Robservations on the media beat:
Yet another magazine called The Chicagoan is about to debut. Billed as offering “insight, color and commentary on news topics and cultural issues important to the residents of America’s greatest city,” the latest version will be published by 22nd Century Media, the hyperlocal suburban newspaper outfit founded by Jack Ryan, former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Set to launch in November, it will appear eight times in the coming year before going monthly. The 60,000-circulation magazine will be distributed within the company’s seven North Shore weeklies and at locations in Chicago and Evanston.
The original Chicagoan first appeared in 1926 as the city’s Jazz Age response to The New Yorker. A revival of the title in 1973 by journalists/socialites Jon and Abra Anderson produced a slick and stylish monthly that lasted about a year. J.C. Gabel tried again in 2012 with a well-received but underfunded effort notable for Josh Schollmeyer’s 25,000-word oral history of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. That lasted one issue.
Jim Wiser, the celebrated multimedia producer, has joined Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting as executive producer of the Decades Network, the digital subchannel operated as a joint venture between Weigel and CBS Television Stations. Wiser most recently was executive producer of video programming at ChicagoTribune.com.
Congratulations to Ravi Baichwal, Canadian-born weekend news anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, who officially became a U.S. citizen August 18. “#thankyouAmerica,” he tweeted. He celebrated with a Wendella boat ride and dinner with family at Chicago Cut.
Colleagues are remembering with fondness Bill Warrick, longtime Chicago radio and television reporter who covered northwest Indiana for NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and the former WMAQ Radio. More recently he worked for WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in South Bend. Warrick died Saturday in Michigan City at 96. In 2010 he produced “The Chicago Series: Bill Warrick’s Reporter’s Notebook,” an hourlong documentary highlighting his biggest stories. “He was a pleasure to work with and loved the job of reporter,” recalled newsman and fellow train enthusiast Bob Roberts.
Battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), John Flynn Rooney retired August 17 after 27 years as a staff writer at the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. “My plans did not include to stop working at just shy of age 56,” he wrote in a deeply moving farewell column. “But my condition dictates that action.”
Veteran Chicago publicist Noreen Heron, one of the best in the business, is rebranding the communications firm that bears her name. After 15 years as Noreen Heron & Associates, it’s now Heron Agency. Among the company’s many innovations were crafting an e-mail database targeting Chicagoland lifestyle enthusiasts (now with more than 50,000 contacts) and launching a YouTube channel to showcase its clients.
Kipper McGee, digital marketing consultant and former program director of WLS AM 890, has written BrandWIDTH: How Big Broadcasting is Missing the MEDIAmorphosis. Published by Rick Kaempfer’s Chicago-based Eckhartz Press, the book explores why the top broadcast players are “facing financial Armageddon and what unencumbered brands (whether broadcast groups, stations, talent or any business) can learn from their mistakes.”
Brian Dahlen, executive producer of Karl Clauson and June Felix’s morning show at Moody Radio WMBI FM 90.1, has been hired as morning show host at Moody Radio’s WCRF in Cleveland. Starting Monday, Dahlen’s new show with co-host and producer Kathleen Ferrini also will air on five other Christian ministry stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Shannon Brazier, the longtime Chicago radio personality known as “Trey The Choklit Jok,” has been hired as brand manager of Town Square Media’s KOOC and KSSM in Kileen/Temple, Texas. He’s doubling as afternoon host on KOOC. Best known for his 10 years as morning host on Crawford Broadcasting urban contemporary WPWX FM 92.3, he began at iHeartMedia urban WGCI FM 107.5.