Robservations on the media beat:
Cumulus Media is bringing Dave Fogel back to classic hits WLS FM 94.7. Starting January 2, he’ll replace Brant Miller, who has hosted mornings since 2012 (and before that from 2008 to 2010). Miller continues as chief meteorologist at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and now adds weather forecasting duties on WLS FM and news/talk WLS AM 890. Fogel, who most recently hosted mornings at classic hits WJMK FM 104.3, has been off the air since Entercom switched K-Hits to a classic hip-hop and R&B format. Fogel last worked at WLS FM from 2010 to 2012. Kim Berk continues as morning co-host. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the station tied for 18th in mornings with a 2.2 percent audience share.
Remember Marc Watts, the former CNN correspondent who later became a Chicago-based talent agent and media trainer? As director of talent development at NFL Network, Watts “regularly made sexually disparaging remarks about women both inside and outside the NFL Network,” according to a report Monday in Deadspin. (Here is the link.) NFL Network’s misogyny and sexual misconduct have come to light since Jami Cantor, a wardrobe stylist for the network, filed a lawsuit that accused Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans, among others, of sexual harassment and assault. In the suit, Cantor said Watts dismissed her reports of sexual harassment. Watts left NFL Network in October 2015 to run Marc’d Academy, a Los Angeles-based media training firm. Watts did not comment. He previously was married to former Chicago news anchor Diann Burns.
Chicago comedian and South Side native Pat McGann will help ring in the New Year with a one-hour comedy special on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26. “Pat McGann’s Pre-Taped New Year’s Special” will air at 9 p.m. December 31 (rebroadcast at midnight). “You remember the lyrics, ‘LA face with an Oakland booty?’” said McGann. “This show has a Chicago face with a Chicago booty. What I’m trying to say is, it’s very Chicago and some very funny Chicago comics helped me make it, and are in it. I hope people enjoy it.”
Steve Darnall, host of “The Were the Days” on WDCB FM 90.9, has a Christmas Eve music treat for listeners to the College of DuPage station. Starting at 9 p.m. Sunday, “Xmas Eve with Steve” will feature jazz, blues, swing, folk and music from around the world. Darnall describes the special as “three hours of seasonal sounds from many eras, from many styles, for many moods; soft and loud, sacred and secular, naughty and nice.”
“The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” will air from 8 a.m. Sunday through midnight Monday on Me-TV FM, the Weigel Broadcasting soft rock/oldies station at WRME LP 87.7. The syndicated countdown special, hosted by Wink Martindale, is based on Billboard magazine charts and listings of the most-played Christmas tracks on radio. It also features stories about each song, interviews with the artists and holiday greetings from the stars.
Monday’s best comment: Jon Kaplan: I had the privilege to work with Steve Baskerville for nearly 11 years. He is one of the nicest, kindest, most caring and classy people you will ever meet, especially in a business where that is a rarity. He’s also a gifted, talented professional who is as good at his job as any in Chicago TV history. Many friends, colleagues and viewers will miss the forecasts and feature stories he has delivered in his illustrious career. He has earned and deserves a retirement of sunny skies, calm winds and mild temperatures.