Robservations on the media beat:
After more than three decades as a weekend and fill-in air personality at WXRT 93.1-FM, Richard Milne has moved up to afternoon drive — from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday — on the Entercom adult album alternative station. Jason Thomas, who’d hosted afternoons since 2006, will shift to weekend and fill-in duty, and continue to host “The Big Beat” from 10 p.m. to midnight Mondays. “Needless to say, I’m thrilled at the prospect of day-to-day communication with WXRT listeners and working full-time alongside an air staff that I’ve long considered the best in radio,” Milne said. “Many great years are ahead for WXRT and I’m proud to have been asked to play a part.” The Addison Trail High School alum, who started in college radio at Southern Illinois University and worked at the former WDEK in DeKalb, joined WXRT in 1986. For 26 years, Milne hosted and produced “Local Anesthetic,” the station’s weekly new music showcase.
Meteorologist Mike Janssen, who’s been on staff at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 and CLTV since 2010, has been named weather forecaster for WGN’s weekend evening newscasts. He replaces Jim Ramsey, who retired in December after 30 years at WGN. Janssen, who grew up in Kankakee County and graduated from Southern Illinois University, studied meteorology at Mississippi State University. “I’m excited for this wonderful opportunity,” he tweeted. “It’s humbling to be following in Jim Ramsey’s footsteps.”
Keith Sgariglia, former managing editor of ESPN.com, has been named director of digital media for Entercom Chicago. Jimmy deCastro, senior vice president and market manager, said Sgariglia will build online products for the seven-station group here. A native of New Lenox and graduate of Providence Catholic High School and Northwestern University, Sgariglia spent 17 years as interactive manager for ABC Radio stations in Chicago and ESPN Radio WMVP 1000-AM, where he created and oversaw ESPN’s first local sports website. He previously worked at alternative rock WKQX 101.1-FM as interactive manager, marketing and promotions manager, and on-air host.
Andrew Gill, digital producer at Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM, has been named producer of “Sound Opinions,” the syndicated rock music talk show hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. Starting in June, he’ll replace Evan Chung, who left to become multimedia producer for Public Radio International’s “Studio 360” in New York. “Andrew’s dedication, skill, and creativity are top notch,” said “Sound Opinions” executive producer Brendan Banaszak. “That, along with a passion for music, makes him the perfect fit for this job.” A Wheaton College graduate, Gill joined WBEZ in 2005.
The FCC took another step toward approving the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Monday by soliciting comments from the public. That’s a precursor to the agency’s decision on the controversial deal, which is expected sometime after July 12. Sinclair has said it plans to divest ownership of “Chicago’s Very Own” WGN but retain control over the station’s operations — including news, programming and sales — under joint sales and shared services agreements.
Monday’s comment of the day: Candace Jordan: Melissa [Forman] is a much loved personality and they are very lucky to have her! I can’t wait to hear her sweet voice again! Great choice, Lite FM!