Robservations on the media beat:
A sell-out crowd packed the Museum of Broadcast Communications Thursday for the induction of Chicago morning stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart along with 11 other longtime broadcasters into the National Radio Hall of Fame. In a ceremony that dragged on way past Eric & Kathy’s bedtime, the duo was honored — including a standing ovation — for their extraordinary success over 20 years at Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9. Radio Hall of Famer and syndicated host Scott Shannon smoothly emceed the proceedings, which also inducted Steve Harvey, Michael Savage (both no-shows), George Beasley, Delilah Rene, Bob Kingsley, Kidd Kraddick, Jeff Detrow, Jerry Cesak & Tommy Sablan, Tony Roberts and Neil Rogers.
Chicago radio veteran James VanOsdol has been named programming content specialist for two Cumulus Media stations — classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and alternative rock WKQX FM 101.1. In the newly created position, he’ll produce content “that increases interaction with the social media channels” for The Loop and 101WKQX. Operations manager Wade Linder called VanOsdol “a perfect fit with our all-star team.” VanOsdol said in a statement: “Like any Chicago kid, I grew up listening to The Loop. It’s an honor to be part of Chicago’s most legendary rock station and I am honored to serve the station and WKQX in this expanded capacity to create exciting content that listeners will enjoy across the stations’ social platform, as well as on-air.” He’ll continue to host and produce “Demo 312,” his weekly music show on 101WKQX, and “Car con Carne,” his weekly podcast on Yak Channel.
They’re calling it “Cubsgiving” on Thanksgiving Day at ESPN Radio sports/talk WMVP AM 1000. Serving up nine straight hours of programming related to the Chicago Cubs championship-winning Game 7 of the World Series, the station will replay the entire ESPN Radio Network broadcast, with announcers Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone, starting at 2 p.m. Thursday. For two hours before (from noon to 2 p.m.) and two hours after (from 7 to 9 p.m.), interviews with Cubs stars by ESPN 1000 hosts will be rebroadcast.
Two Chicago music ensembles, the KAIA String Quartet and the Kontras Quartet, have been chosen as Artists in Residence for 2017 by WFMT FM 98.7, the Window to the World Communications classical and fine arts station. Each group will have a three-month residency to “perform, curate and expose audiences to new ways of thinking about classical music” on all of WFMT’s platforms. A total of 65 groups and individuals applied for the new program. “We were thrilled to receive such an impressive number of worthy entries for this competition,” program director David Polk said in a statement. “We know that the two ensembles we chose will greatly enrich our programming, and we are excited about the innovative digital content they will provide for WFMT.com.”
Happy to salute Mary Dixon, award-winning radio news anchor and one of the best in the business, who’s marking her 25th year on CBS Radio adult album alternative WXRT FM 93.1. The Chicago native and graduate of Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois is an indispensable part of Lin Brehmer’s morning show on ’XRT. “Mary is the little sister I never had to tease so I try to make up for lost time,” Brehmer once told me. “She’s a brawler. I guess she’s O.K.”
Our friends in the marketing department of the World’s Greatest Newspaper might want to run their stuff by a copy editor before they post it. The subject line of an email Friday promoting digital access to the Chicago Tribune read: “HURRY! Find out what your missing for only 99 cents.” One thing’s for sure: We know what they’re missing.