Robservations on the media beat:
The great Dann Gire, award-winning film critic of the Daily Herald, is stepping down today after 42 years as a full-time employee of the newspaper. Gire, 64, was among a reported 17 staffers to accept voluntary buyouts from parent company Paddock Publications. But wait, there’s a sequel: Gire is expected to continue reviewing movies and contributing other features on a freelance basis. Until his new deal is official, Gire declined to comment. He joined the Daily Herald in 1975 as a reporter covering government, crime and courts, and was named film critic in 1978. A graduate of Eastern Illinois University and eight-time winner of the Peter Lisagor Award for arts criticism, Gire also serves as president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association.
Good news for fans of Brooke Hunter: The veteran Chicago radio personality is joining the weekend lineup at Hubbard Radio adult contemporary WSHE FM 100.3. She’ll sign on next week, according to program director Cat Thomas. Hunter replaces Josh Villa, who left to devote full time to his duties as director of digital radio for Chicago-based Moody Radio. Until earlier this year, Hunter hosted middays at iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT FM 93.9. The Columbia College graduate previously worked for WCFS FM 105.9, WKQX FM 101.1, WTMX FM 101.9 and the former WZZN.
I thought I knew Ginger Zee from her years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 before she became a national star as ABC News chief meteorologist. But as her candid new memoir reveals, there’s much more behind the sunny disposition. Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One. recounts how a small-town Michigan girl hit the big time after a tough childhood, lifelong battles with depression and a checkered romantic life. Zee gives shout-outs to a few Chicago pals (including Rick DiMaio, Zoraida Sambolin and Frank Whittaker), but I wish she’d identified the Chicago politician she dated on the sly until she discovered in a magazine photo that he was engaged to someone else. “I wasn’t even mad at him,” Zee writes. “I was more mad at myself for asking so little and expecting so much.” She’ll be in Chicago for a book signing December 8 at The Standard Club, 320 South Plymouth Court.
With one night to go in the November sweep, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 appears certain to win the Nielsen top spot for its 10 p.m. newscast and nearly all other news time periods. It’s No. 1 in overall households and among viewers between 25 and 54 — the group most sought by advertisers. The only exception is in mornings when Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 leads in adult demos. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, final Nielsen numbers are expected to be released Monday.
Tuesday’s best comment: Lee Gibson: I’ve never understood [Charlie] Rose’s appeal, then or now. To me, the guy is smarmy. phony, unctuous, and he just oozes self-regard. To find out he’s a monumental sleaze is hardly a surprise.