Robservations on the media beat:
A new map for Chicago radio? Sources say there’s an effort underway among local broadcasters to eliminate Kenosha County, Wisconsin, from the Chicago metro market defined by Nielsen Audio. Along with the addition of Jasper County, Indiana, the proposal would more closely align the radio market with Nielsen’s Chicago television DMA (Designated Market Area). The biggest hit would be felt by Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV FM 97.1 since it derives up to one-third of its ratings from its simulcast signal on WWDV FM 96.9, blasting into Kenosha and licensed to Zion. “This really is about creating a level playing field,” according to one source, who said the Kenosha boost gives The Drive an unfair edge over other Chicago FM stations. If nine out of 12 Nielsen subscriber groups vote to approve the change, the new boundaries could take effect later this year.
Good news for fans of Kathy Voltmer, who signed off last December after more than 15 years as news and public affairs manager at The Drive. On Tuesday she’ll be filling in for vacationing Mary Dixon as news anchor on Lin Brehmer’s morning show on CBS Radio adult album alternative WXRT FM 93.1. It’s a reunion for Voltmer and Brehmer, who worked together for three years in the ’90s. Said Voltmer: “I’m really looking forward to being back on the air for the day with my ‘best friend in the whole world.’ ”
John Idler, president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, has been named recipient of the 2017 Dante Award from Chicago’s Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. The award celebrates local media figures who answer the call of Italian poet Dante Alighieri to be “no timid friend to truth.” Also honored at the ceremony May 18 will be Alison Pure-Slovin, Midwest regional director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. She’ll receive the group’s Mazzei Award recognizing extraordinary skills in public affairs.
Beau Duran is expected to be named the new voice of morning drive traffic at CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9, starting April 3. As tipped here, Bart Shore is losing his driver’s seat after 17 years on WBBM Newsradio because CBS Radio has dropped affiliation with iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic Network. In addition to reporting traffic, Duran doubles as fill-in host at Cumulus Media classic rock WLUP FM 97.9. Through a spokeswoman, CBS Radio had no comment. Duran made national headlines in 2002 when he was fired from a Phoenix radio station for making an on-air prank call to the widow of St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Darryl Kile, asking if she had a date to that night’s playoff game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Would you pay $20 to hear Rahm Emanuel? That’s the entry fee to witness Sun-Times editorial page editor Tom McNamee interview the mayor April 4 at the Chicago Cultural Center. On the bright side, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Chicago Sun-Times Charity Trust. If everything goes as planned, insiders said, McNamee’s “One-On-One With Mayor Rahm Emanuel” could become a quarterly event.
“Judge Mathis,” the syndicated reality-based court show produced at NBC Tower in Chicago, was nominated Thursday for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program. It’s a first for the show in its 18-year history. Also nominated in the category of Outstanding Talk Show/Informative was “The Steve Harvey Show,” now wrapping up its five-year run in Chicago. Harvey received two individual nominations — for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host and Outstanding Game Show Host (for “Family Feud”). The 44th annual Daytime Emmys will be presented April 30.