Robservations on the media beat:
Chicago radio news anchor and reporter Regine Schlesinger, one of the best in the business, is retiring after more than 42 years at CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780 and WCFS FM 105.9. Schlesinger confirmed Wednesday that she plans to “step away from the five-day-a-week grind and give younger journalists a chance at the amazing opportunity I’ve enjoyed.” Straight out of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Schlesinger began as a writer and producer at WBBM Newsradio in 1973. Six years later, she moved up to reporter and anchor. Her decision to retire, effective early next year, will leave the door open for part-time anchoring. “My career has brought me great joy and satisfaction,” Schlesinger said. “I’ve been a witness to some of the most momentous events of my lifetime and have had the privilege of helping our wonderful listeners make sense of those events.”
Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 finally announced what readers here have known since November 20: Mike Caplan, former meteorologist at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, will be joining Fox 32’s “Good Day Chicago,” starting December 28. No word yet on a new weather assignment for Mark Strehl, whom Caplan replaces. “I am eager to return to Chicago television and join the cast of ‘Good Day Chicago,’ ” Caplan said in a statement. “I think my 20-plus years of Chicago forecasting experience will serve our viewers well. I look forward to providing our audience with a forecast they can rely on, with a splash of personality along the way.”
Univision Chicago is teaming with DePaul University to launch a one-hour weekly radio show exploring news stories and current events from the perspectives of bilingual millennial hosts. Samantha Rivera, Alondra Valle and Giovanni Hernandez will host “La Hora Picante” in English and Spanish at 8 a.m. Saturdays on news/talk WRTO AM 1200. “We are very excited to be partnering with Radio DePaul on this project because it provides a platform for young bilingual journalists to have a voice on the Chicago airwaves,” Doug Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Univision Chicago, said in a statement. “We look forward to watching these ‘billennials’ develop their skills and share their perspective with our community.”
Contrary to a widely quoted published report, Tom Joyner isn’t going anywhere. DailyMail.com reported Tuesday that the legendary syndicated morning personality was being forced to retire early. “Any stories that suggest major changes to the Tom Joyner Morning Show are inaccurate,” Reach Media said in a statement. “Tom Joyner is under contract with Reach Media until the end of 2017. We expect that Reach will continue to syndicate Tom’s show beyond that date and for as long as he would like to be on the air.” In Chicago, where Joyner’s national career took off, his morning show airs on Crawford Broadcasting urban adult-contemporary WSRB FM 106.3.
If all goes well, Brian Peck should be back on the air next week as morning personality at Hubbard Radio adult contemporary WSHE FM 100.3. He’s been out recovering from spinal surgery since late November. “Next time you see me I will be sporting a gigantic plastic neck brace for at least three months,” he told Facebook friends. Part-timer Brian Middleton has been filling in during Peck’s absence. A Chicago radio veteran since 1992, Peck began hosting mornings at WSHE predecessor WILV in 2008.
“Mandatory training classes on sexual harassment” (yes, that’s how it’s phrased) have been ordered for all employees at Window to the World Communications, including public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical WFMT FM 98.7. It’s not known whether the directive from human resources is related to the recent effort to organize WTTW producers by the Chicago local of the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. But the timing has some insiders suspicious of management’s motives.