Robservations on the media beat:
Reese Marcusson has been named acting chief executive officer of Window to the World Communications, parent company of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical music WFMT FM 98.7. James Mabie, chairman of the board of trustees, announced the appointment this week while the board narrows its search for a permanent successor to Dan Schmidt, who retired as president and CEO. Marcusson, 59, joined the company as vice president/controller in 1990 and headed operations and planning before being named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1998. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015. Mabie also announced that Renée Weingard has retired after 36 years as assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees.
Make a note to catch WGN-Channel 9’s 9 p.m. newscast Saturday. That’s when Jim Ramsey will sign off after more than 30 years as weekend weather forecaster at the Tribune Broadcasting station. His retirement culminates a 42-year career in broadcasting, including an earlier stint at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. “It has been a great honor to serve all of you,” Ramsey wrote on Facebook. “And I am sure that whoever takes my place will do their very best to serve and inform Chicagoans.”
Hospitals & Health Networks, the flagship magazine of Chicago-based American Hospital Association for more than 90 years, has printed its last issue. The move affects an undetermined number of employees and free-lance journalists who wrote for the magazine. “We are not backing off from providing the content, insight and analysis, we are just delivering it in a different form in a more streamlined, consolidated fashion,” Rick Pollack, CEO of the hospital lobbying association, told Modern Healthcare.
A tip of the hat and a wag of the tail to Steve Dale, Chicago media’s foremost pet expert, who’s celebrating 20 years this weekend on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720. “Steve Dale’s Pet World” airs at 6:30 a.m. Sundays. Dale’s dedicated advocacy for companion animals has led to changes in laws and creations of dog parks and dog friendly areas. Said Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content and programming at WGN: “No dog or cat or gecko, or human for that matter could have a better friend than Steve Dale.”
In addition to the dueling New Year’s Eve countdown shows on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 and NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, Chicago viewers have a third local choice this year: Telemundo Spanish-language WSNS-Channel 44 will broadcast “Fiesta de Año Nuevo en Chicago” live from the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, Congas and Mi Tierra, starting at 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Hosts will be Maria Elena Ponticiello and Jessica Delgado of Telemundo Chicago and David Miranda, reporter and producer for WGN AM 720. The show will feature a retrospective of 2017 and a look at New Year’s cultural traditions.
Happy New Year and thanks to readers of this blog everywhere. I’m grateful for your support.
Thursday’s best comment: Ron Britain: Thx to the genius of Ken Draper who brought together an incredible group of talents in 1965 in Chicago, it was at WCFL where I met Dick Orkin. Although not an on the air personality, Dick’s special talent made a contribution in many ways. I have great memories of playing several roles in Chickenman, and later, Dick came up with the Amazon Ace series where I played Bernie the Faithful Indian. We all shared a lot laughs during those tapings. I am so happy that our paths crossed and I will miss him.