Robservations on the media beat:
Cable news channel CLTV will broadcast live coverage of the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Gaughan approved the request this week by Tribune Broadcasting, parent company of CLTV and WGN-Channel 9. WGN reporter Julie Unruh will lead the station’s coverage, starting with opening statements by the prosecution and defense through the conclusion of the trial. Jury selection is currently underway. CLTV is carried on Comcast Xfinity Channels 352/1091, RCN Channel 616 and Mediacom Channel 215.
Mark Lazerus, who covered the Chicago Blackhawks for the Sun-Times since 2013, has joined The Athletic as senior writer. He’ll be writing columns and features “from all over the Chicago sports scene” for the subscription-based sports website. “I’m leaving a dream job to pursue an even dreamier one,” he wrote in an introductory post. Lazerus, a former sports editor of the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana, also is the author of If These Walls Could Talk: Chicago Blackhawks: Stories from the Chicago Blackhawks’ Ice, Locker Room, and Press Box, published in 2017 by Triumph Books.
Rich Hillengas, an award-winning photographer and 36-year veteran of WLS-Channel 7, has been promoted to news operations manager at the ABC-owned station. He joined ABC 7 in 1982 as a vacation-relief engineer from KTVI, now the Fox affiliate in St. Louis. “Rich has been behind the lens on some of the biggest stories of the past few decades: multiple Olympic games, political conventions, presidential campaigns and all kinds of disasters,” Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director of ABC 7, said in announcing the appointment. “As news operations manager, Rich will play a key role as we continue to modernize our newsgathering practices.”
Also at ABC 7, Alexandria Jud has been hired as producer of the station’s top-rated 10 p.m. newscast, starting September 17. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Jud most recently was executive producer at WTHR, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis. Earlier she worked at WNDU, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, Indiana. “Alex is creative, thoughtful and knows news,” said ABC 7 news director Jennifer Graves. “She’ll be a terrific addition to our stellar 10 p.m. team.”
WKQX 101.1-FM, the Cumulus Media alternative rock station, and Itasca-based Church Street Brewing Company have teamed up to market a new India pale ale craft beer. A portion of the proceeds from Q Street beer will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “This collaboration is an opportunity for WKQX to give back to the community on frankly a tough topic to talk about in suicide prevention, but one we all need to be acutely aware of,” said Troy Hansen, program director of 101 WKQX. They’ll introduce the beer at a launch and dance party September 21 at Cubby Bear, 1059 West Addison Street. (Here’s the link for ticket information.)
How do Chicago area newspapers establish their editorial policies? That’s the subject of today’s monthly luncheon of the Publicity Club of Chicago. Panelists will include John Lampinen, editor of the Daily Herald, Tom McNamee, editorial page editor of the Sun-Times, and Michael Lev, editorial board member of the Chicago Tribune. Moderator will be Chicago journalist Charlie Meyerson, publisher of ChicagoPublicSquare.com. The event will start at noon at Maggiano’s Chicago, 516 North Clark Street. Walk-ins are welcome.
Bob Andresen, who was a highly acclaimed producer and editor for three Chicago broadcast newsrooms, died August 30 of lung cancer. He was 77. In addition to his work as a producer at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, he helped launch the all-news format at the former WMAQ Radio as morning-drive editor. “What I loved most about Bob was watching him work on deadline,” recalled Bob Sirott, who worked with him at CBS 2 and Fox 32. “Fast, accurate, never rattled and always time for a laugh.” Andresen also taught broadcast journalism as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Loyola University, Columbia College and the University of Illinois.
Comment of the day: Eric Zorn: I wrote a column on Art [Hellyer] and his pal Eddie Hubbard on Oct. 4, 1982 (alluded to in Chuck Schaden’s retrospective). I didn’t mention his age then but he must have been roughly 60, my age now. He’d been through many career ups and downs already and both he and Hubbard had been thrown lifelines by nostalgia station WJJD. I wasn’t around — not even born when he was an enormous celebrity in town, bigger in his day than Steve Dahl, Jonathon Brandmeier, Mancow, Wally Phillips, Larry Lujack, any of those guys were in their day. He kept in touch over the years — decades after I left the radio — and there was always a fundamental decency and good humor about him. He should be a Radio Hall of Fame inductee. Best wishes to his family.