Johnny who? WLS sinks under Brandmeier

Jonathon Brandmeier

Jonathon Brandmeier

So far Jonathon Brandmeier’s latest radio comeback doesn’t appear to be any more successful than his last one.

Nielsen Audio figures released Monday show Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 tied for 30th place with a 0.8 percent audience share from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday since Brandmeier debuted. That’s a 38 percent drop from the 1.3 share posted by the former duo of John Kass and Lauren Cohn during their final month in the time period. Continue reading

Look, up in sky! It’s ABC 7 Drone Cam!

Paul Meincke and Colin Hinkle

Paul Meincke and Colin Hinkle

Viewers of WLS-Channel 7 enjoyed a bird’s-eye view of the soon-to-open 606 Bloomingdale Trail last week when the ABC-owned station aired what it claimed was the first live transmission from a drone camera on a local newscast.

Reporter Paul Meincke delivered the historic report on last Thursday’s 4 p.m. newscast with the aid of photographer Colin Hinkle, owner of Chicago-based Soaring Badger Productions, the first company to be granted an FAA permit to conduct commercial drone flights here. Continue reading

WLS cuts programming job

Tracy Slutzkin, longtime producer and programming administrator at WLS AM 890, is out as assistant program director and executive producer at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.

Confirming the elimination of her position last week, the station said her responsibilities have been absorbed by operations manager and program director Peter Bolger. Continue reading

Sun-Times obit writer Maureen O’Donnell wins Anne Keegan Award

Maureen O'Donnell (Photo: Jean Lachat)

Maureen O’Donnell (Photo: Jean Lachat)

The Chicago Headline Club honored veteran reporter Maureen O’Donnell on Friday night for her extraordinary skill and sensitivity in obituary writing for the Sun-Times.

Print, broadcast and digital colleagues at the 38th annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism saluted O’Donnell on receiving the 2015 Anne Keegan Award, the group’s singular honor. Judges cited O’Donnell for her “gifts of inquisitiveness and eye for the perfect anecdote” in her carefully researched and gracefully written obituaries. Continue reading

Jarrett Payton to host CLTV sports show

Jarrett Payton

Jarrett Payton

Jarrett Payton, the sportscaster son of the late Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, is adding nightly television duties to his work with Tribune Media.

Starting in early June, Payton will join the sports department of WGN-Channel 9 and host a live sports talk show Sundays through Thursdays on cable channel CLTV. He’ll continue as host of “The Beat,” the weekend sports talk show on news/talk WGN AM 720. Continue reading

Ty Wansley 1951-2015

Ty Wansley

Ty Wansley

Ty Wansley, a Chicago radio news anchor and talk show host for more than 35 years, was being remembered Thursday as a man who was passionate about his profession and the community he served.

Wansley, 63, died Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted last week for treatment of congestive heart failure and related illness, according to his brother, Larry Wansley. He previously suffered a series of small strokes. Continue reading

Ryan Burrow joins WGN under ABC partnership

WGN Radio

WGN Radio

Ryan Burrow, news anchor and reporter at Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890, has been hired as a multimedia journalist at Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720.

Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming at WGN, said Burrow joins the station as part of a shared talent agreement with ABC News Radio, as it establishes a Chicago-based Midwest bureau for the network. Under the arrangement, Burrow occasionally will be dispatched by ABC to be on the scene of major regional stories. Continue reading

WBEZ reveals plans for ‘robust digital experiences’

Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media has announced the hiring of a new chief digital officer to lead the company’s wide-ranging plans to build a “transformative digital experience” for listeners.

Named to the newly created post Monday was Michel Ballard, who most recently was senior vice president of consumer health and wellness for Everyday Health, a digital media company that owns websites and produces content on health and wellness. Continue reading