Robservations: Colleagues pulling for ‘Chicago treasure’ Art Norman

Art Norman

Robservations on the media beat:

Veteran Chicago newsman Art Norman disclosed this week that he has been diagnosed with bone cancer and will begin chemotherapy Monday. “My wife and I are ready for the difficult road ahead,” he wrote on Facebook. “There will [be] obstacles, but it is not an impossible journey.” The news brought an outpouring of support from colleagues at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and the media community. “Art is a Chicago treasure and a beloved member of our NBC 5 family,” said Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news. “Everyone here is pulling for him as he takes on this new challenge.” Norman, 71, retired in 2009 after 27 years as a news anchor and reporter at NBC 5, but returned two years later as a free-lance contributor. He still works part-time reporting “Making A Difference” stories and co-hosting “Tech Trends” on weekend newscasts.

Tribune Media

The parent company of Chicago’s WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM moved a step closer Tuesday to its acquisition by Nexstar Media Group. Tribune Media shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $6.4 billion transaction announced in December. “We’re extremely pleased with today’s vote,” Peter Kern, CEO of Tribune Media, said in a statement. “It confirms that our stockholders clearly recognize the significant value we expect to be delivered by this merger. We look forward to continuing our work with Nexstar to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals that will enable us to close this transaction later this year.” In addition to WGN, the deal includes TV stations in 41 other markets.

Lauren Victory

After three years as a per-diem reporter at WBBM-Channel 2, Lauren Victory has been promoted to full-time reporting duties at the CBS-owned station. “Lauren has proven to be a diligent and detailed enterpriser as well as strong storyteller and she’s already making her mark on the ‘Morning Insider’ team,” CBS 2 news director Jeff Harris told staffers in an email. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Victory worked as an associate producer at Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26 before reporting stints in Hartford, Connecticut; Burlington, Vermont; and Lansing, Michigan.

Sky Daniels

Citing undisclosed “health issues,” Sky Daniels announced his retirement this week after eight years as general manager and program director of noncommercial KCSN in Los Angeles. “In retirement, I plan to be active as a musician’s advocate, as well as pursuing ownership opportunities in broadcasting,” he said in a statement. One of Chicago’s best known rock jocks from 1979 to 1985, Daniels was afternoon star and assistant program director of The Loop and later worked as program director and afternoon personality on “Nine FM,” Newsweb Radio’s short-lived combo of three suburban stations.

Howard Stern

Author! Author! King of All Media Howard Stern is about to release his first book in 24 years. Howard Stern Comes Again is set to be published May 14 by Simon & Schuster. “For the last two years of my life, I’ve been involved in a project that has taken up almost every weekend, every vacation that we’ve been on,” Stern said on his Sirius XM Radio show Tuesday. “This is about my evolution and this is about my interviews. I started talking about the process and I started talking about my life and some of the things that have happened.” Stern’s previous books were the bestsellers Miss America in 1995 and Private Parts in 1993.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Mike Braden: Great news about Jennifer Keiper moving to WBBM. It’s always nice to hear her voice, and she seems like a good person who deserves to be in a good spot. Doesn’t get much better than Newsradio 78.