Robservations on the media beat:
Sunday will mark Oprah Winfrey’s debut as a special contributor to “60 Minutes,” coinciding with the 50th season premiere of the CBS newsmagazine show. Her first segment will examine America’s political divisions through a panel of ideologically opposed citizens, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “At a time when people are so divided, my intention is to bring relevant insight and perspective, to look at what separates us, and help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds,” Winfrey said in a statement announcing her hiring. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ended its 25-year syndicated run in Chicago in 2011.
Gail MarksJarvis, the nationally renowned personal finance columnist and author, is leaving the Chicago Tribune to become a weekly columnist for Reuters. She’ll continue to dispense advice on personal finance while dividing her time between homes in Chicago and Florida. MarksJarvis joined the Tribune in 2005 after 12 years at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “You don’t have to be a genius, a math brain or know anything about the stock market to invest your money well, build a rich life and eventually retire comfortably,” she writes in her farewell column for the Tribune. MarksJarvis can be reached at email@example.com.
It’s been five weeks since Jim Kirk resigned as publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times to rejoin his former bosses, Michael Ferro and Tim Knight, at tronc. But the new owners of the Sun-Times appear to be in no rush to fill the vacancy. Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath said this week he doesn’t expect to name a new editor until November or later, and may eliminate the position of publisher altogether in a management restructuring. “We are deeply engaged in a rethinking of our newsroom — how it works, what everyone does, everything,” Eisendrath said. “Until that’s done, what sense does it make to give people titles for something when we don’t really know what we need?” Sun-Times managing editor Chris Fusco continues as interim editor-in-chief.
Longtime morning show producer Daniel Wolfe has been promoted to assistant program director at WLS FM 94.7, the Cumulus Media classic hits station. The Coal City native and Illinois Center for Broadcasting graduate joined WLS in 2003. He’ll continue as producer of Brant Miller and Kim Berk’s morning show. “Getting to work in my hometown has meant the world to me,” Wolfe said in a statement.
John Webster headed an all-star news department at the former WCFL in the 1960s that included Carole Simpson, Howie Roberts, Jeff Kamen and John Ganas. The native of Pekin, Illinois, later worked as news director at the former WMAQ. But it was in Cleveland that Webster starred for three decades, becoming a radio legend. Webster died this week while recovering from hip surgery in central Florida. He was 74.