Robservations on the media beat:
“The McLaughlin Group” may be the ultimate Washington insiders’ show, but it owes its status as a national institution to Chicago. It was William McCarter, the visionary architect of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and former president and CEO of Window to the World Communications who partnered in production of the groundbreaking show and brought it to PBS in 1982. Host John McLaughlin, who died Tuesday at 89, once called McCarter “one of the best programming minds in the business.” McCarter retired in 1998 and died in 2011. Dan Schmidt, who succeeded McCarter, said Tuesday “The McLaughlin Group” was “emblematic of public media’s dedication to political commentary and discussion.” No word on plans for the show, which airs here at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays on WTTW.
Scott Shannon, the nationally syndicated radio host, has been tapped to emcee the National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony November 17 at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. This year’s class of inductees includes Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, the morning team on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9. Shannon was inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame in 2006. For ticket information see: radiohof.org.
J.A. Adande, senior sports columnist for ESPN.com and panelist for ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” will join the faculty of the Medill School at Northwestern University next month as director of its new sports journalism program. A 1992 graduate of Medill, he was sports editor of The Daily Northwestern before working for the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Chicago Sun-Times. “J.A. brings tremendous experience, talent and loyalty to Medill,” Dean Bradley J. Hamm said in a statement. “I’ve been impressed with his dedication to students and his ideas and drive to make this program the best of its kind in the world.” Adande will continue to contribute to ESPN.
In a followup to news here Monday that employees of Chicago’s Better Government Association had voted to seek union representation, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists released this statement: “The staff of the Better Government Association cares deeply about this organization and its mission. Organizing as staff members is an essential step to achieving the goals we all share as BGA employees: producing responsible and ethical journalism; promoting effective and smart public policy; and competently operating a 93-year-old nonpartisan organization that will continue to be a force for good. We look forward to the next step in this process.” No comment yet from officials of the nonprofit news organization and civic watchdog group.