Ira Glass: No deal yet for ‘American Life’

Ira Glass

Ira Glass

Contrary to my report here Saturday, Ira Glass says he doesn’t have a deal with Public Radio Exchange to distribute “This American Life,” his popular weekly radio program.

“We haven’t begun negotiations with PRX or anyone else to distribute the program,” Glass told me in a statement Monday, adding that he has “no idea what terms PRX would offer and [that] there are lots of other options.”

Glass, the host and executive producer of “This American Life,” is seeking a new distribution plan for the show, which is severing ties after 17 years with Public Radio International, as of July 1. Continue reading

Agase shifts in radio sales shakeup

Paul Agase

Paul Agase

After 24 years in sales and management positions at CBS Radio Chicago, Paul Agase is changing station identification and jumping to rival Cumulus Media Chicago.

As vice president of sales under Cumulus market manager Donna Baker, Agase will oversee advertising for news/talk WLS AM 890 and classic rock WLUP FM 97.9. He began his career as an account executive and sales manager at WLS in 1981. Continue reading

New distributor for ‘American Life’

Ira Glass

Ira Glass

Just as Ira Glass promised, it didn’t take long for “This American Life” to land a new distributor. Sources tell me it’s going from PRI to PRX.

After 17 years with Public Radio International, the award-winning weekly radio program announced Thursday that it was severing ties with the Minneapolis-based outfit that oversees sales, marketing and transmission of the show to 587 stations nationwide.

Although all parties involved are keeping mum (host and executive producer Glass will say only that he’ll have an announcement “sometime soon”), insiders said Friday an agreement is expected with Public Radio Exchange, another distributor of public radio programming, based in Cambridge, Mass. The current deal with PRI expires on July 1. Continue reading

Fox 32 barely admits pay-for-play news

Fox 32The whoring out of local television news continues without letup — this time courtesy of Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

Thursday’s “Good Day Chicago” featured a satellite interview with actress and model Shari Belafonte, who turned up to hawk a diet pill called Qsymia. Presented in the form of a Q&A with news anchor Natalie Bomke, the segment was paid for by biopharmaceutical company Vivus Inc., which hired Belafonte to promote the weight-loss drug. Continue reading

Sportscasters still planning to serve up Reverie

Ryan Baker

Ryan Baker

It won’t be opening in early spring as originally planned, but a River North restaurant backed by three Chicago sportscasters is still very much on track.

Sports anchors Ryan Baker, Lou Canellis and Kip Lewis (of Comcast SportsNet) are partners in Reverie, a two-story restaurant and lounge under construction at 414 North Orleans Street. Despite the prominent placement of large-screen televisions, it’s not being labeled a sports bar.

Chef Rodelio Aglibot is designing a menu that will be “contemporary American with Asian accents,” according to Adam Cisek of Chicago-based Premium Themes Inc., another partner in the venture. Continue reading

New team takes over Eig’s ChicagoSide

Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig

Two years after launching as a digital destination for great local sportswriting, ChicagoSide is changing hands, founding editor Jonathan Eig announced Tuesday.

Eig and his partner, Sol Lieberman, are turning their company over to Nick Tranfaglia, director of business development at TiqIQ, a New York-based ticket broker and the principal advertiser on the ChicagoSide site.

“Having worked with top online sports brands such as ESPN, Golf Digest and SB Nation, he [Tranfaglia] has the right experience for the job,” Eig wrote in an email to his free-lance writers. “His team has a great background in SEO and social media and they’re eager to build on our success at Chicago Side.” Continue reading

Arkush kicks off Chicago Football with suburban media partners

Hub Arkush

Hub Arkush

Two suburban newspaper groups are teaming up with veteran sports analyst Hub Arkush to launch a new multimedia platform for Chicago football fans.

Shaw Media and Daily Herald Media Group announced a joint venture Monday with Arkush to cover high school, college and professional football in print and online.

Together they’ll roll out Chicago Football, a glossy magazine to be published weekly during the football season and monthly in the offseason. The first edition, set to debut on newsstands April 7, will focus on the Chicago Bears’ preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft. Continue reading