month — said to be the most significant moment in pop music history — also marked a turning point for Top 40 radio.

Nowhere was the British invasion welcomed more warmly than at WLS AM 890, where the Fab Four dominated the Silver Dollar Survey on Chicago’s 50,000-watt giant for rest of the decade.

Here is the piece I wrote for the Sun-Times on Feb. 5, 1984 — days before the 20th anniversary of the Beatles’ debut in America. (Posted with permission.) Continue reading

‘Chicago’s 100.3’ adds Jane Monzures

Jane Monzures

Jane Monzures

Jane Monzures, the multitalented Chicago television and radio host, has been hired as afternoon personality at WILV FM 100.3.

Monzures started Monday at the Hubbard Radio adult contemporary station, replacing Brian Middleton, who signed off Jan. 8 after seven years. “We are excited to hear Jane’s wit, energy and positivity every day from 2 to 7 p.m.,” program director Marty Bender said in announcing the appointment. Continue reading

Off the Grid: Copple exits Sun-Times

Brandon Copple

Brandon Copple

In what appears to be the final nail in the coffin of Grid, veteran Chicago journalist Brandon Copple is out as general manager of the Sun-Times’ digital and print business news venture.

Jim Kirk, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times, confirmed Monday that Copple has left the company to pursue other opportunities.

“Brandon came here with some great new content ideas across different areas,” Kirk said in a statement. “Grid content continues in the form of the Grid 12 business report in the paper as well as our early morning newsletter roundup. Brandon was a terrific colleague and friend and we wish him nothing but the best.” Continue reading

Eureka! Sirott unearths ’83 treasure

Bob Sirott (1983)

Bob Sirott (1983)

If you thought the “Radio Wars” video posted here last month was something, wait till you see this.

The appearance of that WBBM-Channel 2 feature on the up-and-coming radio stars of 1983 sent Bob Sirott on a quest to find the entire three-part sweeps series it came from. He wrote, produced and reported “Radio Wars in Chicago: Jockeying for Your Morning” just three years after he left his own successful radio career to join the CBS-owned station. Continue reading

Bayless, Dolinsky serving ‘The Feed’

Rick Bayless and Steve Dolinsky

Rick Bayless and Steve Dolinsky

Famed Chicago chef Rick Bayless and veteran Chicago restaurant critic Steve Dolinsky have cooked up a new podcast together on (what else?) food.

Billed as “food news, recipes, author interviews, celebrity food chats, spirits and a ‘final bite’ that will literally make your mouth water,” “The Feed” debuted online Friday in both video form and audio form: Continue reading

Inside Chicago radio’s cash register

Cash registerIn another year of declining revenue for Chicago radio, CBS Radio’s all-news simulcast of WBBM AM 780 and WCFS FM 105.9 retained its crown as Chicago’s top-billing station.

Though down more than 8 percent from last year, the Newsradio combo produced $41.9 million in advertising income — leading the way for CBS Radio, which had four of the top seven revenue-generating stations in the market.

Overall Chicago radio revenue dropped about 2.5 percent from $430,911,000 in 2012 to $419,715,000 in 2013, according to figures compiled by the accounting firm of Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. (based on revenue reports submitted by station groups). The only year-to-year growth was in digital advertising — up 10 percent to $28,175,000 in 2013. Continue reading

Fox 32 news exec to Al Jazeera

Chris Myers

Chris Myers

Veteran Chicago news executive Chris Myers has resigned as assistant news director at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 to join Al Jazeera America.

Myers told staffers in a meeting Wednesday that he’ll work through next week at Fox 32 before moving to Los Angeles to help start up a new weekly show for the fledgling cable news channel. No word yet on his replacement.

Myers, a former executive producer at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and producer at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, joined Fox 32 in January 2012 as assistant news director under his mentor, Phyllis Schwartz. When Schwartz resigned the following December, Myers served as interim news director, but was passed over for the permanent job in favor of Tom Doerr, who signed on from Fox-owned KRIV-TV in Houston. Continue reading

Jacobson joins WGN at ‘perfect time’

Walter Jacobson

Walter Jacobson

Chicago broadcasting icon Walter Jacobson is bringing his signature “Perspective” commentaries and his unique political insight to WGN AM 720.

Starting next month, his weekly, 90-second commentaries will air Thursdays during Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show and repeat weekends during “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson.” The celebrated anchorman also will appear as a contributor to various shows on the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station. Continue reading