Robservations on the media beat:
It’s official: “Good Day Chicago” news anchor Darlene Hill and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 have parted company. Hill has been off the morning show since the end of September when her contract expired. On Friday, both sides publicly acknowledged the split. “I want to thank all of the viewers in Chicago, the people who allowed me to tell their stories every day from the city to the suburbs,” Hill said in a statement released by Fox 32. “The past 23 years have been magical and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of an award-winning news team at Fox 32 News. I’m not sure what the future holds but I’m excited about the next steps on this new journey.” Said general manager Dennis Welsh: “We want to thank her for her many years of service to Chicagoans and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.” Succeeding Hill alongside Scott Schneider on “Good Day Chicago” is Anita Padilla. A Chicago area native, Padilla joined Fox 32 as a reporter in 2007 after 10 years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5.
Tronc finally confirmed Friday what the Chicago Tribune first reported in August: The newspaper will be moving next year from Tribune Tower to leased space on five floors of One Prudential Plaza, 130 East Randolph Street. “While moving is always difficult and leaving our home since 1925 brings a sense of nostalgia, this is a wonderful opportunity to create the next generation newsroom and an overall energetic and inviting environment for our entire team,” CEO Justin Dearborn told staffers in a memo. Tribune Tower, the neo-Gothic landmark at 435 North Michigan Avenue, was sold last year to Los Angeles-based CIM Group and Chicago-based Golub & Co. for redevelopment.
Crain’s Chicago Business just became the latest publication to pull the plug on its website’s comments section. Citing “the trolls [who] leave their trails of slime before we know it,” the company said: “Simply put, we do not have the personnel to manage this commentary, to keep it civil and fair and to halt the back and forth before it devolves into invective, name-calling and, in too many cases, outright hate speech. We’d rather not play host to these often anonymous commenters. They drive out more civil readers and potential commenters. They sully our content, our brand and our sponsors.” Reader engagement is still accessible through social media and email.
Also at Crain’s Chicago Business, at last there’s a replacement of sorts in the top job — albeit by long distance. Mary Kramer, group publisher of Crain Communications business publications in Detroit and Cleveland, will add group publishing responsibility in Chicago and New York. The former editor of Crain’s Detroit Business will continue to be based in Detroit. The publisher role here has been vacant since last November when 33-year veteran David Snyder left along with associate publisher Lisa Emerick.
Sunday’s Daily Herald featured a unique “poster editorial” taking aim at fake news and what the newspaper called “the misappropriation of the phrase for cynical political purposes to turn it into an assault on the press.” The newspaper said: “It’s a major concern and we have been proactive in recognizing our responsibility to respond to it. . . . Today’s editorial is one unique response, developed by our editors as they searched for ways to highlight the issue more pointedly. We hope you’ll embrace our editorial poster, that you’ll clip it and post it and share it.”
Next week marks the debut of “Golic and Wingo,” the new ESPN Radio morning show host by Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, airing here on sports/talk WMVP AM 1000. Wingo succeeds Mike Greenberg, who left to host “Get Up,” a new ESPN TV morning show with Jalen Rose and Michelle Beadle, debuting April 2. “Mike & Mike” ended its 18-year run Friday. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, ESPN 1000 tied for 23rd in mornings with a 1.7 percent audience share.
Friday’s best comment: Craig Russell: This format has been tried all over the country. It does well for the first few months, but then fades. It happened in Indy, Detroit and so on. JAMS will skyrocket to # 3 over 6+ in the next 2-3 months. Then by this time next year, it will be back to 18th place, like K-Hits before it. Look at the Throwback station in Indy went from 21st 3 years ago to number 1 in 2 months. Now it’s 19th. In Detroit, the Bounce went 23-7-1 in its first 3 months, now it has settled in 13th. There’s only so many “Throwbacks” and soon, much like “Don’t Stop Believin,” you will get tired of “The Humpty Dance.”