Crain’s expands management team

Lias Emerick

Lisa Emerick

Lisa Emerick, marketing director of Crain’s Chicago Business, has been promoted to associate publisher, adding responsibility over the company’s sales operation.

The move comes as the publication plans to enhance its political reporting, lifestyle coverage and digital presence as part of a broader strategy to boost Crain’s standing among affluent and influential readers.

The associate publisher position has been vacant since David Snyder moved up to publisher in 2010. “As our business has expanded — and as we step up our efforts to grow even more — this appointment will enable me to focus even more on charting the future path of CCB,” Snyder told staffers in a memo Monday. “Lisa is ideally suited to help manage CCB during this important phase of our history.” Continue reading

CBS 2 still stonewalling on Savini

Dave Savini (Naperville police photo)

Dave Savini (Naperville police photo)

It’s been more than a week since longtime Chicago investigative reporter Dave Savini was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, battery, child endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident in west suburban Naperville.

But CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where Savini, 47, has been a prominent figure since 2004, hasn’t said a word about it on any of its newscasts or on its website. Nor has the station issued any statement since court documents showed Savini’s blood-alcohol level registered 0.134 after he failed field tests and admitting consuming alcohol in the early hours of Jan 4. Continue reading

How ’XRT put down its Marker

Tom Marker

Tom Marker

Chicago radio veteran Tom Marker, whose full-time position was eliminated after 33 years at WXRT FM 93.1, returns to the CBS Radio adult album alternative station Monday under decidedly different circumstances.

Gone will be his six-figure salary, his contract, his benefits and all the perks of employment he earned over three decades as evening personality and host/producer of his signature weekly “Blues Breakers” hour.

Instead, when Marker hits the air at 9 p.m. to host his annual “Blues Breakers Blues Of The Year In Review” show, it will be on a part-time basis for a meager hourly wage. Continue reading

Sun-Times cuts 11 more jobs

Michael Ferro Jr.

Michael Ferro Jr.

At least 11 full-time positions were eliminated last week in the year’s first round of layoffs at Sun-Times Media, sources said. More layoffs are expected soon.

The latest job cuts hit Sun-Times Media advertising operations and Custom Media Solutions, the unit responsible for publishing niche content for specialty online and print products. Some of the layoffs were related to outsourcing and to changes in the economics of custom publishing, according to insiders. Continue reading

Elwood ‘so fortunate’ to join WGN

Patrick Elwood

Patrick Elwood

Patrick Elwood, the former reporter and noon news anchor who was forced out after 15 years at WFLD-Channel 32, has landed part-time work at WGN-Channel 9.

Elwood debuted Friday on the Tribune Broadcasting station as a freelance reporter. “As a native Chicagoan who’s worked here for several years, he clearly knows the city,” said WGN news director Greg Caputo. “And I’m glad he’ll be able to do some reporting for us.”

Elwood was among numerous Chicago news veterans who were purged from Fox 32 last year as management remade the station. He was succeeded in his last role as feature reporter on “Good Day Chicago” by Jake Hamilton, former movie reviewer for KRIV-TV, the Fox station in Houston. Continue reading

High levels of radio activity

101.1Back on the beat after a short break and catching up on high levels of radio activity:

  • For the first time since July 15, 2011, alternative rock was heard Friday on WIQI FM 101.1 as Cumulus Media began simulcasting Merlin Media’s modern rock Q87.7 Underground Alternative. The move followed the announcement that Cumulus would acquire WIQI and classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 after operating the stations under a local marketing agreement. Insiders described the transition from Merlin to Cumulus so far as “smooth, cordial and collaborative.” The simulcast is expected to continue for 30 to 45 days, after which WLFM LP 87.7 will drop the format. Continue reading

Linda Yu recovering from accident

Linda Yu

Linda Yu

Veteran Chicago news anchor Linda Yu is off the air indefinitely while recovering from injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident earlier in the week.

Yu, 67, was out of town when the accident happened, according to colleagues at WLS-Channel 7, who said they believed she was riding on the back of a motorcycle. Continue reading

Hubbard adds smooth jazz to HD mix

Rick O'Dell

Rick O’Dell

Chicago’s premier smooth jazz programmer is teaming up with Chicago’s premier radio station group to bring the mellow music format to HD Radio.

Rick O’Dell’s SmoothJazzChicago.net will be simulcast on Hubbard Radio’s WTMX 101.9 HD2, the secondary digital audio channel linked with the modern adult contemporary station, starting at noon Tuesday.

O’Dell, who pioneered smooth jazz in Chicago and was its signature voice for more than 25 years at WNUA FM 95.5 and WLFM LP 87.7, launched the site as a free 24/7 streaming digital station in November 2012. In addition to O’Dell, SmoothJazzChicago.net features Bill Cochran, Scott Adams and Patti Genko. Continue reading

‘We’re a fun couple’

Ed Swiderski and Natalie Bomke

Ed Swiderski and Natalie Bomke

Here is a letter I received Friday from Edward R. Swiderski III, a Chicago marketing technology executive and former contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” on behalf of his girlfriend, Natalie Bomke, co-anchor of “Good Day Chicago” on Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

I’m posting it in its entirety without comment: Continue reading

Right under his nose

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel Schmidt

Once again a costly and time-consuming “nationwide search” by Chicago’s public broadcasting bureaucrats has ended up right back where it began.

On Monday, Daniel Schmidt, president and CEO of WTTW-Channel 11 and classical WFMT FM 98.7, promoted Jill Britton to senior vice president and chief development officer of parent company Window to the World Communications Inc. Britton has held various fundraising jobs with the company since 2006, rising from director of development for individual giving to senior vice president. Continue reading