Robservations on the media beat:
WMAQ-Channel 5 is defending itself against criticism that the NBC-owned station unfairly edited an interview last week with Cardinal Blase Cupich. The cardinal called reporter Mary Ann Ahern’s story “misleading” because he said it “gave the false impression that Pope Francis and I consider the protection of children to be less important than other issues, such as the environment or immigration. Nothing could be further from the truth.” (Here is the link to Cupich’s statement.) In response, NBC 5 said: “We believe our story to be accurate in that Cardinal Cupich was referring to the memo about sexual abuse allegations in question. The cardinal was making a point that until accusations are verified, the Pope shouldn’t respond.” The station posted the full unedited interview on its website. (Here is the link to the unedited video.)
“Windy City Live” kicks off its eighth season today with an interview with Tiffany Van Dyke, wife of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who goes on trial Wednesday for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. The show airs at 1 p.m. weekdays on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. The conversation with co-host Val Warner is the latest in a series of pre-trial public relations maneuvers by Van Dyke’s legal team. The Chicago Tribune reported that questions had to be submitted in advance for its interview last week with Jason Van Dyke (which also aired as part of a podcast series on Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM). Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 said no questions were submitted in advance for reporter Dane Placko’s interview with the officer.
Edwin Eisendrath, CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times, has been named Illinoisan of the Year by the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. The award cites individuals who have “made a significant contribution to Illinois, its citizens, the news profession and public information.” “Assembling a group of investors to buy the smaller and scrappier of Chicago’s daily general circulation newspapers is hard, but leading the Sun-Times to success will probably be harder,” said former INBA president Marc Magliari, who nominated Eisendrath. “Let’s be a journalism group that recognizes him for his work in support of competitive daily news and sports reporting before it is too late.” Eisendrath will be honored at the group’s convention September 14 in Springfield.
Ramonski Luv, a fixture on urban radio in Chicago for more than three decades, is out (again) at iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM. Luv, whose given name is Ramon Wade, most recently hosted Friday nights and Sunday afternoons on V103. No word yet on his replacement. After his first stint at V103, where he hosted the top-rated evening show with Joe Soto, Luv briefly worked at Crawford Broadcasting urban adult-contemporary WSRB 106.3-FM. He began his career as morning show producer for Doug Banks, who dubbed him Ramonski Luv.
Another great reporter is leaving the Chicago Tribune. Manya Brachear Pashman, who’s been the paper’s religion reporter since 2003, has resigned to move to New Jersey to follow her husband’s career. Brachear Pashman, who also serves as president of the Religion News Association, said she plans to continue to write for the Tribune through October. “Guess you could say I’ll still be there in spirit,” she told me. She previously worked as a reporter for the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Pam Grimes, acclaimed special-projects producer at WGN-Channel 9, retired Friday after 28 years at the Tribune Broadcasting station. “What a wild, wonderful, whirlwind these past few days have been!” she wrote on Facebook. “Saying goodbye to a job I love, turning 66, and celebrating 31 years of marriage. You’d think as a longtime producer I could have planned a bit better and spread out the fun. But if this is retirement — I am LOVIN’ it!” A 16-time regional Emmy Award winner, Grimes was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2015.
Friends and colleagues are remembering Art Porter as one of Chicago radio’s most charismatic and well-connected producers. Porter, who was 63, died Thursday after an undisclosed illness. Best known for his many years as morning show executive producer at iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI 107.5-FM and urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM, he also worked as promotion director at V103 and producer at the former FM News 101.1. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Judson Baptist Church, 1252 North Austin Boulevard in Oak Park.
Devotion to Accuracy Department: An item here last week identified Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire as a co-founder of the Chicago Film Critics Association. It should have said he was one of the group’s original board members. The association was founded by Sue Kiner and Sharon LeMaire.