Robservations: ‘WGN Morning News’ rises and shines in February

“WGN Morning News” stars Pat Tomasulo, Larry Potash, Robin Baumgarten, Paul Konrad

Robservations on the media beat:

The just-ended February sweep was one for the books at WGN-Channel 9. The Tribune Broadcasting station’s “WGN Morning News” finished first in total households and among viewers between 25 and 54, with year-to-year increases every hour from 4 to 10 a.m. It’s a testament to the popularity of “Chicago’s Very Own” and an exceptional ensemble cast led by news anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten. “WGN Midday News” also led the market in households and 25-54 adults. February’s other big winner was ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, with No. 1 ratings at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in households and 25-54 adults. Tuesday’s municipal election night coverage ended with a split decision as ABC 7 claimed victory at 10 p.m. in households, while WGN captured the key adult demo for its marathon reporting, which ran from 7 p.m. on.

Jenniffer Weigel

Jenniffer Weigel, the multitalented Chicago journalist, author and broadcaster, has been hired as sidekick and traffic reporter for Erich Mancow Muller’s morning show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM. “We’re very excited to have Jen as part of the new Mancow show,” said Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago. Weigel most recently worked for the Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor. She officially starts with WLS Monday — the same day her brother, Rafer Weigel, moves up to weekday morning news co-anchor at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. By coincidence Monday would have been the 74th birthday of their late father, legendary Chicago sportscaster Tim Weigel.

Elliot Abrams

Today will mark the final forecast for morning meteorologist Elliot Abrams on Entercom all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM. He’s retiring as senior vice president and chief forecaster at AccuWeather, the global weather information service based in State College, Pennsylvania. “Elliot has been the morning voice of weather on WBBM for the better part of three decades, providing critical information for Chicagoans,” said Ron Gleason, director of news and programming at WBBM Newsradio. “He has been a key contributor to the growth of ‘Chicago’s Weather Station’ and we’ll miss both his knowledge and unique personality. Whether we had a bright, sunny summer day or a nasty winter blizzard, Elliot was the constant we could all depend on.” Succeeding Abrams will be Joe Lundberg, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Kenny McReynolds and Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel turned up as a surprise guest for the 1000th taping of Weigel Broadcasting’s “Sports Edition,” the weekly sports talk show hosted by Kenny McReynolds. The mayor presented McReynolds with custom jerseys from all of Chicago’s pro sports teams. “Sports Edition” airs Sundays at 7 a.m. on Me-TV and 9:30 a.m. on The U Too. McReynolds, who’s been on the sports beat for Weigel stations for two decades, was inducted in the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

Museum of Broadcast Communications

Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications today will close on the sale of the top two floors of its four-story building at State and Kinzie Streets. Confirming a report here in September, the buyer is Fern Hill Co., a privately-held real estate development and investment firm. The proceeds are expected to pay off debt, including a $3.7 million mortgage held by Pepper Construction Co. What’s next? “We owe it to our visitors to have an immersive, interactive experience while showcasing great exhibitry and artifacts,” said executive director Julian Jackson. “When we open the next phase of the permanent museum, we plan on providing a state-of-the-art experience to all of our guest, while delivering brand value to our sponsors and supporters.”

Thursday’s comment of the day: Kevin Matthews: Peggy [Kusinski], you of all people deserve this award. Working with you was a true highlight of my Chicago career. Jim Shorts is pissed you got this award and not him. Someday.