Robservations on the media beat:
Crain’s Chicago Business editor Michael Arndt fortified his staff Thursday with the promotion of Ann Dwyer to managing editor and the hiring of Craig Newman as assistant managing editor. Dwyer, a 21-year veteran of Crain’s, most recently was deputy managing editor, overseeing digital operations. She succeeds Steve Reiss, who resigned last month to join ESPN’s The Undefeated. Newman, who takes over digital and daily news operations from Dwyer, had been managing editor of the Sun-Times before his position was eliminated last August.
Danny Lake is weighing an offer to return to WLS FM 94.7 as a part-time host after his full-time shift from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday was eliminated this week at the Cumulus Media classic hits station. The new weekday lineup features Brant Miller, Kim Berk and Marti Jones from 5:30 to 9 a.m.; Berk solo from 9 to 10 a.m.; Greg Brown from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Robert Murphy from 3 to 7 p.m.; and Jeff Davis from 7 p.m. to midnight. Lake, who also calls himself Bob Worthington, joined WLS on weekends in 2008.
Goli Sheikholeslami, president and CEO of Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5, was elected this week to the board of directors of NPR. She is one of 12 member directors on the network’s 23-person board. “This is such an important time for public radio,” Sheikholeslami said in a statement Thursday. “It is a time of both enormous opportunity and formidable challenge. We’re well positioned to meet both, and I’m excited to help work towards that – to help re-imagine public radio for the next generation. We’re in an environment where other media outlets are struggling, and blurring lines with sponsored content and native advertising. We have a model that works – for us, for our mission, for our audience. It works for journalism. I’ve really never been more excited and optimistic about working in media than I am right now.”
Radio Hall of Famer and midday star Terri Hemmert returned to a surprise hero’s welcome this week at CBS Radio album adult alternative WXRT FM 93.1 after recovering from cancer surgery January 11. “You know all of that love you folks sent me during this battle with cancer? I’ll keep it in my heart forever,” she wrote on Facebook. “Now since there is no limit to the love you make, how bout sending some of that healing love into the world. God knows we need it. And by the way, your DJ loves you right back.”
Jamie Kalven, the Chicago writer and human rights activist who heads the Invisible Institute, has won a prestigious George Polk Award for his reporting on the shooting of Laquan McDonald. “Sixteen Shots,” Kalven’s article published by Slate Magazine in February 2015, investigated McDonald’s autopsy and predicted all that followed. “[Kalven] was instrumental in determining how the case of Laquan McDonald unfolded,” Polk Awards curator John Darnton said. “He is a fine example of a reporter who worked his sources to come to a truth in an important situation.”
Garrard McClendon, the former talk show host on Tribune Media CLTV and City College of Chicago’s WYCC-Channel 20, is back. Starting March 4, he’ll host “CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon” at 8 p.m. on Fridays on Northwest Indiana Lakeshore Public Television’s WYIN-Channel 56. “From being born in Hammond, raising a family in Merrillville and now living in Chicago, I have seen this area from a variety of points of view,” he said. “That diverse voice is what I want to bring to the show.”
Daniel French, whose credits as a producer run the gamut from Mancow Muller to Milt Rosenberg, is proving adept as a talk show host in his own right. “Everyday with Daniel French” airs at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on Anthem Broadcasting news/talk WCGO AM 1590. “Politics is important, but not as important as life itself, love, faith, and friends and family,” he said. “Oh, and music, movies, sports, space, science, and travel, philosophy.” Also new to the station is “Classic Radio Theater,” airing from 9 p.m. to midnight weekdays and syndicated by USA Radio Network.
Brett Chase, an editor and senior reporter for the Better Government Association, has been named editor of investigations at the nonprofit watchdog organization. He’ll work closely with director of investigations Bob Herguth. Investigative reporter Katie Drews has been named education investigator, succeeding Sarah Karp, who left to be part of the education reporting team at WBEZ. Joining the BGA staff as investigators are Casey Toner, former reporter at the Southtown Star (now the Daily Southtown), and Julie Patel, former reporter at the Center for Public Integrity. “It is shaping up to be a groundbreaking 2016 for the BGA and these staff changes will provide us with great depth and breadth in pursuing our mission,” said Bob Reed, the BGA’s director of programming.
Funeral services will be held Friday for Megan Reed, the beloved Chicago radio personality who died of cancer last Sunday at 52. Mass will be at 11 a.m. at St. Mary of the Angels Church, 1850 North Hermitage Avenue, Chicago. Reed had been off the air since September 2014 when she went on medical leave as midday personality at the former WILV (now WSHE FM 100.3). Earlier she worked for WLIT, WYSY, WAUR and WXRT, and taught broadcasting at Columbia College.