Robservations: ProPublica Illinois adds three more reporters

ProPublica Illinois

Robservations on the media beat:

Mick Dumke

ProPublica Illinois continued to ramp up Wednesday with the hiring of three more reporters. Latest to join the staff of the independent, nonprofit investigative news startup are Mick Dumke, investigative reporter for the Sun-Times, Logan Jaffe, multimedia producer for “Curious City” at Chicago Public Media WBEZ FM 91.5, and Sandhya Kambhampati, a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow at Correctiv, a nonprofit newsroom in Berlin. “We’re very pleased to have recruited such extraordinary journalists to our news team,” Louise Kiernan, ProPublica Illinois editor-in-chief, said in a statement. “Their depth and breadth of experience will allow us to soon get up to full speed and begin publishing investigative stories of moral force.” Earlier hires include investigative reporters Jodi S. Cohen and Jason Grotto from the Chicago Tribune and David Eads from NPR Visuals.

Joe Hosey

Joe Hosey, the investigative reporter and columnist who wrote the book on Drew Petersen, is returning to the Joliet Herald-News. He’s been hired as city news editor of the southwest suburban daily owned by Shaw Media. Hosey previously worked 12 years at the Herald-News before joining Patch as a reporter and field editor in 2010. He’s the author of Fatal Vows, inspiration for the Lifetime movie “Drew Petersen: Untouchable.” In 2015 he was named Journalist of the Year by Northern Illinois University after defying a court order to reveal a confidential source in a Joliet double-murder case.

Kathy Voltmer

Another familiar voice will be turning up this week on WLS AM 890. Filling in as midday news anchor on the Cumulus Media news/talk station will be Kathy Voltmer, a highly regarded 30-year veteran of Chicago radio news. Voltmer signed off last December after more than 15 years as news anchor at Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV FM 97.1. “It will be an honor to be heard on the same legendary frequency as many of my childhood radio heroes,” she said.

John Williams

At last John Williams is back home for good. On Friday he signed off as afternoon host on WCCO in Minneapolis, where he’s been doing double duty — on and off — with WGN AM 720 since 2010. Now his sole job is with the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station here, where he hosts from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. “It’s not good for your mental health,” Williams told the Minneapolis Star Tribune of his juggling act. “I would give out the wrong number, say the wrong call letters.”

Ken Burns

Fans of the great Ken Burns will have a chance to hear from the acclaimed documentary filmmaker and his producing partner, Lynn Novick, at a special event hosted by Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. Burns and Novick will preview and discuss their upcoming 10-part, 18-hour documentary “The Vietnam War” September 7 at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway. Tickets are on sale at

A front page headline in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune misspelled the name of J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire businessman and Democratic candidate for governor. It was corrected in later editions.

Chicago Tribune (June 7, 2017)