ProPublica Illinois hires Tribune investigative reporters

ProPublica Illinois

Two of the Chicago Tribune’s premier investigative reporters were among the first journalists to be hired Monday by ProPublica Illinois, the independent, nonprofit investigative news startup.

Jodi S. Cohen, an investigative reporter and editor and former higher education reporter during her 14 years at the Tribune, and Jason Grotto, an investigative reporter at the Tribune for 10 years, have joined ProPublica’s Chicago-based newsroom as reporters. Both have won numerous regional and national awards. Continue reading

Madeleine Doubek joins BGA as policy chief

Former Daily Herald executive editor Madeleine Doubek has been hired by the Better Government Association to oversee policy and civic engagement for the nonprofit watchdog organization.

Doubek most recently was publisher of Reboot Illinois, the website and subscription newsletter covering state and local government and politics, which she helped launch in 2012. Her depature last month was tied to changes under new ownership, including the elimination of original content on the site. Continue reading

Robservations: ESPN Radio breaking up ‘Mike & Mike’

Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic

Robservations on the media beat:

The long-rumored breakup of ESPN Radio morning hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic after 19 years is official. Greenberg will be leaving to host a new morning show for ESPN TV, starting in January. Joining Golic this fall on the radio show, which airs here on sports/talk WMVP AM 1000, will be ESPN’s Trey Wingo and Mike Golic, Jr. Greenberg, a Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism graduate, got his start in Chicago as a radio and TV sportscaster. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, ESPN Radio 1000 tied for 22nd in morning drive with a 1.8 percent audience share. Continue reading

Reader staffer’s shot at tronc bosses comes and goes

Chicago Reader

A Chicago Reader story that harshly criticized the proposed sale of the alternative weekly to Chicago Tribune parent company tronc suddenly disappeared Thursday after one day on the Reader’s website.

Under the headline “Can the Reader survive a second helping of Michael Ferro?” the story by social media editor Ryan Smith took personal aim at tronc chairman Ferro, who previously owned Wrapports, parent company of the Reader and the Chicago Sun-Times. Continue reading

One city under tronc

Chicago Tribune

“Keep in mind our competition is ESPN and DNAinfo and Facebook and Google and lots of other places than just the Sun-Times.” — Bruce Dold, publisher and editor of the Chicago Tribune, on “Chicago Tonight” May 16.

With the proposed sale of Wrapports Holdings LLC to the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, these area publications would be owned and operated by tronc: Continue reading

Robservations: Ready set go at WGN

WGN News set

Robservations on the media beat:

WGN logo

Now it’s WGN-Channel 9’s turn to show off fancy new digs. On its 4 p.m. newscast Wednesday the Tribune Media station will debut a new news set, featuring “the latest in studio technology, including two video walls, video panels, and LED lighting,” according to officials. “We are excited to have a set that fully supports all of our news programs and are thrilled with the ‘state-of-the-art’ result,” Paul Rennie, president and general manager of WGN, said in a statement. Also look for “Chicago’s Very Own” to unveil a new logo. Let’s just hope the new overlords from Sinclair Broadcast Group approve. Continue reading

Tom Joyner ending Chicago radio run

Tom Joyner

After more than four decades as a fixture on Chicago’s airwaves, the superstar who dubbed himself “The Hardest Working Man in Radio” won’t be working on the air here anymore.

Tom Joyner, who catapulted to fame and fortune as the legendary “Fly Jock” in the 1980s, is being dropped by Crawford Broadcasting urban adult-contemporary WSRB FM 106.3, which has aired his syndicated morning show for eight years. Continue reading

Eric & Kathy ready for a Hart break?

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

The most popular morning radio show in Chicago is in its third week without co-host Kathy Hart — and without explanation to co-workers or fans for her extended absence.

After 20 years alongside Eric Ferguson on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9, Hart has insiders guessing if or when she’ll return to “The Eric and Kathy Show.” Even her bosses aren’t sure what’s up. Continue reading

Sun-Times sale to Tribune owners would unite old rivals

Chicago Sun-Times

The final chapter in the history of robust competition among Chicago’s daily newspapers may have been written Monday with news that the Chicago Sun-Times is headed for a sale to the parent company of the rival Chicago Tribune.

Wrapports Holdings LLC, owner of the Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader, announced that it was negotiating to be acquired by Tribune owner tronc in a deal that could be finalized by June 1.

Unless another bidder comes forward — an unlikely scenario considering the financial distress of the Sun-Times and the onerous printing and distribution agreements it has with tronc — the deal appears headed for approval by government regulators. Terms have not been finalized, according to tronc. Continue reading

Tronc could buy Sun-Times by month’s end, publisher says

Chicago Sun-Times

Unless another buyer comes forward, the Chicago Sun-Times could be acquired by the parent company of the Chicago Tribune by the end of the month, according to a statement from Jim Kirk, editor and publisher of the Sun-Times.

In an email to employees Monday, Kirk said the non-binding letter of intent by Tribune owner tronc to buy the Sun-Times, the Reader “and other assets” from owner Wrapports requires government antitrust approval. Continue reading