Robservations: WTTW hires community engagement officer

WTTW WFMT

Robservations on the media beat:

Timothy Russell

For years the joke around town was that WTTW stands for “Winnetka Talking To Wilmette.” That’s about to change. Window To The World Communications, parent company of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical music WFMT 98.7-FM, announced the hiring Monday of a vice president of community engagement. In the newly created position, Timothy Russell will be responsible for crafting and executing community engagement activities and serve as liaison to the community. Russell previously was chief global diversity and inclusion officer for CDK Global and director of global diversity and engagement for PepsiCo. “After a diligent and thoughtful search, we are pleased to have found the best individual to lead our community engagement efforts,” Sandra Cordova Micek, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Tim’s passion and his understanding of the impact WTTW and WFMT can have on the lives of people make him uniquely qualified to build and strengthen true partnerships with communities and organizations across our region.”

Alisa Hauser

Alisa Hauser, the reporter who covered Wicker Park, Bucktown, Ukrainian Village and East Village for Block Club Chicago (and for DNAinfo Chicago before that), has resigned to start “a new chapter” in Portland, Oregon. “After more than a decade of covering the neighborhood tirelessly, we totally understand Alisa’s desire for a change of scenery and a new adventure,” said Jen Sabella, director of strategy and co-founder of the nonprofit neighborhood news website. “We are beyond grateful to her for the energy and passion she brought to both DNAinfo and Block Club Chicago. . . . She’s one of a kind, and she’ll be missed by her colleagues and neighbors alike.” Block Club Chicago posted an opening for Hauser’s position Monday.

Publicity Club of Chicago

What were the biggest public-relations hits and misses of 2018? A panel of Chicago journalists will review the year’s highlights and lowlights at the Publicity Club of Chicago monthly luncheon December 5 at Maggiano’s Chicago, 516 North Clark Street. Participants will include Susanna Homan of Chicago magazine, Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business, Andrea Darlas of WGN 720-AM, John Dempsey of WLS 890-AM and Maze Jackson of WVON 1690-AM. I’ll be honored to serve as moderator. (Here is the link for tickets.)

Steve Zucker

Steve Zucker, the criminal defense attorney who became a prominent sports and media talent agent, is sharing his life story with the world. This week marks release of his memoir, Playing Games Is Serious Business, published by Ampersand, Inc. With a foreword by Jim McMahon, the book relates how the Chicago Bears quarterback prompted Zucker to form a sports management business, which grew to represent clients in football, baseball and basketball as well as news and entertainment. The hardcover edition is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday’s comment of the day: Ed Pilar: Glad to hear Jack Taylor is doing well and still on the air. Watched him on WGN and “The Stock Market Observer” on WCIU. Happy 90th, Mr. Taylor.