Robservations on the media beat:
The last time Lauren Victory worked in Chicago, she was an associate producer for “You & Me,” the weekday morning show on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26. Now she’s back as a per-diem news reporter for CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. A 2011 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Victory most recently was a reporter and fill-in news anchor at WITC, the Fox affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut. She previously worked for WPTZ/WNNE, the NBC affiliate in Burlington, Vermont; and WLNS, the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan. Victory signed on at CBS 2 Monday.
The surprising dismissal Tuesday of Greg Solk as senior vice president of programming and operations at Hubbard Radio continues to reverberate across the Chicago media community. Coming just two months after the exit of Norm Winer, program guru of CBS Radio adult album alternative WXRT FM 93.1 for 37 years, Solk’s ouster was another reminder that the business has lost its way — if not its soul. Besides being one of radio’s all-time great programmers, Solk is a genuine mensch. His employees at Hubbard Radio and predecessor Bonneville International always knew he had their backs. With Solk suddenly gone after 20 years, all bets are off.
Lisa Bertagnoli, a longtime freelance writer for Crain’s Chicago Business, has joined the publication full time as a reporter covering the nonprofits beat. In the newly created position, she will focus on Chicago’s major cultural institutions and their patrons and power brokers, according to Crain’s. Bertagnoli, a native of Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, has degrees from Indiana University and the University of Missouri. She also has written for the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Chicago magazine, Marketing News and Newsweek.
Hundreds of public media executives, programmers, fundraisers and major donors from across the country will gather in Chicago next week for the annual meeting of PBS. With local PBS stations WTTW-Channel 11 and WYCC-Channel 20 as hosts, the event May 17 and 18 will focus on ways the public media industry is transforming “to meet the needs of the communities we serve in our role as ‘America’s Storyteller.’ ” The agenda includes sessions on primetime programming, election coverage, digital innovations and children’s content. Keynote speaker will be Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis and an expert on the topic of inequality of opportunity in America.
Chicago Public Media posted an unusual job opening this week. The parent company of WBEZ FM 91.5 and Vocalo is seeking to fill the new position of media archivist — “to plan and implement the cataloging and digitization of WBEZ’s archival audio.” The job description states: “In this role you will be collaborating with key team members to create an archiving strategy for our newsroom and historical media assets.” Says Ben Calhoun, vice president of content and programming at Chicago Public Media: “It’s going to be a completely rad job.”
Is this the best sports photo of the year? The Associated Press won top honors for sports photography from New York’s Deadline Club Tuesday for this shot (below) of Chicago White Sox right fielder Trayce Thompson losing the ball on a double hit by Oakland Athletics’ Brett Lawrie. The photo was taken September 14, 2015, at U.S. Cellular Field by freelancer Andrew Nelles, who now works for The Tennessean, the Gannett paper in Nashville. In December Thompson was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.