Robservations: ‘A new Mancow’ settles in as WLS morning host

Erich Mancow Muller

Robservations on the media beat:

Mark Konkol

Declaring himself “a new Mancow,” Erich Mancow Muller says he’s had nothing but a positive experience on and off the air in the two weeks since he took over as morning host on WLS 890-AM. “I think people will be shocked in that they are not shocked,” he said of his role on the Cumulus Media news/talk station. “We talk to the people that are making headlines and try to figure out what we all can do to make Chicago a place where people want to stay. I think the new show has more upside than any I have ever done.” Joining Muller in studio as a contributor each day has been Mark Konkol, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former columnist for the Sun-Times and DNAinfo Chicago. True to form, Muller joked: “I think the new show is like the current mayor’s race: ‘We hope it’s better than what came before it, but it looks doubtful.’”

Pat Hughes

For the 12th time in his career, Chicago Cubs radio announcer Pat Hughes has been named Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Nine of his citations were in Illinois, preceded by three in Wisconsin. “It’s an honor to have Pat on our team, and a treasure to all Cub fans nationwide that listen to him and Ron [Coomer] every game,” said Mitch Rosen, operations director of Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM. Hughes dedicated his award to Rosen, Coomer and Zach Zaidman. “Those three men have a great deal to do with this award,” he said. Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Morrissey was named Illinois Sportswriter of the Year for the first time. “I’ve always felt lucky to be able to cover sports in this town and to be able to do it with my talented colleagues at the Sun-Times makes it more special,” Morrissey said.

City Bureau

Congratulations to Darryl Holliday, Bettina Chang, Harry Backlund and Andrea Hart, co-founders of City Bureau, on receiving the 2019 Rising Star Award from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Founded in 2015, City Bureau is a Chicago-based nonprofit civic journalism lab that brings journalists and community members together “to produce equitable media coverage, encourage civic participation and hold powerful forces to account.” Especially noteworthy was the group’s recent launch of Documenters.org, a website and data base that keeps tabs on public meetings of hundreds of boards, committees and commissions. The four co-founders will be honored at the 2019 Freedom of the Press Awards dinner May 7 in New York.

Block Club Chicago

More good news for Block Club Chicago: The nonprofit subscription-based digital news site has been awarded a two-year $150,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to expand neighborhood news coverage. The funding will provide for the addition of two new reporters to cover Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park on the North Side, and Hyde Park, Woodlawn and South Shore on the South Side. “We are so incredibly grateful to the Joyce Foundation for helping us bring vital news and information to these communities,” said Jen Sabella, Block Club’s co-founder and director of strategy. Launched in June after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Block Club was formed by three former editors of DNAinfo Chicago — Sabella, Shamus Toomey and Stephanie Lulay — with an initial staff of six reporters.

Derrick Young

Derrick Young, morning traffic reporter at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, was back at work earlier this month after a prolonged absence to undergo surgery and treatment for prostate cancer. “I’m happy to say that I am completely cancer-free at this point,” he said on his return. “I feel great, but I mean internally I’m still healing. So still dealing with that healing element, and that takes time when you have an organ taken out of your body.” Young, a former teacher and coach, joined CBS 2 in 2011 after winning an open-audition contest for traffic reporter.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Teri Arvesu: Robert, thank you for mentioning this [the launch of Univision Chicago’s morning newscast] and also recognizing the power of Spanish media and recognizing the enormous audience Univision draws and out performs most English language newscasts in general market ratings. All the best! The team is working hard and appreciate the shout out!
“A Primera Hora” means “early” in Spanish.