Robservations: Pulitzer for L.A. Times reflects Chicagoan’s key role

Jim Kirk (Photo: Stephen J. Serio)

Robservations on the media beat:

Jim Kirk’s brief tenure as editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times last year yielded more than just the respect and gratitude of the staff for the veteran Chicago journalist. Last week the newspaper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series Kirk helped guide. Reporters Harriet Ryan, Paul Pringle and Matt Hamilton were cited for stories about a former University of Southern California gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students. L.A. Times insiders, including executive editor Norman Pearlstine, credited the vital role played by Kirk, who’s now publisher and executive editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. “I’m thrilled for the Times’ team that worked on getting this difficult and important story told,” Kirk told me. “Thanks to dogged reporting by Harriet, Paul and Matt, and strong guidance by a stable of top-notch editors, this is what heroic journalism looks like. I’m grateful for the time I had working alongside them and everyone else in the newsroom.’’

Chuck Garfien

“White Sox Talk,” the popular weekly podcast hosted by Chuck Garfien for NBC Sports Chicago, will air as a new half-hour show on the regional sports network. Starting this weekend, it will be seen at 7 p.m. Sundays and stream live at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive. Joining Garfien each week will be a rotating panel of fellow White Sox experts, including Ryan McGuffey, Vinnie Duber and Chris Kamka. The “White Sox Talk” podcast has been airing since 2016.

Adam Jahns

Adam Jahns, the Sun-Times sportswriter who’s been covering the Chicago Bears, has been hired by The Athletic, where he’ll work with Kevin Fishbain, Dan Pompei and Dan Durkin on the Bears beat for the subscription website. A graduate of St. Norbert College and Columbia College, Jahns joined the Sun-Times in 2005 and previously covered the Chicago Blackhawks. Saying he “can’t thank the folks at the Sun-Times enough,” Jahns tweeted: “I’m better for having worked for and with them. I’m forever grateful for their help and support.”

Chicago Journalists Association

A panel discussion and networking event featuring prominent women in media will be the first program of the year sponsored by the Chicago Journalists Association. Participants will include Lolly Bowean, a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, Melissa Sanchez, a reporter at ProPublica Illinois, and Ashley Hamer, managing editor of Curiosity.com. The program will be from 6 to 8 p.m. April 30 at M Lounge Chicago, 1520 South Wabash Avenue. Admission is free. (Here is the link for more information.)

Monday’s comment of the day: Mark Mardell: Musicians know that the notes not played are as important as the notes played. As consumers of media, we know that the stories not reported are as important as those that are. Kudos to Jim DeRogatis for his reporting, and shame on the outlets that dropped the ball in not reporting on R. Kelly.