Robservations on the media beat:
Family and friends of Doug Banks gathered in Dallas Saturday to hear tributes to the late radio star, including one from President Barack Obama. Jerry Lopes, president of American Urban Radio Networks, read a letter from the president, who’d been a fan of Banks, as was First Lady Michelle Obama, since their years in Chicago. Banks died April 11 of complications from diabetes at 57. Among former Chicago colleagues at the memorial service were personalities Tom Joyner, DeDe McGuire and Rick Party; Marv Dyson, former president and general manager of WVAZ FM 102.7 and WGCI FM 107.5, and Derrick Brown, director of urban programming for iHeartMedia Chicago.
Back to you, Ron and Carol: They were one of Chicago television’s most admired and respected anchor teams of all time. Ron Magers and Carol Marin, who made history during their years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, will be on together again — for one night only. As Magers prepares to retire after more than 50 years in the business, he’ll reminisce about his legendary career in a conversation with Marin on “Chicago Tonight” at 7 p.m. Tuesday on WTTW-Channel 11 (and online at wttw.com/chicagotonight). Marin now doubles as correspondent/contributor to the Window to the World Communications public television station’s nightly news program and political editor for NBC 5. Magers is signing off May 25 as 5 and 10 p.m. news anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.
Tom Doerr, who has nothing to show for his three years as news director at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, reportedly landed another gig Monday. It comes just as his successor, Matt Piacente, joins Fox 32 from NBC-owned WVIT in Hartford, Connecticut. FTVLive.com reports Doerr has been named news director of WINK, the CBS affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida. That’s a drop of 58 markets — from No. 3 Chicago to No. 61 Fort Myers. Which sounds just about right for a guy who’s bounced around more than a dozen stations in his checkered career.
Susanna Homan, who recently was named editor-in-chief and publisher of Chicago magazine, says she’s “excited to be reunited” with Splash now that Chicago Tribune Media Group has acquired the glossy lifestyle and fashion supplement from the parent company of the Sun-Times. Homan launched Splash in 2012 under Michael Ferro, then chairman of Sun-Times owner Wrapports LCC and now chairman of Tribune Publishing. Although she will serve as editor and publisher of both Chicago magazine and Splash, Homan vowed she’ll operate Splash as “editorially independent.” Representatives of both companies declined to discuss terms of the sale.
This weekend’s reunion of pioneers and personalities from WLS-Channel 7 is shaping up to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Janet Davies, the veteran reporter, host and producer at ABC 7 who’ll emcee the reunion, says more than 75 current and former colleagues will be on hand to reminisce about their experiences and record an oral history of the station. Among those she’s heard from is 101-year-old Reinald Werrenrath, right-hand man to Capt. Bill Eddy, who put W9XBK (forerunner to WBKB) on the air for John Balaban. “An Afternoon with Janet Davies and ABC 7 Reunion” from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street, will be open to the public. Tickets are on sale for $15 at museum.tv.