Robservations on the media beat:
It’s official: Richard Roeper has signed to host “Good Day Chicago,” the weekday morning news show on WFLD-Channel 32. Colleagues are hailing the move, first reported here Monday, as a coup for the Fox-owned station. Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal tweeted it was “the smartest hire Fox 32 News has made in years.” Marlaine Selip, former executive producer of “Windy City Live,” called Roeper “a smart, talented, funny guy [who] will help their effort.” Now it’s up to new “Good Day Chicago” exec producer Dan Salamone to figure out how to deploy Roeper alongside current anchors Corey McPherrin and Darlene Hill. While continuing as Sun-Times film critic, Roeper starts his new duties on Fox 32 later this month. Terms of his two-year deal, negotiated by agent Brian Musburger, were not disclosed.
The great Linda Lenz is retiring after 25 years as founder and publisher of Catalyst Chicago. She’ll step down at the end of the year from the award-winning news organization and school reform watchdog. Lenz was the Sun-Times education reporter in the 1980s when creation of local school councils prompted her to act. “I knew that council members and others newly engaged with schools would face a knowledge gap,” she recalled. “I brought my idea for a publication to the Community Renewal Society, which I knew respected editorial independence.” The first issue of Catalyst appeared in February 1990. (Most recently the work of former Catalyst reporter Sarah Karp brought down former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.) Added Lenz: “It has been an incredible privilege to be able to write about education issues in depth, and I am deeply grateful to those who have made it possible.”
Chicago food writer and videomaker Michael Gebert has launched Fooditor, a new online magazine dedicated to coverage of “the total Chicago food experience” in full multimedia glory — words, pictures, audio and video. (First up is a delicious schmear on Manny’s.) A James Beard Award winner and former Grub Street Chicago editor who also wrote for the Reader, the Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago, Gebert cites the recent demise of the Sun-Times’ food section and Chicago Public Media’s food podcast. “We basically are back to just the Tribune and Chicago magazine,” he said. “Good as they are, it’s crazy that they’re practically the whole scene, as if it were 1988 all over again. That’s a vacuum and it’s a good time to fill it.”
Brandon Copple, former managing editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, has been named director of content and editorial strategy at Greentarget Global Group, a strategic public relations firm focused on business-to-business organizations. Copple also was general manager of Grid, the Sun-Times’ short-lived digital and print business magazine, and managing editor of Groupon’s daily deals website. “The folks at Greentarget understand that in order to rise above all the noise, you have to create content that is actually valuable and accessible to the audience you’re trying to reach,” he said in a statement. Most recently Copple was Chicago managing editor at FitchInk, a premium content provider associated with Greentarget.
Chicago’s fine arts station goes international this week with a live broadcast from Warsaw, Poland. Classical WFMT FM 98.7 will air the winner’s concert from the 2015 Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition, starting at noon Wednesday. Held every five years, the event involves 78 young pianists from 20 countries. Program director David Polk and midday personality Lisa Flynn will host the live broadcast on WFMT and on wfmt.com. “Lisa and I are thrilled to be here in Warsaw, and to be able to offer our audiences this unique live and in-depth coverage of one of the most important events in the classical music world,” Polk said in a statement.
After shifting to Los Angeles in 2014, this year’s National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony returns to Chicago and adds a live podcast for the first time (at museum.tv). Syndicated country music radio host Blair Garner emcees the event November 5 from the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The 2015 inductees: Ron Owens (San Francisco), Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander (Los Angeles), Elvis Duran (New York), Clark Howard (Atlanta), Dave Ramsey (Nashville), Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold (Indianapolis), Dan Mason (New York) and the late Scott Muni (New York).