US 99 rounds out new on-air lineup

Kimmie Caruba

Kimmie Caruba

With the hiring of a new nighttime personality Monday, CBS Radio finalized the weekday talent lineup on its refreshed and rebranded country WUSN FM 99.5.

Kimmie Caruba, a Chicago native who once worked as a morning show intern for iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC FM 103.5 and programming intern for Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11, was signed to host from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday on US 99, starting August 29. Continue reading

Robservations: BGA staff votes to unionize

Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw

Robservations on the media beat:

Investigators, reporters and other staff members of Chicago’s Better Government Association voted unanimously last week to seek representation by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The unionizing move could be seen as a challenge to Andy Shaw, who has headed the nonprofit investigative news organization and civic watchdog group since 2009. It comes just weeks after the resignations of Robert Reed as director of programming and Robert Herguth as director of investigations. Their departures reportedly were prompted by changes in the organization’s structure and revisions in its investigative strategy. No comment yet from Shaw or SAG-AFTRA officials. SAG-AFTRA recently won elections to represent producers of “Chicago Tonight” at Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11, and staffers who work in content and technical areas at Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5. Continue reading

WGN’s Robert Jordan to retire with ‘profound gratitude’

Robert Jordan (Photo: Bart Shore)

Robert Jordan (Photo: Bart Shore)

Capping a distinguished 43-year career in Chicago television news, Robert Jordan announced plans Sunday to retire next month as weekend news anchor at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9.

“Bob has dedicated his career to informing Chicago for more than four decades,” Jennifer Lyons, news director of WGN, said in a statement. “His dedication is unparalleled; he is truly a legend in Chicago broadcasting.” Continue reading

B96 afternoon stars Stylz & Roman jump to US 99 mornings

Doug Stylz and Justin Roman

Doug Stylz and Justin Roman

Another Chicago radio bombshell: Doug Stylz and Justin Roman, the highly-rated afternoon duo on Top 40 WBBM FM 96.3 for the past 10 years, are switching to WUSN FM 99.5 as the country music station’s new morning team, CBS Radio announced Thursday.

Effective September 6, they’ll replace Lisa Dent and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens, who parted company with US 99 last week. Stevens moved to Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 as morning co-host with Big John Howell. Continue reading

WFMT boss Steve Robinson leaving

Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is stepping down after 16 years as executive vice president and general manager of classical WFMT FM 98.7, the Window to the World Communications station announced Monday.

No successor was named for Robinson, 69, whose last day at the station will be September 30. He said he plans to “stretch [his] entrepreneurial wings in the for-profit world.”

Continue reading

US 99.5 rebrands as ‘Chicago’s Hottest Country’

"Chicago's Hottest Country"

“Chicago’s Hottest Country”

The first phase of rebranding CBS Radio country WUSN FM 99.5 rolled out Monday with the new slogan “Chicago’s Hottest Country.”

“It’s important that we reflect today’s country listener in everything we do,” program director Jeff Kapugi said in a statement. “The artists, music and concerts are hot and now so is ‘US 99 Chicago’s Hottest Country.’ ” Continue reading

Robservations: NBC 5 to debut 4 p.m. newscast Monday

Marion Brooks

Marion Brooks

Robservations on the media beat:

Monday marks the start of a 4 p.m. weekday newscast on NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, increasing NBC 5’s output to 41 hours of local news each week. Marion Brooks will anchor the additional half-hour, with co-anchor duties shared by Rob Stafford and Dick Johnson (similar to the lineup for the 4:30 p.m. newscast). “Our new 4 p.m. newscast will expand our local news commitment and offer our viewers even more of what they’re looking for,” David Doebler, president and general manager of NBC 5, said in a statement. The move, announced last April, puts NBC 5 on equal footing with ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, which long has started its afternoon news block at 4 p.m., and Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9, which added a 4 p.m. newscast in September 2014. Continue reading

Robservations: Skilling ‘doing swell’ after vertigo attack

Tom Skilling

Tom Skilling

Robservations on the media beat:

Tom Skilling, Chicago’s superstar meteorologist, says he’s “doing swell” after he suffered an attack of vertigo on the air Monday night. “I was in the middle of the weather pictures and everything started spinning,” he told fans in a Facebook video posted from home Tuesday. Skilling, 64, is expected back August 11 at Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9, where he’s been king of weather since 1978. “It’s not fun,” Skilling said of the spell, “but you’re over it in a couple of minutes. And they tell me the best thing to do is just rest after it. So that’s what I’m doing. But I wanted to let you know it wasn’t anything horrible horrible.” Continue reading