Robservations on the media beat:
The exodus of executives continues at WTTW-Channel 11: Mary Field, executive producer of “Chicago Tonight” since 1996, has announced her retirement from the Window to the World Communications station, effective July 12. “It has been a great honor to work with the best journalists in the city over the course of my career at WTTW,” she said in a statement Tuesday. “’Chicago Tonight’ and WTTW News stand for excellence, and it has been a privilege to collaborate with and contribute to a news operation that is stronger today than ever.” Field joined the public television station’s flagship news program after working as a producer for Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, assistant news director at WIND 560-AM, and a reporter for City News Bureau of Chicago. “Her astute news sense and integrity have left an indelible impression on the many journalists who have been fortunate to benefit from her experience and guidance,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, president and CEO of WTTW. No word yet on a successor.
The Chicago Tribune unveiled a redesigned website Tuesday that’s about as boring and nondescript as it gets. Even the paper’s distinctive logo is shrunk to a fraction of its former glory. In a note to readers — titled “What’s going on with chicagotribune.com?” — Elizabeth Wolfe, director of the Tribune’s audience development and engagement team, wrote: “We’ve switched to using a publishing system designed by The Washington Post specifically for news publishers. By doing so, we’re able to better enrich our articles with powerful photos and infographics, video and immersive galleries. The new website is also faster and easier to navigate, especially on a mobile device.”
Former Chicago radio host Marc Vernon has launched “The Car Guys Report,” a weekly podcast on all things automotive, for Radio Misfits Podcast Network. His co-host is Lou Costabile, whose YouTube channel “My Car Story with Lou” has more than 56,000 followers. “The ability to run free-form without the rigidity of corporate radio has been very enjoyable, and being able to talk about my lifelong passion of cars is a dream come true,” Vernon said. In December he ended a 12-year run at Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV 97.1-FM when his job was eliminated.
Ilyce Glink, the real-estate and personal-finance author and syndicated columnist, is filling in this week for Steve Bertrand as host of the noontime “Wintrust Business Lunch” on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN 720-AM. She regularly appears with Bertrand as a guest on Mondays. Glink, who once had her own weekend show on WGN, is CEO of the tech startup Best Money Moves. Her 14th book is 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask, published by Penguin Random House.
Friends are praying for Russ Ewing, the legendary former Chicago television newsman, who is in hospice care at his home in Michigan. Ewing, 95, a onetime firefighter and piano salesman, began his media career as a courier for NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in 1964. He went on to become an award-winning reporter for both NBC 5 and ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 for nearly four decades. He’s best known for escorting more than 100 at-large criminals, suspects and fugitives to police.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Rich Rehner: As a retired career fire captain with nearly 40 years of service, I have the upmost respect and compassion for Marcella Raymond, the consummate media professional. Often, they see what we see. I not only followed Marcella through WGN, I have had the opportunity to meet her at various incidents as well as some various events. We have been Facebook friends throughout the years. I have lost too many friends through PTSD, sadly I have lost count. Marcella is in my thoughts and in my prayers. June is PTSD Awareness month. I am grateful she has sought assistance and some treatment, to get the vital help she needs. God bless you, Marcella. You know your army of first responder friends and supporters are pulling for you, supporting you and praying for you.