Robservations on the media beat:
So long, Steve. It’s official: Steve Harvey’s syndicated daytime talk show has been canceled after seven years. “Steve” taped its final episode Thursday, according to Variety. For its first five years, the show was produced at NBC Tower here before relocating to Los Angeles. (Remember Harvey’s infamous farewell to Chicago?) As long rumored, his show will be replaced on NBC-owned stations, including WMAQ-Channel 5, by “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” starting this fall. Harvey continues as host of the game show “Family Feud” and as syndicated morning personality on iHeartMedia urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM.
On the same day she was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Chicago Journalism, Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens won the Anne Keegan Award from the Chicago Headline Club. It was presented Friday at the 42nd annual Peter Lisagor Awards at the Union League Club of Chicago. Named for the late Tribune columnist, the Keegan Award recognizes journalists “who tell stories of ordinary people in extraordinarily well-reported and well-written prose.” The Headline Club’s Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting was awarded to the Tribune for its investigative series about sexual abuse and assault of Chicago Public School students.
Among other notable winners at the Peter Lisagor Awards was Charlie Meyerson, who picked up best radio newscast honors for The Chicago Public Square Newscast, a 60-episode online pilot series produced as an adjunct to his Chicago Public Square daily email newsletter. The other finalist in the category was WBBM Newsradio. Meyerson also had a hand in the winner for best podcast, Rivet Radio, where the veteran Chicago newsman works part-time as vice president/editorial and development. (Here is a complete list of Lisagor Award winners.)
Kristen Nicole, news anchor at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, isn’t just returning to Lexington, Kentucky, as reported here last week. She’s also going back to her old name, Kristen Pflum. That’s what she’ll be calling herself again when she joins WDKY, the Fox affiliate in Lexington, as 10 p.m. news anchor. She’s expected to sign on in October — after she delivers her third child this summer. Before joining Fox 32 in 2016, Pflum spent 11 years in Lexington as an anchor for NBC affiliate WLEX.
“The Heavy Fuel Crew” is back: Terry Boers will fill in with former partner Dan McNeil Wednesday through Friday on Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM. Danny Parkins will be on vacation from the show he and McNeil co-host from 2 to 6 p.m. “What’s better than catching up with some of your oldest friends?” Boers tweeted. “I love it. I’ll do my best to keep up with Mac. One other thing I know for sure. We always run on Heavy Fuel.” Boers retired in January 2017 after 25 years at The Score.
Sad to note the passing of Joe Hubbard, a Chicago radio sales executive for more than 25 years. Hubbard, who was 49, died Thursday after many years of treatment for cancer. A resident of Libertyville and graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he most recently was senior account executive at iHeartRadio Chicago. He previously worked for Cumulus Broadcasting, Emmis Communications and CBS Radio in Chicago. Earlier he was national sales manager for WKQX 101.1-FM and the former WLUP. Survivors include his wife and seven children.
Friday’s comment of the day: Kathy Fruin O’Malley: Great list. Not that long ago, it would have been mostly reporters and columnists. And while many of those amazing veterans still are on the job and on the list, it’s encouraging to see that today’s group also includes news directors, bureau chiefs, editors, publishers, vice presidents, and CEOs.