Robservations on the media beat:
Tahman Bradley, whose interview with shirtless jogger Ethan Renoe last December became a viral sensation, has been named a full-time general assignment reporter at WGN-Channel 9. Bradley, a former Washington-based ABC News correspondent, has been a freelancer at the Tribune Media station since last summer. “As a network reporter, Tahman covered some pretty big breaking news stories: The Boston Marathon Bombing, Sandy Hook school tragedy and the protests in Ferguson,” WGN news director Jennifer Lyons wrote in a memo. “Tahman is one of Chicago’s Very Own and we are happy he’s decided to make WGN-TV his home.” The Chicago native and graduate of Rich Central High School and Howard University was a political reporter/producer for ABC News and a reporter for ABC NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service.
As he had hinted last fall, Chicago Tribune star columnist John Kass is back behind a microphone. He just launched “The Chicago Way,” a weekly series for wgnplus.com, the podcast platform of Tribune Media WGN AM 720. Produced by WGN’s Jeff Carlin, the latest edition of the podcast ran the gamut from presidential politics and Chicago police scandals to Greek weddings and a farewell to the columnist’s legman, Will Lee. Kass co-hosted middays on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 for three years until February 2015.
Interesting to see which Sun-Times staffers Bruce Sagan singled out when he was named chairman of the board of the new Sun-Times Holdings. Sagan, 87, publisher of the Hyde Park Herald and founder of the Daily Southtown, stepped up last week when Wrapports bossman Michael Ferro switched sides to Tribune Publishing. “I look forward to the opportunity to share my experience leading the Chicago Sun-Times into the future,” Sagan said in a written statement. “We know there is tremendous demand from readers for Mary Mitchell’s commentary; Lynn Sweet and Mike Sneed covering politics and Richard Roeper’s movie reviews. We know they want to read our great coverage of Chicago sports, our long-form Watchdog investigations and our perceptive columnists who write about Chicago life and culture.”
There’s a rare opening on “Sound Opinions,” the nationally distributed rock ‘n’ roll talk show hosted by critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis and produced by Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5. The posting is for a successor to Jason Saldanha, who resigned after 10 years as senior producer. “@SoundOpinions doesn’t hire producers very often,” tweeted Ben Calhoun, vice president of content and programming at Chicago Public Media. “It’s like the Halley’s Comet of radio jobs. Only more awesome.”
Richard Wronski, who was transportation reporter at the Chicago Tribune before he accepted a voluntary buyout in December, has launched Chicago Transportation Journal, a new website at chitranspo.com. The online platform will continue Wronski’s reporting on the beat, especially keeping an eye on the Chicago area’s transportation agencies. “The Chicago Transportation Journal’s goal is to be the most comprehensive source of in-depth transportation news and information for the general public, commuters and transit users,” he wrote. “It will be an independent voice.” Before his 27-year run at the Tribune, Wronski worked for the Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal and the Daily Southtown.
Make of this what you will, but Chicago’s progressive talk station just added a new tag line — “Facts Matter” — to its marketing and on-air promos. That’s the election year mantra of Newsweb Radio’s WCPT AM 820 and WCPT FM 92.5. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WCPT tied for 34th place with a 0.6 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 149,700. Newsweb Corp. is owned by Fred Eychaner, the Chicago media magnate and one of the country’s top donors to liberal candidates and causes.
More details are known about the holdup of Marcus Richardson, the WBBM-Channel 2 cameraman who was on assignment in San Francisco covering Super Bowl 50 for the CBS-owned station. Richardson was robbed of his camera and a backpack by two unidentified gunmen last Tuesday while he was putting equipment back into his car, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report. He had just finished photographing the famous intersection of Lombard and Hyde (site of the crookedest street in San Francisco). “Two suspects approached from behind and took his equipment at gunpoint,” police spokesman Dennis Toomer told the paper. The gunmen, both described as 6 feet tall and between 18 and 25, took off in a sedan. Richardson was not injured.
A memorial service will be held March 5 for Joseph Antelo, former Tribune Entertainment executive who lured film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert from public television to commercial syndication in 1982. Antelo died January 23 in Palm Springs, California, after an accidental fall. He was 86. Over his 27-year career at Tribune Co., he held top sales positions with WGN Continental Broadcasting and served as executive vice president of Tribune Entertainment. As executive producer of “At the Movies,” he personally negotiated with every station that carried the program. After retiring, Antelo launched Spanish radio station WOPA (now WRTO AM 1200) and became president of Caballero Spanish Media.