Robservations: Johnny B. makes a run for it at Radio Hall of Fame

Jonathon Brandmeier (Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

Robservations on the media beat:

An afternoon snowstorm in New York Thursday delayed the start of the 30th annual National Radio Hall of Fame ceremonies — including the induction of Chicago legend Jonathon Brandmeier and 10 others. Jimmy deCastro, senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago (and the man who brought Brandmeier to The Loop in 1983), said in his introduction: “If this was Chicago, the snow would’ve been plowed, we’d all be in the bar and this would’ve been over two hours ago!” Said Johnny B.: “Our hotel is six blocks from here, we’re in the car for two hours and my wife of 37 years says, ‘Let’s make a run for it’ — and we did! That’s a queen!” Among other Chicagoans on hand was Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont, who reported that Brandmeier “brought the highest energy level to his acceptance speech [and] referenced advice given to him early in his career by his mother: ‘Be funny, Johnny.'” Also inducted were syndicated hosts Nanci “The Fabulous Sports Babe” Donnellan (in absentia), the duo of Mike Golic & Mike Greenberg, Kid Kelly, Mark Levin and Dr. Laura Schlesinger; local hosts Mike Francesa, Joan Hamburg and Jim Kerr; and consultant Fred Jacobs. Continue reading

Michael Arndt resigns as editor of Crain’s Chicago Business

Michael Arndt

Michael Arndt resigned Thursday as editor of Crain’s Chicago Business following a change in leadership at the weekly publication and website.

In an email to staff, Arndt announced his departure, effective November 30. “Actually, I do have a real job plan, but I can’t share it with you just yet,” he wrote. He joined Crain’s in 2010 as managing editor and was promoted to editor in 2012.  Continue reading

Emanuel wouldn’t be first Chicago mayor to turn TV pundit

Rahm Emanuel on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” (Photo: ABC News)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s appearance on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday stirred up speculation that he’s shopping around for a new job in television news when he leaves City Hall in May.

The Daily Beast reported this week that Emanuel has met with top executives at MSNBC and CNN to discuss “a potential future as a cable news pundit.” He’s being represented by William Morris Endeavor, the talent agency where his brother Ari Emanuel is co-CEO. Continue reading

Robservations: New ABC 7 reporter Alexis McAdams hails from Palatine

Alexis McAdams

Robservations on the media beat:

Alexis McAdams, a reporter at WXIN/WTTV, the Fox/CBS duopoly in Indianapolis, has joined ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 as a per diem reporter. It’s a homecoming for McAdams, who grew up in northwest suburban Palatine and graduated from William Fremd High School and Illinois State University. She began as a reporter and weekend news anchor at WTVO, the ABC affiliate in Rockford. “I’m so excited to join the No. 1 station in the city and can’t wait to tell stories in my hometown,” she told Facebook friends. McAdams is the niece of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. She starts this week at ABC 7. Continue reading

WLS taps Ben Shapiro for afternoons

Ben Shapiro

It’s official: Commentator and podcaster Ben Shapiro will succeed Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl as afternoon host on WLS 890-AM, the Cumulus Media news/talk station announced Monday.

Confirming a report here Friday, “The Ben Shapiro Show” will air from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting January 7. The first hour will consist of Shapiro’s daily podcast (which now airs at 9 p.m. on WLS), followed by his new two-hour, live syndicated show, which will originate from Los Angeles. Continue reading

Robservations: Two Emmys honor new generation of Dahls

Matt Dahl and Pat Dahl

Robservations on the media beat:

Steve Dahl as Elvis (1981)

Fans of a certain age still remember how radio renegades Steve Dahl and Garry Meier shocked the media establishment when they won a Chicago Emmy Award for “Greetings from Graceland,” their 1981 special about Elvis Presley. (Here is the link.) Thirty-seven years later, the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored two of Dahl’s sons for their TV work. At Saturday’s 60th annual regional Emmys, Pat Dahl, founder and vice president of Banner Collective, won for a Wintrust Bank commercial. Matt Dahl, former manager of digital video for the Chicago White Sox, won for “Night Before Soxmas.” (Matt now works as a firefighter in Mount Prospect.) “Consider me one proud dad (and PR department),” their famous father wrote. “They have great talent and wonderful wives!” Continue reading

Class of 2019: Silver Circle to add 11 TV legends

Frayn and Clifton Utley

A husband-and-wife team who pioneered television news commentary and global-affairs reporting in the 1950s are among the broadcasting legends named recipients of Silver Circle Awards, the Chicago TV industry’s highest honor.

Clifton and Frayn Utley were announced Saturday along with nine other 2019 Silver Circle honorees at the 60th annual regional Emmy Awards, sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. They’ll be inducted May 3. Continue reading

Robservations: Ben Shapiro poised for afternoons on new WLS lineup

Ben Shapiro (Photo: Yehuda Remer)

Robservations on the media beat:

Erich Mancow Muller

We’ll soon be hearing more of Ben Shapiro on WLS 890-AM, according to insiders. The editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com and conservative commentator, whose hourlong podcast now airs at 9 p.m. weekdays, is expected to host a syndicated afternoon show on the Cumulus Media news/talk station. Starting early in the new year, sources said, he’ll replace afternoon star Steve Dahl, whose last show on WLS airs December 21. Confirmation of the deal could come Monday when Shapiro originates his podcast from WLS studios in Chicago. There’s also word that Erich Mancow Muller may be in line to host mornings on WLS, shifting Big John Howell to another role at the station. Muller, who paired with Pat Cassidy in middays on WLS from 2008 to 2010, most recently hosted mornings on the former WLUP (aka The Loop) before it was sold in March. Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, declined to comment on any personnel moves. Continue reading