Robservations: CBS 2 losing newsroom veterans to buyouts

Deidra White

Robservations on the media beat:

Deidra White, who’s been a role model and mentor to students and young professionals in the news business for decades, is about to wrap up a sterling 40-year career at CBS. As news planning manager at WBBM-Channel 2, White tops the list of behind-scenes veterans who’ve accepted buyouts from the CBS-owned station. Others include executive producer of specials and investigations Marda LeBeau, political producer Ed Marshall and photojournalist Alif Muhammad, according to insiders. White, a South Side native and graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, joined CBS 2 in 1999 after a long run at all-news WBBM 780-AM, where she rose from intern to managing editor. She also served as news director at CBS-owned WWJ Radio in Detroit. CBS 2 declined to comment on the buyouts.

The Center Square

Illinois News Network, which provides coverage of state and regional issues to media outlets across Illinois, has changed its name to The Center Square. The rebranding is intended to stake out a nonpartisan centrist position. But it also can be seen as a break from the organization’s controversial past ties to the Illinois Policy Institute. Since 2017 INN has been owned by the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. “For each of us associated with this project, our name serves as a reminder that we’re working with the highest journalistic ethics and precision in mind,” said Chris Krug, president of the Franklin News Foundation. Krug previously served as publisher of the Pioneer Press suburban newspaper chain and as vice president of Shaw Media and editor of the Northwest Herald.

Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson, former general manager of Window to the World Communications classical WFMT 98.7-FM, this week launched his latest audio venture. His New Media Productions debuted “Sentenced to Life,” a podcast series on mental health, focusing on childhood sexual abuse, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and related subjects. (Here is the link.) It’s hosted by Dr. Jason Lahood, a clinical psychologist, and Kendall Alaimo, a life-enrichment coach, survivor of child sexual abuse, and international activist. The first four episodes are available on all major podcasting platforms including Apple iTunes.

Jim Shea

Listeners may remember Jim Shea as morning personality on WWYW — the former northwest suburban Crystal Lake oldies station known as Y 103.9 — from 2005 to 2010. Now he’s Dr. Jim Shea. Earlier this month Shea graduated from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine in Miami. As a podiatrist, he’ll soon be working with Weil Foot and Ankle Group in the Chicago area. “A shout out to everyone who has ever thought about doing something else,” he said. “Do it! It is never too late to amaze yourself.”

Cara DiPasquale

Cara DiPasquale has resigned after 17 years as an editor at the Chicago Tribune to join the American Bar Association as planning editor, digital content. DiPasquale, a former reporter for Advertising Age, started as features editor of RedEye and rose to editor of digitalPLUS magazine and senior content editor of the Tribune. “To the many tireless, tenacious and talented reporters, editors, photographers and designers I’ve gotten to learn from and tell stories with: it’s been an honor,” DiPasquale wrote on Facebook. “I’ll be rooting for you.”

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Tim Hadac: I’ve listened to Todd Stroger since he started doing guest slots at WVON a few years back. Sounded reticent and even awkward at first, but he has grown into the job quite well. His current pairing with Maze [Jackson] is a good one because Maze seems to be able to draw him out at the right times and in the right ways.