Robservations on the media beat:
Kelly Clarkson, the Grammy Award-winning singer and first winner of “American Idol,” will host a syndicated daytime talk show to debut in the fall of 2019 on NBC-owned stations, including WMAQ-Channel 5 in Chicago. “I love connecting with people, playing games, music and finding ways to help or give back to communities/organizations,” Clarkson said in a statement. “Having my own talk show where I get to do all of these things is pretty much a dream job!” She most recently has been on NBC ’s reality show “The Voice.” Terence Henderson’s T Dog Media Blog reported Clarkson’s show will replace Steve Harvey on NBC 5’s lineup at 2 p.m. weekdays, leading into Ellen DeGeneres. While that seems the most likely move, station officials say it’s too soon to say when the new show will air. “We have not made any programming decisions for the 2019-2020 season,” said an NBC 5 spokeswoman. Also launching a daytime talk show next fall will be ex-Chicago news anchor Tamron Hall. Hers is expected to air on ABC-owned stations, including WLS-Channel 7.
Siera Santos announced she’s leaving NBC Sports Chicago after three years as a reporter for the regional sports network. Today is her last day. “I am incredibly grateful that my career path led me here,” she wrote in a social media post Thursday. “Stay tuned, you’ll be seeing me again soon, doing what I love to do best!” Santos previously worked as a reporter/anchor at KCBS and KCAL, the CBS-owned stations in Los Angeles. “We appreciate everything Siera has delivered to our network and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” NBC Sports Chicago said in a statement.
Jesse Hamilton has resigned after four years as executive producer of WLS-Channel 7’s morning news. He’s leaving the ABC-owned station to join NBC-owned WNBC in New York as dayside executive producer. “Jesse’s led the morning team through tremendous change in the past four years,” Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director of ABC 7, told staffers in an email. “His thoughtful, calm and determined leadership has charted a new course for that broadcast and for that, I am thankful.” Hamilton previously worked as executive producer of prime time hours at The Weather Channel in Atlanta.
The Chicago radio community was stunned by the passing of longtime sales executive Laura Hangren, who died of a heart attack Saturday at 56. She most recently was an account executive at Weigel Broadcasting soft-rock oldies WRME FM 87.7, Me-TV FM. “Laura was an exceptionally bright spirit with the ability to light up a room with her enormous heart and all-embracing smile,” said friend and colleague Paul Webber. A graduate of New Trier High School and Southern Illinois University, Hangren previously worked in sales for WKSC 103.5-FM, WLS 94.7-FM, WTMX 101.9-FM and WLUP 97.9-FM.
Family and friends of Elizabeth Brackett will gather September 29 to dedicate a bench in her memory at Promontory Point on Chicago’s lakefront at 5491 South Shore Drive. The ceremony will start at 1 p.m. Brackett, a highly acclaimed Chicago journalist and longtime correspondent for WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” died June 17 of injuries from a bicycle accident near 39th Street Beach. A world champion triathlete who first competed at age 50, Brackett died at 76.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Mike Braden: I would’ve tacked on a few extra days to Kris Long’s suspension for not hyphenating “17-year-old boys.”
A personal note: I’ll be off the grid for a few days next week. See you when I get back!