Robservations on the media beat:
It’s been a week of acquisitions for Paddock Publications. On Thursday the parent company of the Daily Herald announced the purchase of three weekly newspapers downstate — the Carbondale Times, Weekend Times and Nightlife — along with their commercial printing and niche publication business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the addition brings to 15 the number of papers in Paddock’s Southern Illinois group. “Paddock’s strategy for growth includes purchase of select community newspapers and niche products where Paddock’s brand of community journalism and marketing innovation provide additive revenues and profitability,” Doug Ray, chairman, publisher and CEO of Paddock Publications, said in a statement. Earlier this week, as you may have read, the company hired a media columnist for the Daily Herald.
A four-minute video exposing harassment of women in sports was honored this week with a Peabody Award for public service. “More Than Mean,” produced for $300 by Just Not Sports and One Tree Forest Films, shows men reading hateful tweets sent to Chicago sports reporters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro. “A moving attack on misogynistic troll culture, the video’s simple message about civility online is painfully conveyed by the damage the vicious tweets do not only to the women forced to hear them, but also to the unsuspecting men who read them face-to-face with the female reporters and who are literally confronted with the immediacy of violence and sexism,” the award cited.
Mass layoffs at ESPN hit home Wednesday. Among about 100 employees whose jobs were eliminated was ESPN Chicago columnist Melissa Isaacson. The Chicago native joined ESPN.com in 2009 after 19 years as an award-winning sportswriter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune. “Feeling sad about being part of ESPN layoffs today, but trying to be optimistic,” Isaacson told Facebook friends. “I have been very excited about [a] manuscript that has been in the works for a while now, so that’s something . . .”
Tronc, parent company of the Chicago Tribune, lost an outstanding professional with the resignation of Dana Meyer as executive director of corporate communications. Meyer joined the former Tribune Publishing in 2014 as corporate communications manager after three years at Discovery Communications. Tronc confirmed Meyer’s departure and posted an opening for a vice president of corporate communications and public relations.
From the folks who bring you “Chicago’s Best,” the weekly food show on Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 and CLTV, comes a new weekly entertainment and lifestyle showcase. “S.E.E. Chicago,” (which stands for “shopping, entertainment and events”) will air at 10:30 p.m. Sundays on WGN, starting this weekend. It will rerun at 4:30 p.m. Saturdays on WGN and at multiples times on CLTV. Hosted by nutritionist, author and reality show veteran Dawn Jackson Blatner, the new series is produced by Oak Brook Productions.