Robservations on the media beat:
Susanna Song has chosen not to renew her contract after more than seven years as a general assignment reporter at WBBM-Channel 2. Her last day at the CBS-owned station will be Friday. Song has accepted a new job as director of communications and marketing at High Wire Networks, a tech company based in west suburban Batavia. “This new role will give me the time and flexibility to maintain a career while still be the best mother for my two young kids,” she said. “Who knows what the future holds, but this is undoubtedly the path that feels right for now and I’m excited to see where it all leads.” A native of north suburban Buffalo Grove and graduate of Stevenson High School and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Song joined CBS 2 in 2010 from KSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Veteran Chicago journalist and digital news innovator Charlie Meyerson, whose excellent Chicago Public Square daily newsletter attracted a loyal following in its first year, is adding a rewards program to readers who provide financial support. Basic email subscriptions are still free, but Meyerson will now offer a variety of incentives to those who pledge $5 per month or more. “This simply gives fans a chance to help propel this enterprise to the next level — and, at the higher levels of support, to sample Square’s power as an advertising medium,” Meyerson said. (Here is the link.)
Chicagoland Radio Information Service (CRIS Radio), the nonprofit reading service for the print impaired , has launched a new weekly podcast for people who are blind. “It’s Highly Recommended,” hosted by blind journalists Sandy Murillo and Brett Shishkoff, will cover new trends in technology and the arts as well as offer TV, movie and book reviews. The Chicago Lighthouse is presenting the podcast in memory of the late Bill Jurek, the longtime Chicago broadcaster who served as director of CRIS Radio. New editions will be posted every Friday at itshighlyrecommended.buzzsprout.com and stitcher.com.
Four Chicago radio stations are among 50 nationwide to be named finalists in the National Association of Broadcasters annual Crystal Radio Awards. The awards recognize stations for outstanding year-round commitment to community service. Local finalists include all three Hubbard Radio Chicago stations — classic rock WDRV FM 97.1, adult contemporary WSHE FM 100.3 and hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9 — as well as iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary WVAZ FM 102.7. Winners will be announced April 10 at the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Friday’s best comment: Mark Edwards Edelstein: One thing you’ve got to give Sinclar credit for, having the slimiest/smartest/most crafty legal staff. They’ve figured how to bend every rule until it’s at the breaking point, slide into every loophole, and get Federal agencies to bow to their wishes. Sell excess Tribune stations then rent them back so you can keep running them? That’s some vintage 2000 Clear Channel Radio stuff there.