Robservations: WKQX breaks up morning team

Brian Phillips and Lou Lombardo

Robservations on the media beat:

It’s splitsville for Brian Phillips and Lou Lombardo as the morning duo at WKQX FM 101.1. In a realignment at the Cumulus Media alternative rock station, Lombardo has moved to evenings, replacing Josh Marconi, who was cut two weeks ago. Lombardo also assumes Marconi’s former duties as digital content captain. Phillips now hosts mornings solo. Walter Flakus has been renewed as afternoon host, assistant program director and music director. Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, said the moves were intended “to make us more efficient and effective to maximize our skill sets at each position.”

Sandra Torres

Sandra Torres, who exited CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 last month after two years as a reporter, has landed a dual role as a reporter for NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and Telemundo Chicago WSNS-Channel 44. It’s a homecoming of sorts for the Colombia native who grew up in Buffalo Grove. Earlier she worked at NBC 5 as a content producer for morning newscasts and at Telemundo Chicago as a reporter and fill-in weather anchor. “I’ve always considered myself a bilingual journalist . . . but this is the first time I’ll be able to use those skills to the fullest in my hometown, Chicago,” Torres wrote on Facebook. “I couldn’t ask for a better way to kick off 2018.”

Amy Brent

Amy Brent, daughter of legendary Chicago bookstore owner Stuart Brent, will host “Amy’s Book Hunt,” a pilot for a new local series, at 8:30 p.m. Friday on Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. Produced by Gary Sherman and Phillip Koch, the special shows Brent exploring rummage sales, basements, and attics hunting for rare and valuable books. “Many people have a treasure sitting right on their bookshelves and they don’t even know it,” she said in a statement. “We find amazing first editions that are precious to collectors, owned by people who had no idea of their value.”

Tal Rosenberg

Tal Rosenberg, culture editor for the Chicago Reader, has been hired as senior editor of Chicago magazine, starting January 16. A graduate of Bard College in New York, Rosenberg was a writer at the music magazine Stylus before joining the Reader as digital content editor in 2011. As culture editor since 2015, he oversaw and edited all arts and culture coverage for the alternative weekly.

Chris Hine

Chris Hine, whose eight years as a sports writer for the Chicago Tribune included covering Blackhawks hockey as well as football and men’s basketball at Illinois and Notre Dame, has joined the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I’ll be their new Sports Analytics/Enterprise writer, writing about all sorts of interesting stuff,” he tweeted. “Can’t wait to get going.” Hine, a Notre Dame graduate, served as a sports writing intern at the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times before joining the Chicago Tribune.


Illustrious alums of WLTL FM 88.1 will lend their voices to the daylong broadcast Friday when the student radio station of Lyons Township High School in La Grange kicks off the celebration of its 50th anniversary. Among those who got their start there were Rick O’Dell, Mike Murphy, Steve Darnall and Ryan Arnold. Friday’s broadcast will feature a six-hour special on the music of 1968. A 50th anniversary staff reunion is planned for April 21.

Tuesday’s best comment: Mike Braden: Channel 7’s New Year’s Eve special is one of those shows everyone says they don’t watch, but they do — so they can come on sites like this and talk about how much they hate it.