Robservations: Chuck Schaden returns for ‘Those Were the Days’ milestone

Chuck Schaden

Robservations on the media beat:

Steve Darnall

Radio Hall of Famer Chuck Schaden, the preeminent broadcast historian who launched “Those Were the Days” in 1970, returns to the old-time radio showcase this weekend to mark its 2,500th program. Schaden will join Steve Darnall, who succeeded him as host and producer in 2009. They’ll celebrate the milestone with re-creations of classic radio shows they’ve staged over the years, including “Ma Perkins,” “The Lone Ranger” and “X Minus One.” “There’s something undeniably enjoyable — for performers and audiences alike — in bringing these classic shows to life in front of present-day audiences,” Darnall said. “Those Were the Days” airs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on College of DuPage’s WDCB 90.9-FM and

Lakeshore PBS

Lakeshore PBS WYIN-Channel 56 is back on the air — more than two months after a violent storm knocked out the northwest Indiana station’s transmitter. Service has returned to viewers over the air and on DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T, thanks to a temporary low-power transmitter. A new full-power transmitter is expected to be installed October 16. “We are very appreciative of the many viewers and members who’ve reached out to us during our outage, letting us know that they miss their programming and their local PBS station,” James A. Muhammad, president and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, said in a statement. “Their biggest concern was that we were going dark permanently.”

Jamie Ceaser

October 14 will be a red-letter day for Jamie Ceaser. The veteran Chicago producer will have two documentaries premiering the same day. Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind the Bunny,” produced with writer Jennifer Hou Kwong, will debut at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival at AMC River East, 322 East Illinois Street. It’s the story of Playboy’s founding art director and creator of the magazine’s iconic logo. At the same time, a documentary Ceaser co-produced with writer Dave Hoekstra, “The Center of Nowhere, The Spirit and Sounds of Springfield, Mo.,” will debut at Chicago Filmmakers, 5720 North Ridge Avenue. It focuses on the home of “the most overlooked roots music scene in America.”

Scott Davidson

Scott Davidson’s “Rebel Radio,” the heavy metal/hard rock format that’s been a fixture on various Chicago radio outlets since 1994, just launched its first AM/FM simulcast. In addition to streaming online at and on the TuneIn Radio app, it now airs on Polnet Communications north suburban WPJX 1500-AM and FM translator W223CN at 92.5-FM. Calling it “The Big 4 Station” — featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax — Davidson said: “‘Rebel Radio’ is now the first ever 24/7 365 radio station on AM and simulcast on FM.”

Rukmini Callimachi

A New York Times reporter’s shot at the “gutted” Chicago Tribune Wednesday elicited a ferocious backlash from journalists here. Rukmini Callimachi tweeted: “Always proud to be a @nytimes reporter. Especially proud this week as I visit Chicago & realize just how gutted @chicagotribune is. Read this piece & ask yourself what other newspaper dedicates this kind of resources to quality reporting?” Callimachi linked to the New York Times story on President Donald Trump’s family financial history. Chicago colleagues blasted her for what they took as cheap shot, prompting Callimachi eventually to delete it: “Folks, I’ve deleted a clumsily-worded tweet from earlier today. My intention was to express sadness at what @tronc has done to the newspaper I once read every morning, one which used to have one of the best foreign desks in the country, not to offend it’s [sic] talented reporters.”


Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM has signed Total Traffic and Weather Network as its traffic content provider. In addition to real-time traffic data and services, the deal includes TrafficNet, a 24/7 dashboard covering live breaking traffic information. Earlier this year, WBEZ updated its traffic format back to focus on the biggest traffic issues on the roads and with mass transportation.

Wednesday’s comment of the day: Rich Koz: Thanks for the mention, Rob. An actor pal of mine (let’s call him a well-known Jedi) sent me congratulations and said that when he first was depicted in Mad, he felt he had finally made it! Well, I’m not sure if I have — but it is a real milestone for me!