Robservations on the media beat:
Friends and fans are pulling for Jerry Bryant, founder and producer of “JBTV,” the longest running music television show in the country. Bryant, 66, is being treated for Stage 4 colorectal cancer after undergoing two surgeries to remove tumors from his colon and lung, according to a statement released Sunday. “Jerry wants everyone to know that although these obstacles are difficult and there’s a lot of trials to come, he’s committed more than ever to helping artists and exposing new music,” the statement said. Several fundraising events are being planned to help Bryant, who is recording his fight against cancer for an upcoming documentary on his life and love of music. “We continue to do our shows and Jerry, health permitting, will still be Jerry and doing all that Jerry does,” said “JBTV” co-owner Michael Harnett. “He even edited another show yesterday — the man cannot be stopped even by cancer.” The Emmy Award-winning Bryant was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2014.
A tip of the hat to the Northwest Herald and reporter Ed Komenda for their coverage of an Algonquin Township highway commissioner’s attack on the newspaper. When commissioner Andrew Gasser used the township’s billboard Friday to post “THE NORTHWORST HERALD IS FAKE NEWS,” owner Shaw Media reported it as front-page news, including comments from local officials blasting the improper use of public property for a personal political statement. When asked about the sign, Gasser told Komenda: “I put it on there because you’re fake news. I just don’t want to talk to fake news.” The message was taken down on Saturday.
LaMont Watts, former program director of urban news/talk WVON 1690-AM, is the man behind “95.1 FM Clubsteppin’,” a new urban adult-contemporary station. He acquired the translator from Chris Devine’s Windy City Broadcasting. Since 2005 Watts has programmed the dance music format at clubstepping.com. “This move will be historic because this format has not been done on a 24/7 basis on a terrestrial radio station, and we are so thankful for Windy City Broadcasting for the opportunity to make this happen,” said Watts, adding that he’ll be bringing “some familiar voices” back to radio. Could legendary morning host Tom Joyner be part of the plan? Stay tuned.
“Bears Unleashed,” a half-hour weekly talk show billed as covering “all the relevant hot topics” surrounding the Chicago Bears and the NFL, will air at 9:30 p.m. Fridays on Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, starting September 7. Hosts will be: Brittney Payton, who joined Fox 32 earlier this year as a contributor to its “Good Day Chicago” morning show; Shae Peppler, sports reporter and weekend sports anchor at Fox 32; Gabe Ramirez, morning show co-host at Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM; and former Bears defensive lineman Corey Wootton. Payton is the daughter of the late Bears legend Walter Payton and the sister of CLTV sports host Jarrett Payton.
Nneka McGuire has resigned as real estate and homes editor of the Chicago Tribune to join the Washington Post, where she’ll be working on a new section. Before she was hired at the Tribune in 2016, the Beverly native worked as senior editor at the health and wellness publications of StayWell and held internships with NPR, NBC News and the Tribune.
Friday’s comment of the day: Ray Urchel: BK [Bill Kurtis] story is 20 years too late. Sorry.