Robservations: WBBM Newsradio plans big sendoff for Kris Kridel

Kris Kridel and Sherman Kaplan

Robservations on the media beat:

Look for Sherman Kaplan to return to WBBM 780-AM/105.9-FM today to join in the farewell festivities for his longtime anchor partner, Kris Kridel. Kaplan, who retired from the Entercom all-news station in 2015, launched the “Noon Business Hour” with Kridel in 2001. Kridel’s last broadcast will be during today’s noon show, which will feature two segments dedicated to her illustrious 34-year career there. A gathering in the newsroom will follow. “Her departure weighs heavily on us at WBBM,” said managing editor Julie Mann. “She has been an important contributor behind the scenes as well as the recognizable voice of Newsradio. Kris is a mentor and an inspiration to countless reporters, anchors and writers. It’s difficult to imagine our newsroom without her and her unwavering commitment to good journalism.”

Charlie Wheeler

Charlie Wheeler, former Springfield bureau reporter for the Sun-Times, has announced his retirement this summer after 26 years as director of the University of Illinois Springfield’s public affairs reporting program. The program provides reporting internships to graduate students in the state capital. For 24 years before that, Wheeler’s byline was a staple of the Sun-Times. “Charlie Wheeler has forgotten more about the Illinois Legislature than most reporters will ever know,” wrote Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown.

Melissa Isaacson

Melissa Isaacson, the former Chicago Tribune sports columnist, attended Niles West High School in Skokie, where she was on the school’s IHSA Girls Basketball State Championship winning team in 1979. Forty years later she chronicles that inspirational coming-of-age story for a generation of young female athletes. The result is State: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation, soon to be released by Agate Midway Publishing. (It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.) “The most resonant theme is how sports literally altered the people we were and would become,” she said. The author of two previous books, Isaacson is on the faculty of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

“The Red Line”

“The Red Line,” the eight-hour CBS miniseries set and filmed in Chicago, got derailed in the ratings. The May 19 conclusion drew a scant 0.3 rating among adults between 18 and 49 — far below regular CBS programming in the time period, according to Terence Henderson’s T Dog Media blog. Named for the “L” line running from Howard Street on the North Side to 95th Street on the South Side, the series dealt with the aftermath of a police shooting of an African-American doctor by a white police officer. “It may have hit too close to home as Chicago viewers simply stayed away from the show, given recent real-life events such as the Laquan McDonald case and the Jussie Smollett saga,” Henderson wrote.

Cara Carriveau

Thursday’s comment of the day:Patty Martin‬: Cara [Carriveau] is one of this city’s best DJs. On-air she is fantastically relatable to both men and women. A very rare talent. And she’s a master at social media, understanding what is actually worth posting. The rock ‘n’ roll items make you feel like you were there (OK, a lot of times I WAS there), and the hockey mom pieces are entertaining enough for those of us who are decidedly not there! Brava, Cara. And props to WLS-FM for bringing Cara back to the Chicago airwaves.