Robservations: Expectant Tamron Hall is ‘beyond excited’

Tamron Hall (Photo: Tamron Hall/Instagram)

Robservations on the media beat:

Monday was supposed to be the day Tamron Hall announced the title and premiere date for her new syndicated talk show. (It’s “Tamron Hall” and it starts Monday, September 9.) But she had more on her mind than that. The former Chicago news anchor also revealed that she and her husband, music executive Steven Greener, are expecting their first child. Showing off her baby bump, Hall, 48, posted on Instagram: “It’s clear a daytime talk show isn’t the only thing I’ve been trying to produce! There have been many tears, but today I embrace the smiles. My husband Steven and I are beyond excited! We’re in constant prayer, so if you pray, add us to your list; if you meditate, send calmness our way; and if you believe in luck, we’ll happily take that too.” In Chicago “Tamron Hall” will air at 8 p.m. weeknights on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26.

Robert Smigel

Just days before Saturday Night Live: The Experience ends its long run at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications, famed “Saturday Night Live” writer Robert Smigel will turn up as the final special guest in the exhibition’s “Conversations in Comedy” series. The event will be March 28 at the museum, 360 North State Street. (Here is the link for tickets). Sources will neither confirm nor deny rumors that “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog” also will make an appearance. The exhibit, open since October 2017, closes March 31.

Sandra Cordova Micek

Sandra Cordova Micek, president and CEO of Window to the World Communications Inc., met with staffers of public television WTTW-Channel 11 and classical music WFMT 98.7-FM last week to preview a three-year strategic plan being developed for the parent company of the two stations. Details are not available to the public yet, but Micek said she plans to unveil the full strategic plan in late spring. Micek joined WTTW/WFMT last May from Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp., where she was senior vice president of global brands.

Harvey Wells

Harvey Wells, the longtime Chicago radio executive, has been named director of sales development and marketing for GeoBroadcast Solutions, the Chicago-based company behind MaxxCasting and ZoneCasting technologies. “MaxxCasting and ZoneCasting have the ability to literally change the relationship that radio stations have with their three major consumers: listeners, advertisers and the communities they serve,” Wells said in a statement. “These technologies promise to be game-changers for our industry, and amplify the power of local radio for generations to come.” Wells most recently was general manager of Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s four-station cluster in Springfield, Illinois.

Geoffrey Baer

An engaging companion website to Geoffrey Baer’s “Chicago on Vacation” documentary on WTTW went live Tuesday. (Here is the link.) The site features interactive links to Baer’s 90-minute celebration of nostalgic family road trips throughout the Midwest as well as clips on individual destinations and other web extra videos. Additional content includes “Geoffrey’s Travel Journal,” a personal blog Baer kept throughout months of production on the special, and pieces on notable vacation sites in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. WTTW will rebroadcast “Chicago on Vacation” at 12:30 and 3 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 and 10 p.m. March 13; and 6:30 p.m. March 17.

Maurice F. “Moose” Dunne Jr.

Credit Chicago writer Bob Goldsborough with discovering an interesting footnote to broadcast history. It turned up while researching his Chicago Tribune obituary of Maurice F. “Moose” Dunne Jr., grandson of a Chicago mayor and Illinois governor in the early 20th century. Dunne died January 19 in Clearwater, Florida, at 92. Before he became president of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in 1965, Dunne held the position of general manager of WCIU-Channel 26 — for exactly one week. Archives show Dunne had a business partnership with John W. Hough, then an investor in Weigel Broadcasting. It’s not clear why Dunne’s tenure was so short, but it happened around the time majority stockholder Howard Shapiro gained control of Weigel Broadcasting from its original owners.

Chicago’s premier public radio station made a surprise appearance on “Jeopardy!” Tuesday. Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM and its highly acclaimed “Making Obama” series turned up as a clue in the category of “Podcasts.”

“Jeopardy!” (March 5, 2019)

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Doug M. Cummings: Thanks for standing up for the profession, Lauren [Lapka], and welcome home.