Robservations on the media beat:
Amy Guth, the illustrious Chicago journalist and weekend personality at Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM, has been hired to host a new daily podcast for Crain’s Chicago Business. Starting March 4, “The Daily Gist” will upload by 4:30 p.m. weekdays with a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist. “We are thrilled we can connect our journalists with Amy to kick off this product launch,” said Jim Kirk, publisher and executive editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. “She is a terrific broadcaster and her experience as host of WGN’s ‘Wintrust Business Lunch’ makes this partnership with us a natural. I can’t wait to hear how she will shape this podcast for the Crain’s audience and beyond.’’ “The Daily Gist” will be available at chicagobusiness.com, the WGN Plus podcast network and Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. It’s the first step in what’s expected to be a broader partnership between Crain’s and WGN Radio. Guth, former general manager/publisher of RedEye Chicago and former social media manager for Chicago Tribune Media Group, continues as a WGN host, executive director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival and president of Association for Women Journalists Chicago.
Roseanne Tellez, a Chicago television news anchor and reporter for nearly three decades, has resigned from WBBM-Channel 2. Friday was her last day at the CBS-owned station, where she most recently was a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor. By all accounts, the decision to leave was her own. Insiders said she may be jumping to Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, but no agreement has been finalized. Tellez did not respond to requests for comment. Before joining CBS 2 as morning news anchor in 2004, Tellez spent 14 years as an anchor at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9.
When a gunman opened fire at a manufacturing warehouse in Aurora Friday afternoon, Chicago television stations responded with wall-to-wall coverage in real time. But they were hampered with conflicting information about how many people were shot and whether the shooter was taken into custody or killed by police. It didn’t help that the city of Aurora tweeted at 3 p.m. “THE SHOOTER HAS BEEN APPREHENDED!” — when in fact he had been fatally shot by police. It also wasn’t known that five others had been killed until it was announced by police at a press briefing hours later. “I think in any breaking news situation like this, there are a lot of rumors and misinformation early on,” said Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. “You have to be careful. We stick with what police, hospitals and other officials confirm.”
Mazel tov to Lourdes Duarte, news anchor at Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, on her engagement to Matt McGrath, press secretary for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. McGrath popped the question Saturday at the Chicago Cultural Center. “I can’t say enough good things about him,” Duarte said. “He’s kind and warm and patient. . . . I’m incredibly aware of how lucky I am.” No wedding date has been set, but the couple will probably tie the knot next year. Duarte has been at WGN since 2007. McGrath joined City Hall in 2016 after serving as deputy campaign manager and spokesman for U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth.
Samantha Smylie, a freelance writer who completed a fellowship with City Bureau last year, has been hired as a reporter for the Hyde Park Herald. She primarily will cover education, housing, retail and development. Smylie grew up in the Englewood neighborhood and graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio. “We are extremely happy that Samantha is joining our staff,” said Randall Weissman, editor and publisher of the Herald. “She brings a contagious enthusiasm and a lively writing style to her assignments. We are confident she will add new life to covering subjects important to our Hyde Park readers.”
Condolences to Eric Ferguson, National Radio Hall of Famer and morning host at Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM, on the loss of his mother. Luanne Ferguson, 76, died Friday in Morris, Illinois. “She was the most selfless and loving person I’ve ever known,” Eric Ferguson told Facebook friends. “I was lucky to call her mine. Our lives move forward, but they will never be the same. I love her and miss her.”
It’s no exaggeration to say that the great Ken Nordine was “one of the finest voice-over artists ever to work in the history of broadcasting” (as Steve Edwards described him in this 2010 studio tour). But Nordine may have been even more famous for “Word Jazz,” his influential series of albums and popular programs on Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM and public radio nationwide for more than 40 years. He also recorded with Jerry Garcia, David Bowie, Tom Waits and others. And for the Chicago Blackhawks, he made the words “cold steel on ice” pure poetry. Nordine died Saturday at his home in the Edgewater neighborhood at 98.
Friday’s comment of the day: Michael Gay: I believe Tamron [Hall] overreacted to the [Megyn] Kelly hiring. She’d probably be hosting “Today” or moved into some other prime position at NBC by now if she had stayed. Maybe even inherited that 3rd hour by now. She may have let impulse and anger get the better of her. A shame.