Robservations on the media beat:
It’s been more than five years since the Sun-Times disabled its online reader comments, claiming to be developing a new system that would be introduced “in the weeks to come.” Now that may be happening at last. “I think we’re getting to the point where hopefully soon we can restore comments in sort of a targeted way on the right stories,” editor-in-chief Chris Fusco said on Ben Joravsky’s podcast Saturday. “Comments are a tool that, if we use them wisely, I think they can be back on a targeted basis and help us build more engagement.” Added Fusco: “I think there’s a lot of things we’re improving, and that said, we’ve still got a long way to go toward really keeping this place around for the 70-something years that it’s been here, to give it 70-something more.”
It took until midday Friday for WTTW-Channel 11 to clear up intermittent signal problems that had been plaguing the Window to the World Communications public television station for three days last week. Even the TVs in the station’s lobby were dark for much of the time. A WTTW statement attributed the outages to “technical difficulties with the broadcast transmitter at Willis Tower,” adding: “Outages did not affect all viewers, and our streaming content was unaffected.”
WCGO 1590-AM/95.9-FM, the north suburban Evanston-based talk station owned by GAB Radio Network, has teamed with Envision Networks to expand its weekend programming. “WCGO will continue to offer a wide variety of smart, fun and entertaining radio shows with our current SmartTalk local weekend lineup,” said general manager Chuck Duncan, citing “SoberRadio,” “Mighty House,” “Open Road Radio,” “The Mike Jackson Show,” “The Mike Nowak Show,” “Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall,” “Roll The Dice,” “Beyond The Beltway with Bruce DuMont” and big band/jazz host Denny Farrell. New national shows include “BBQ Nation,” “Our Auto Expert,” “Animal Radio” and “National Defense Radio.” “Our partnership with Envision Networks provides us access to their library of the Wolfman Jack archives, so we’ll be working in a late-night ‘Wolfman Radio Party’ in the near future, as well as some other very unique and smart weekday radio shows,” Duncan said.
Darrell Horwitz, a Chicago freelance writer, is wrapping it up as host of “The Sunday Sports Shootout” after 15 years on Loyola University WLUW 88.7-FM. Airing at 11 a.m. Sundays, the show is billed as “in your face sports talk that you won’t find anywhere else, focusing on Chicago’s professional sports teams.” Horwitz’s last show will air September 15 after which he plans to retire to Charlotte, North Carolina. Succeeding him will be co-host Nick Schultz, sports editor of the Loyola Phoenix.
Glen Moberg, a longtime radio and TV newsman who got his start at WJKL 94.3-FM “The Fox” in Elgin, died of stomach cancer Sunday in Wausau, Wisconsin. He was 67. Moberg, who grew up in Palatine and graduated from William Fremd High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also worked at WBBM 780-AM, Centel Cable TV of Illinois and WFLD-Channel 32. He retired earlier this year as a reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio and host of the talk show “Route 51.” “Death has a great way of focusing the mind, and I am trying to use the time I have left in the best way that I can, making the world a slightly better place than it was the day before,” Moberg wrote in a Facebook post disclosing his illness. “All of our time here is limited and it can end without warning.”
Saturday’s comment of the day: Janet Joliat Dahl: Last time I heard Stephanie [Trussell] she was part of WLS election night coverage, predicting that Donald Trump was going to create a gigantic Red Wave last November. So yeah – with that kind of perceptive insight, she IS the Answer.