Robservations on the media beat:
The decision to cease Monday-through-Friday publication of RedEye after 15 years and convert the spunky tabloid into a weekly dining and entertainment guide effectively ends the Chicago Tribune’s grand experiment to convert 18- to 34-year-olds into daily newspaper readers. The immediate impact will be the loss of untold editorial and production jobs when the cutback takes effect February 3. But sources say it also could signal renewed interest in a merger involving the Sun-Times and the Tribune. Former Sun-Times owner Michael Ferro, who now runs Tribune parent company tronc, long has hoped to bring both papers under his control. The Sun-Times already relies on tronc for printing and distribution. Now with RedEye no longer competing against the Sun-Times for tabloid-reading commuters (and with Gannett out of the picture), insiders say it’s a “logical next step” — assuming Ferro can get around antitrust issues.
Corporate speak is alive and well at tronc, where employees this week were invited to attend “self-review training sessions” as part of a “new and improved companywide approach to performance management, which we are calling Performance Achievement.” From now through early February, employees were told, “the entire Talent & Organization Development (T&OD) team, including your local Talent Engagement Partner, will be conducting self-review training for all non-union employees during the same time.” Anna Rich, manager of talent and organizational development, concludes: “Thank you for owning your performance and continued development.”
It’s a terse “no comment” from ESPN Radio and sports/talk WMVP AM 1000 on reports of the imminent demise of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic’s syndicated morning show. SI.com says Greenberg will host a new television show for the ESPN cable channel, leaving Golic to team with another radio partner or seek a new venture. “Mike & Mike,” who’ve been paired since 1998, air from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1000. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the show ranks 17th with a 2.1 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 256,700.
Rosalind Rossi resigned this week after 36 years as a reporter at the Sun-Times to join the Chicago Public Schools’ inspector general’s office. Rossi and former Sun-Times reporter Art Golab will head a new performance analysis unit to examine system-wide issues, including allegations of fraud, waste and mismanagement, under inspector general Nicholas Schuler. “We are excited that Rosalind and Art have joined us to help found this imperative initiative,” Schuler said in a statement.
“At Home with Gary Sullivan,” a do-it-yourself home improvement show syndicated by Premiere Networks, debuts this weekend on Newsweb Radio progressive talk WCPT AM 820 and WCPT FM 92.5. Airing from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, the show originates from Cincinnati, where Sullivan grew up and spent 40 years selling, using and talking about home improvement products. “At Home” replaces “Mighty House Home Improvement Radio,” which moved to Kovas Communications north suburban news/talk and foreign-language WCGO AM 1590, airing from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturdays.
Friends and colleagues from throughout the Chicago radio community gathered Thursday to pay tribute to Marty Zivin, the “audio visionary” and Internet radio pioneer who died earlier this week of cancer at age 60. Among the eulogies at his funeral in Buffalo Grove was one from veteran broadcaster and best friend Bart Shore, who said: “Marty’s lasting impact will be the community of friends we all became — all because of Marty Zivin.”