Robservations: WBBM radiothon keeps ‘Good Neighbor’ spirit alive

Good Neighbor Radiothon

Robservations on the media beat:

Eddie “Chicago Ed” Schwartz

Here’s to you, Eddie: “Chicago Ed” Schwartz, the legendary overnight radio host who died in 2009, was known for the annual “Good Neighbor Food Drive” he started in 1982. It eventually morphed into the “Good Neighbor Radiothon,” which continues to this day on Entercom all-news WBBM 780-AM and WCFS 105.9-FM. Starting at 5 a.m. Friday, WBBM Newsradio morning anchor Pat Cassidy will host the 18-hour fundraiser for The Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club live from Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. “Our journalists look forward to this event every year; it is a chance for WBBM’s entire news team to report on the positive work being done to provide food, clothing and shelter to neighbors in need within our own community,” Jimmy deCastro, senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago, said in a statement. “Our listeners are among the most informed, caring and generous of Chicagoans, and their support each year speaks volumes.”

Bruce Rauner

Outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner was the overwhelming loser of the year, according to a lively panel of media luminaries who appeared before the Publicity Club of Chicago Wednesday. At the group’s annual roundup of “hits and misses,” the lame duck guv’s numerous blunders in office and on the campaign trail were served up on a platter by Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business, Susanna Homan of Chicago Magazine, Maze Jackson of WVON 1690-AM, John Dempsey of WLS 890-AM and Andrea Darlas of WGN 720-AM. The year’s biggest PR winners, according to the panel, ranged from Michelle Obama to Mayor Rahm Emanuel (for managing his surprise retirement announcement) to Chance the Rapper.

John Kass

There’s a little less diversity these days on the editorial board at the Chicago Tribune. Three of its members have just taken buyouts, including two women who were on the newspaper’s masthead — commentary page editor Marcia Lythcott and deputy editorial board editor Marie Dillon. The third was Paul Weingarten, a board member and former associate managing editor for metropolitan news. With Lythcott’s departure, Washington-based columnist Clarence Page is the only African-American on the editorial board. Recently added to the board is John Kass, who continues as the paper’s most prominent columnist. One result of the move is that Kass may be exempt from joining the Chicago Tribune Guild, the recently formed union of newsroom employees. Kass did not respond to a request for comment.

Dometi Pongo

Dometi Pongo, the versatile newsman at Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM, has another outlet for his talents. This week he debuted as host of “Need to Know,” a new Twitter Live video series produced by MTV News. Each morning Pongo offers a “deep dive” on a major story of the day and each afternoon he recaps the day’s top stories. His first report was a guide “through the good and bad of George H.W. Bush’s complicated legacy.” Pongo continues as a reporter and news anchor at WGN.

Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn, who works as a sound engineer for Karl Clauson’s morning show on Moody Radio Chicago WMBI 90.1-FM, may have a new career as a commentator. “That’s Real with Hannah Lynn” a series of one-minute features giving “biblical encouragement and advice to young believers who want to love and live God’s Word,” debuts this month on Moody Radio stations nationwide. According to Lynn’s bio, she grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, learned to play the harp, and started a fashion blog before she graduated from Moody Theological Seminary. “I have felt alone in my faith many times as a twenty-something-year-old,” Lynn said in a statement. “I really want Christians to feel encouraged that they are not alone. It can get discouraging and confusing when social media, our favorite TV shows and even friends, are telling us something that is opposite than what Jesus would want for us.”

Wednesday’s comment of the day: Bernie Cicirello: I laugh my head off every time I see posts by certain habitués of this space bemoaning “left-wing” and “liberal” this or that. This is a big world, and every form of news and opinion can be yours. If you rely on only one source, then shame on you. The Sun-Times will survive or fall because they adapted to the new age of journalism or not.