Robservations on the media beat:
Two months after Cumulus Media dropped radio legend Steve Dahl as afternoon personality on news/talk WLS 890-AM, the company has terminated its partnership agreement for his daily podcast. Dahl was notified Tuesday that his deal with Cumulus will be over as of Friday. But he said he was confident he’ll continue the subscription podcast he’s been hosting at dahl.com since 2011 along with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley. “I think it was a good partnership and it benefitted both parties when we were still on the air there,” Dahl said of the breakup. “Now that we are off the air, it really didn’t make a lot of sense for either of us to continue the relationship. No hard feelings.”
CHANNEL Q, a full-time network geared to the LGBTQ+ community with news and information, pop culture and new music, debuted Tuesday on the HD2 channel of Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM. It replaces B96 Dance on HD2. Although the network is based in Los Angeles, officials of Entercom Chicago have plans to make the content more local through programming, community outreach and sales partnerships. “I’m very excited about Q,” said Jimmy deCastro, senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago. “I think it will be an interesting give-back to Chicago.”
John Records Landecker, the Radio Hall of Famer and lifelong fan of classic radio drama, will star as private detective Sam Spade in a live onstage re-creation of “The Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail Caper” from “The Adventures of Sam Spade.” Originally broadcast on CBS on December 4, 1949, the show will be presented by the SAG/AFTRA Senior Radio Players at 7 p.m. March 14 at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. The group also will present “A Shipment of Mute Fate,” first broadcast on “Escape” on March 13, 1949. Admission is free.
Mark your calendar for April 14. That’s when the Museum of Broadcast Communications will host “She Said What? The Women of Chicago Radio” from noon to 3 p.m. Moderated by Roz Varon of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, the panel will feature Chicago radio pros Cheryl Corley, Catherine Johns, Turi Ryder and Wendy Snyder sharing their experiences. The event coincides with the release of Ryder’s “fictionalized memoir” of her far-flung radio career (including WLS 890-AM, WLS 94.7-FM and WGN 720-AM here), titled She Said What? and published by Tortoise Books. (Here is the link for tickets.)
Sharon McGowan, former investigative reporter and managing editor at the Chicago Reporter, has joined the Institute for Nonprofit News as its first amplify collaborations leader. She will work for the Los Angeles-based non-profit consortium of journalism organizations on coverage of public affairs issues throughout the Midwest. McGowan most recently was founding editor of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Earlier she was assignment manager at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and managing editor/assistant news director at all-news WBBM 780-AM.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Stephanie Zimmermann: I think Robert is trying to encourage a robust discussion and not silence anyone, but I agree that the comments here too often get hijacked by a couple people grousing about politics rather than talking about journalism, which is why most of us faithfully read Robert’s column. The ad hominem attacks and comments about people’s looks also are unhelpful to good conversation. (BTW I have never met Ms. [KT] Hawbaker but I think her hair looks nice.)