Robservations on the media beat:
A former morning show producer for Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 is flying high among Hollywood’s superheroes. Chicagoan Paul Zbyszewski, who worked for “Fox Thing in Morning” in the ’90s, has just been signed as an executive producer of “Ghost Rider” and “Helstrom,” two live-action shows based on the Marvel comics characters. They’re slated to be launched on the streaming platform Hulu in 2020. Zbyszewski previously wrote and produced “Marvel’s Most Wanted” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” for ABC. “As a lifelong Marvel fan, I feel incredibly fortunate to help bring this darker, thrilling corner of the comic book universe to life, and I’m just grateful to everyone at Marvel Television and Hulu for the opportunity,” he said. “Marvel’s known for all the heart, humor, and action they put into every series, but this time around we’re adding some scares to that mix. I think we’ve found a compelling way to dissect some of our deepest fears through the experiences of our two lead characters.”
Dan Mason, former president and CEO of CBS Radio, has been named chairman of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network), the sports betting information network launched by Chicagoan Brian Musburger. Mason had been working with Musburger and chief operating officer Bill Adee as a senior adviser and investor. “Brian and his team have caught lightning in a bottle here,” Mason said of VSiN. “Besides establishing itself on the satellite platform, recently extending its agreement with SiriusXM, VSiN has made tremendous inroads into the OTT [over-the-top Internet content] space with Sling TV and fuboTV, as well as growing its own subscription offerings. We will now look to further expand our reach across video and audio channels.”
Also on the sports betting beat, Eli Hershkovich, a producer at Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM, is joining Radio.com as a producer/sports gambling analyst. A graduate of Stevenson High School and DePaul University, Hershkovich previously was an assistant producer at Entercom all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM. “This is truly a great example of someone building, growing and advancing their brand into a new innovative position within Entercom and Radio.Com Sports which is growing and expanding into the content creation business rapidly,” said Mitch Rosen, operations director of The Score.
Virginia Matos first worked for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 as an intern and desk assistant while she was attending Columbia College. After two years in Rockford at dual ABC/MyNetwork affiliate WTVO, she returned to ABC 7 as a news writer and producer in 2004. Now she’s been promoted to producer of the 4:30 p.m. weekday newscast. “Virginia’s shown her producing skills on every newscast here at ABC 7,” said Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director. “She’s been an integral part of our news team since she returned.”
John Lampinen, senior vice president and editor of the Daily Herald, was inducted Thursday into the prestigious Lincoln League of Journalists by the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors. He was surprised with the honor at the IAPME/Illinois Press Association annual convention in Springfield. The award recognizes journalists who have provided exemplary service to other journalists and to newspapers in Illinois. Lampinen, a native of Waukegan and graduate of the University of Illinois, joined the Daily Herald as a staff writer in 1973. He was named editor in 2001.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Steve Fowler: While sure, Kap [David Kaplan] would have been the logical choice to be the main face of Marquee [Sports Network], it also gives that network an opportunity to go in a different direction without looking like it snubbed anyone. It’s a win win all around.