Robservations on the media beat:
A movie on the life of Mike North? That’s the word from the former Chicago radio sports talk personality whose “outrageous and unconventional road to the top of the Chicago media world” is being developed and scripted by Chicagoan Jeremy Morrison in conjunction with writer/director Adam Rifkin. “It is an absolute honor and privilege to be given this opportunity,” Morrison said in a statement announcing the biopic, planned for production in 2019. “Growing up I absolutely idolized Mike and now to work side by side with him on this project is a blessing. I am thankful for not only Adam’s mentorship, but his entrusting me with the task of bringing Mike’s incredible story to life on screen.” Said North: “Be-Be and I are humbled and excited to be working on this project with Adam and Jeremy.”
It’s a first for Chicago radio legend John Records Landecker and his famed actress daughter Amy Landecker. Starting at 11 p.m. Thursday, the two Landeckers will turn up as co-hosts on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM. The two-hour father-and-daughter stint was the idea of Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content at WGN. “Amy and I have appeared as guests together on numerous radio and television broadcasts but never as co-hosts on our own,” said the Radio Hall of Famer. “At the very least it should be nerve-racking.”
Prompted by the losses of radio giants Entercom and Cumulus Media as clients, United States Traffic Network is shutting down its radio operations. The immediate impact of the closing, effective Friday, is expected to be felt by Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM and Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM, among other local outlets. “Well, I don’t have a job anymore. Who wants to hire me?” tweeted Adam Chappelle, who reported morning traffic on WBEZ. In recent weeks WBEZ had been experimenting with a new traffic reporting format during “Morning Edition,” but Chappelle was still in the mix. WGN station manager Todd Manley said he’s had no discussions with USTN, adding that the station intends to maintain a traffic partnership that includes Mary VanDeVelde as morning and midday reporter.
The loss of talent at the Chicago Tribune continued Monday with the resignation of Monique Garcia as Springfield-based state government and political reporter. She’s joining Mac Strategies Group, a strategic communications, public affairs and government relations firm, as vice president of public and media relations. Hailed as one of the “best state capitol reporters in America” by the Washington Post, Garcia joined the Tribune as an intern in 2007. “This is a wonderful new chapter in my career, as I have long watched the smart, hard work of the team at Mac Strategies Group and am excited to join their ranks,” Garcia said in a statement. “I look forward to using my experience in the newsroom to help connect clients with journalists across the state in order to drive meaningful conversations about very important public policy issues.”
Monday’s comment of the day: Patty Martin: Jerry Bryant and JBTV illustrate what’s right about the music business: genuine passion, excitement, discovery and professionalism. JBTV is a first-rate operation with talented staff and top-notch equipment. Artists are treated well and the finished product is as good as any performance or interview footage you’ll see. Sending loads of healing energy and strength to Jerry to beat this thing.