Robservations on the media beat:
There was a time when the end of “The Jerry Springer Show” would have been front-page news in Chicago. But word this week that the syndicated talk show had ceased production after 4,000 episodes and 27 seasons mainly drew shrugs of good riddance. Named the worst TV show all time by TV Guide in 2002, the sleazy slugfest originated for 17 years from Chicago’s NBC Tower before relocating to Connecticut in 2009. While it was here, the Rev. Michael Pfleger waged a lengthy public battle against Springer’s glorification of violence. At one point, the host was hauled before the Chicago City Council where grandstanding aldermen questioned him about whether the fights on his show were real or fake. Springer’s short-lived stint as a news commentator for NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in 1997 prompted the resignations of top anchors Carol Marin and Ron Magers and the defection of thousands of viewers. “We’ve stopped production of the show,” Springer, 74, told “Entertainment Tonight.” “Whenever you make changes, it’s sad.”
Block Club Chicago, the subscription-based neighborhood news service launched this month by former editors of DNAinfo Chicago, is teaming up on coverage of Chicago’s City Hall with The Daily Line, a subscription newsletter focused on city, county and state politics. The two news organizations also plan to work together to cover the 2019 mayoral and aldermanic campaigns as well as coverage of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council. “By teaming up with The Daily Line, it allows us to cover more neighborhood issues as we rebuild the strong citywide reach we had at DNAinfo,” said Shamus Toomey, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Block Club Chicago. Heather Cherone, managing editor of The Daily Line, previously covered City Hall for DNAinfo Chicago. “By joining forces, we will strengthen our ability to shed light on stories that matter most to our readers — the people who live and work in Chicago,” she said.
There’s a new online resource for journalists, courtesy of the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Designed to “help improve the working lives of reporters at all levels,” IBA Newsroom provides tips on reporting skills and news updates from the broadcasting and journalism fields. It also features sections on the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act as well as a handy pronunciation guide to every city and county in Illinois. (Here is the link.) The site was created for the IBA by Bill Wheelhouse, retired statehouse bureau chief for Springfield public radio.
Get well wishes to Kevin “DreX” Buchar, new morning personality on Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM, who’s been off the air for more than a week. It turns out he was hospitalized with complications from a previous surgery and now is back home recovering. While awaiting his return, co-host Nina Hajian and producer Gabe Ramirez are holding down “The DreX and Nina Show,” which airs from 5:30 to 10 a.m. DreX hosted mornings on iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM from 2003 to 2010.
Former Chicago Tribune sportswriter Chris Kuc is back on the beat. He’s covering the Chicago Blackhawks again — this time for NHL.com. Kuc was among a dozen Tribune staffers laid off in March in a wave of newsroom cuts. The son of veteran Chicago sportscaster Jerry Kuc, he’d been working at the Tribune since high school at Hinsdale South. “I’m very excited to join the http://NHL.com correspondent team,” Kuc tweeted. “I’m looking forward to learning more about this sport called hockey. I’m told it’s a good one.”
A tip of the hat to Dick Goss, who’s retiring at the end of the month as sports editor of the Joliet Herald-News. “After more than 35 years in this seat, the time is right to pass the baton,” he wrote. “There are so many great memories and so many wonderful friends that this job has provided me through the years.” Goss was first hired as a part-time sportswriter for the Herald-News while he was a student at Joliet Catholic Academy. After graduating from the University of Illinois and working for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, he rejoined the Herald-News as sports editor in 1983. He’ll be honored by Shaw Media at a retirement farewell June 28 in Joliet.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Spike O’Dell: Radio is going to miss a true professional and a very intelligent guy. No one knew the inner workings of Chicago City Hall better than Dave Stewart. I had the pleasure to work a couple of times for a while with Dave. A class act, a true gentleman, and proud to call him a good friend. You’re going to like this retirement thing Dave! Also, don’t try to out-trivia this guy when it comes to the Beatles.