Robservations on the media beat:
Entercom Communications won’t confirm reports that it has been crippled by a company-wide ransomware attack, affecting e-mail, internet, telephones, music scheduling, production, billing and other internal digital systems. “We are experiencing a disruption of some IT systems, including email,” a company statement said. “We apologize for any inconvenience and are working around the clock to resolve this issue.” On Tuesday RadioInsight.com reported a $500,000 ransom demand, which the trade publication said the company does not plan to pay. Entercom Chicago includes all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM, sports/talk WSCR 670-AM, Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM, adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM, country WUSN 99.5-FM, and classic hip-hop WBMX 104.3-FM. A tip of the hat to WBBM Newsradio business editor Len Walter, who reported on the breakdown Tuesday and its impact on his own station.
The upcoming October issue of Chicago magazine features a must-read profile of Alan Krashesky, the primary news anchor at top-rated WLS-Channel 7 and a 37-year veteran of the ABC-owned station. In “The Alan Krashesky Story You Won’t Hear at 10,” writer Jake Malooley gets the anchorman to open up about the murder of his father when Krashesky was an infant and the profound effect it has had on his life, his family and his conscience as a journalist. “Growing up, I was made keenly aware of the impact violent crime has in tearing families apart,” he said. “It tears them apart suddenly, emotionally, financially — and it tears them apart permanently. And that reality, quite frankly, is with me every single day . . .” The October issue hits newsstands next week.
K.C. Johnson, longtime Chicago Bulls beat reporter for the Chicago Tribune, has been hired by NBC Sports Chicago as its primary Bulls contributor. “K.C. is without question one of the premier NBA journalists in the entire industry and has established himself in the Chicago market as the go-to source for every Bulls fan,” said Kevin Cross, senior vice president/general manager of the regional sports network. Johnson, an Evanston native and Beloit College graduate, is leaving the Tribune after 29 years — including the last 19 on the Bulls beat. “With the network delivering exclusive, local coverage of all Bulls games for the first time and the website always open for business, it’s an exciting place to be and I’m very much looking forward to this fun and challenging new opportunity in my career,” he said.
Ann Dwyer, editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, this week began delivering “Crain’s Headlines,” a nightly segment on WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight.” Dwyer and other Crain’s staffers will report the day’s top business stories as part of a new content-sharing arrangement with the Window to the World Communications public television station. “This new partnership with Crain’s enables us to deliver essential, up-to-the-minute business news, and it supports our mission of producing and presenting trusted, best-in-class content that is fueled by a distinctly Chicago sensibility,” Sandra Cordova Micek, president and CEO of WTTW, said in a statement. “Chicago Tonight” airs at 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Celebrating 40 years as the beloved horror movie host “Svengoolie,” Rich Koz will be honored October 26 at a fundraiser for the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The event will include the rededication of a “Svengoolie” exhibit and a Halloween costume contest. (Here is the link for tickets.) Calling Koz “a true Chicago television icon,” museum chairman David Plier said: “His ‘Svengoolie’ character has entertained us for decades, and I am thrilled to have our museum honor him and equally proud to display his original set, coffin and a flock of rubber chickens for all to enjoy once again.”
Nikki Imbracsio, who’s been filling in as evening personality on Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM, is headed to West Palm Beach, Florida, where she will host middays for Hubbard Radio. Until earlier this year, Imbracsio had spent 10 years as midday personality at Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM.
Marisa Kollias, former vice president of communications and public relations at Tribune Publishing, has landed as senior director of communications at C-Strategies, a Chicago strategic communications and public affairs firm. Earlier Kollias served as spokeswoman for Wrapports, former owner of the Sun-Times, and as director of public relations for Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
A personal note: I’ll be posting sporadically here for the next few weeks, but I’ll be back on the beat full-time soon. In the meantime, be sure to catch every post by signing up for free email alerts. Just enter your email address in the box to the right under “Subscribe to Feder.”