Robservations on the media beat:
Security was beefed up at the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers owned by tronc following a shooting Thursday at the company’s Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, that left five people dead. “Out of abundant precaution, we are increasing security presence at the company,” CEO Justin Dearborn told employees. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We are focused now on providing our employees and their families with support during this tragic time.” It was not clear what measures were taken in other area newsrooms. “First and foremost, we are deeply saddened by the senseless slaughter today,” Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath said in a statement. “As to our own security, for obvious reasons we do not disclose our security strategies.” The Daily Herald declined to comment.
The Straight Dope, a mainstay of the Chicago Reader for 45 years, has run its course as a weekly column. The decision to pull the plug, announced this week, coincides with the planned sale of the Reader by Sun-Times Media. Written under the pseudonym of know-it-all Cecil Adams since its inception in 1973, the popular question-and-answer column has been the work of Chicago journalist Ed Zotti since 1978. At its peak it was syndicated to more than 30 papers. “It’s possible a successor to the Straight Dope will emerge, possibly with daily online content. But no decision has been made, and my role, if any, has not been determined,” Adams/Zotti wrote in a farewell. “I can’t say I have no regrets; there are things I might have done differently. But I’m grateful for the opportunity — and grateful that the Straight Dope community will live on.”
Former Chicago TV news anchor Antonio Mora has gone digital as editor in chief of a newly-created news site that draws from sources across the political spectrum. Called News and News, it aggregates stories along with a “bias meter” that quantifies the political leanings of the postings. (Here is the link.) Both the website and the daily videos Mora hosts strive to be “independent, non-partisan and impartial.” The venture is backed by hedge fund manager Nathan Leight, with plans to create a revenue model eventually. In addition to his run from 2002 to 2008 at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, Mora’s credits include ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the former Al Jazeera America.
Alden Loury, director of research and evaluation for the Metropolitan Planning Council, has been hired by Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM as senior editor of its new race, class and communities desk. He previously worked as senior policy analyst and senior investigator for the Better Government Association, and editor and publisher of the Chicago Reporter. “Alden has covered the issues and questions at the heart of race, class and immigration for nearly two decades as an award-winning investigative reporter,” Steve Edwards, vice president and chief content officer at WBEZ, said in a statement. “He was our top choice for this important role, as he brings keen editorial judgment, superb data analysis skills, outstanding leadership qualities and a metropolitan perspective that will be vital to this desk.”
Capping a 48-year career with the parent company of the Daily Herald, Jim Galetano announced his retirement Thursday as senior vice president/director of circulation at Paddock Publications, effective August 10. In 1970 he joined the company selling subscriptions and assisting in customer service while still in high school and began full-time as a district manager a year later. “He has guided the Daily Herald circulation department through its strongest growth years and many expansion efforts,” Doug Ray, chairman, publisher and CEO of the Daily Herald Media Group, told staffers in an email. “His commitment to his family and to the company, his knowledge of circulation operations, can-do attitude and problem-solving approach will be missed.”
Thursday’s comments of the day: John McHugh: The tribute segments to Kathy Brock were more like a tribute to her AND Alan Krashesky. I’m surprised they didn’t show him working on her parents’ farm.
Kathy Brock: Look for that video tonight.