Robservations on the media beat:
Dr. Laura Berman, Chicago’s famed love, sex and relationships expert, has just landed a suburban outlet for her syndicated radio show. “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” debuted this week from 9 p.m. to midnight weeknights on Waukegan-based WXLC FM 102.3, the Alpha Media hot adult-contemporary station. “Chicago has been my home and where I’ve raised my family for 15 years,” she said in a statement. “I am beyond thrilled about joining the WXLC family to bring my best voice and my best advice about love and relationships to my hometown.”
Fred Eychaner, the Chicago media magnate and megadonor to Democratic candidates and liberal causes, just sold one of his suburban radio stations to a nonprofit Christian radio network. Eychaner’s Newsweb Radio has agreed to turn over WCPQ FM 99.9 to Bible Broadcasting Network, a listener-supported global Christian network based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Park Forest station currently airs time-brokered “Polski FM” during the day and “Dance Factory” at night. Broker for the $5.099 million transaction was Robert L. Heymann Jr. of Media Services Group. Newsweb Radio continues to operate progressive talk WCPT AM 820 among others. Earlier this month Merlin Media agreed to sell WLUP FM 97.9 to Educational Media Foundation, a contemporary Christian broadcaster, for $21.5 million.
It’s official: Michelle Relerford has been named weekend evening news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 alongside Dick Johnson. Although she’d been filling since last spring, the move was made permanent just recently, according to Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5. Relerford, a Chicago native and graduate of Whitney Young High School and the University of Connecticut, joined NBC 5 as a reporter and fill-in news anchor in 2011.
The Associated Press has a new boss in Chicago. On Tuesday Tom Berman was named to the new position of regional news director for the central United States, overseeing AP’s journalism and news operations across media formats in 14 states stretching from Texas to the upper Midwest. Berman, who most recently was regional editor, will continue to be based in Chicago. The New York City native and New York University graduate joined AP in 1997. “Tom Berman has long been a newsroom leader at AP and has helped lead coverage of defining stories on two continents,” managing editor Brian Carovillano said in a statement.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Eric Zorn: I can think of no better way for our struggling company to spend $5 million a year… oh, wait, maybe I can.