Robservations on the media beat:
NBC coverage of the Winter Olympics helped propel WMAQ-Channel 5’s 10 p.m. newscast to first place in key adult demographics, but may not have been enough to win the gold in overall viewership. With two days left in the February sweep, the NBC-owned station holds a comfortable lead among viewers between 25 and 54. In total households, however, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 appears poised to finish first in the late-news race. Analysts say it would be very unlikely for NBC 5 to overtake ABC 7 at this point.
Former network news anchor and reporter Joie Chen has been named director of the Washington-based program of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Chen, who grew up in Evanston and graduated from Medill, was an anchor for CNN and Al Jazeera America and a correspondent for CBS News. “Joie’s career experiences and achievements at the highest levels of network news will allow Medill to build on the more than half-century legacy of our Washington program,” Tim Franklin, senior associate dean at Medill, said in a statement. “Joie will take the lead in growing our D.C. program for the future, creating more opportunities for students, new initiatives for working professionals and timely public events on critical issues facing the news media and our nation.”
Kristen Geil, a Chicago-based freelance writer who holds a master’s degree from DePaul University, has been named editor-in-chief of aSweatLife. The Chicago-based media company produces online content, podcasts and special events on fitness and wellness. Geil succeeds founder Jeana Anderson Cohen, who continues as CEO of the company. “I’ve known for more than five years content and community can help people live their happiest, healthiest and more connected lives,” Anderson Cohen said in a statement. “aSweatLife helps us understand fitness can be a catalyst to one’s best life.”
Joe Frank, a legendary public radio producer and storyteller, is the subject of an independent documentary by Chicago filmmaker D.P. Carlson. “Joe Frank: Somewhere Out There” celebrates his four-decade radio legacy and features dozens of interviews with fellow artists and associates, including Harry Shearer, Ira Glass, David Cross, Grace Zabriskie and Alexander Payne. Frank died of cancer in January at 79. Carlson has launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to release and distribute the documentary. (Here is the link.)
Monday’s best comment: Jon Guiney: Susanna [Song] was a real bright spot on Ch 2. They have good staff, but the product just never seems to come together well. Sorry for this, but I hope this isn’t her swan song on Chicago television.