Five named to Chicago Women’s Journalism Hall of Fame

Ida B. Wells

Five notable Chicago women — including a mother and her daughter — have been named the first honorees in the new Chicago Women’s Journalism Hall of Fame.

All five will be inducted Wednesday by the Association for Women Journalists Chicago, founder of the online tribute to “individuals who have made outstanding career contributions to Chicago journalism in areas which uplift and support women.” Continue reading

Robservations: Tronc reported close to sale

tronc

Robservations on the media beat:

Donerail Group, a new investment firm led by former hedge fund executive Will Wyatt, is reported to be in “advanced negotiations” to acquire Chicago Tribune owner tronc. According to Reuters, Donerail Group has secured financing for the deal and could conclude an agreement later this month. Earlier the Tribune and Politico reported that tronc was weighing an offer from a private equity firm, but did not identify it. Aaron Miles, vice president of investor relations for tronc, told analysts on a conference call Thursday: “The company is aware that reports have been published about tronc being in discussions about a possible sale of the company. The company has a longstanding policy of not commenting on market rumors.” In addition to the Tribune, tronc owns the New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and papers in six other cities. Continue reading

WGN happy to celebrate Tom Skilling’s ‘amazing 40 years’

Tom Skilling

News that Sinclair Broadcast Group’s long-planned merger with Tribune Media crashed and burned this week isn’t the only thing they’re celebrating at WGN-Channel 9.

Utter relief that staffers won’t be working for what Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik called “the most hated company in America” added to the revelry already in the works over superstar meteorologist Tom Skilling’s 40th year at “Chicago’s Very Own.” Continue reading

It’s over: Tribune Media kills Sinclair deal

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Ding, dong the deal is dead: Tribune Media has officially terminated its controversial and long-delayed merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

But wait, there’s more: The Chicago-based parent company of WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM announced Thursday it was filing a lawsuit against Sinclair for breach of contract, claiming the Maryland-based company “engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations” with the FCC. Continue reading

Disney/ABC signs Tamron Hall for daytime talk show

Tamron Hall

Former Chicago news anchor Tamron Hall has signed with Disney/ABC to develop and host a new daytime talk show to be syndicated in the fall of 2019.

“I’m so thrilled to partner with Disney/ABC to create a daytime television show that’s unconventional, fun, intimate and sometimes even raw,” Hall said in a statement Wednesday. “My new partners appreciate and respect the relationship I’ve built with my audience and know that if we create television worth watching, they’ll join us for the ride. I’m so grateful and excited for this next chapter. The landing makes the leap of faith so worth it!” Continue reading

Robservations: Univision Chicago anchor Jorge Barbosa signing off

Jorge Barbosa

Robservations on the media beat:

Jorge Barbosa, one of Chicago’s premier Spanish-language broadcast journalists for more than three decades, is stepping down as 5 and 10 p.m. news anchor at Univision WGBO-Channel 66. His last night on the air will be Friday, according to Doug Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media Chicago. No successor has been named. His departure comes as parent company Univision Communications is undergoing a major restructuring. Barbosa, 66, a native of Veracruz, Mexico, and graduate of Northwestern University, spent 10 years as a news anchor and reporter at former Univision affiliate WCIU-Channel 26 before launching Noticias Univision Chicago at WGBO in 1995. In 2012 he was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Continue reading

WGN news director Jennifer Lyons resigns ‘at top of her game’

Jennifer Lyons

Jennifer Lyons, a much loved and respected leader who guided Chicago’s busiest television news operation to the top of the ratings, announced her resignation Tuesday as news director of Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 and CLTV.

Lyons, 50, said she has accepted a new position as vice president of communications and external relations for Catholic Extension, a Chicago-based fundraising organization that supports and strengthens poor mission dioceses nationwide. No date has been set for her departure from WGN. Continue reading

What’s holding up sale of the Reader?

Chicago Reader

On June 15, Edwin Eisendrath stood before the Rainbow PUSH Convention at the Hyatt Regency Chicago and revealed the sale of the Chicago Reader to a group led by Dorothy Leavell, publisher of the Chicago Crusader.

“I’m here to say that the future of the Reader is in African-American ownership,” announced Eisendrath, CEO of the Sun-Times, which has owned the Reader since 2012. “You’re about to have a major publication in Chicago that is African-American owned.” The news drew a standing ovation from the crowd. Continue reading