Robservations on the media beat:
When you’re last in the ratings and still declining, someone has to take the fall for it. That looks like the case at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where David Parrish is out as executive producer of the 10 p.m. newscast. The move signals more changes under Jeff Harris, who’s been vice president and news director of CBS 2 since July. “It was an honor to serve as a manager at CBS 2,” Parrish told me. “This is the greatest TV news market in the country. I look forward to many more exciting years in the Chicago broadcast community.” Parrish’s 15-year run at CBS 2 was preceded by seven years as 9 p.m. newscast producer at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9. CBS 2 has posted a job opening for a new executive producer.
As expected, Tribune Publishing has extended its latest buyout offer to editorial employees, including Chicago Tribune staffers represented by the Chicago Tribune Guild. “Our overall goal at Tribune Publishing is to accelerate our company’s transformation into a truly digitally-focused enterprise – one that can sustain the meaningful journalism we have delivered for centuries,” Maya A. Bordeaux, senior vice president of human resources at Tribune Publishing, wrote in an email. “Although we are making progress against these goals, we continue to operate in a challenging business environment. Based on the ongoing trends in our industry, we need to make some difficult decisions to align our costs with revenue trends.” Employees have until December 3 to apply for the voluntary separation plan. “Further workforce reductions” are expected to follow, according to the company.
Our hearts go out to Buzz Kilman, longtime Chicago radio newsman/sidekick and blues musician, on the loss of his wife, Aimee, who died Tuesday after an 11-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. A native of Roselle and massage therapist, she was 53. “Aimee Jo Johnson-Kilman . . . she was the best!’ Buzz Kilman wrote on Facebook. “My dream girl! R.I.P. with all my love forever!” Condolences also to their 17-year-old daughter Piper.
Pat Dean, a two-time Peabody Award-winning news producer and programming executive at three network-owned stations in Chicago, later became a professor at two leading journalism schools. Dean died of cancer Sunday in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at 72. She retired in 2011 as associate director of the School of Journalism, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. She previously served as associate professor and broadcast news chair at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Dean began her career as a reporter for the Daily Herald.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Stan Williams: Special kudos to WGN-TV for staying with yesterday’s tragedy through the primetime hours to provide complete coverage of the slain officer’s solemn procession through Chicago on the way to the medical examiner’s office. It was a very moving and emotional procession, and the WGN anchors handled it extremely well. While all of Chicago’s other stations cut away to their regular schedule, WGN showed a lot of class by staying with the story until its conclusion. Nice job, WGN.