Fox 32 suspends ‘Good Day Chicago’ anchor Rafer Weigel

Rafer Weigel

Rafer Weigel has been suspended without pay as morning news anchor at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 after he became caught up in a controversy involving several women, texts of nude photos and allegations of revenge porn.

Fox 32 officials did not respond to requests for comment, but sources said the suspension, effective immediately, removes Weigel until further notice from “Good Day Chicago,” the newscast he co-anchors from 4 to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday with Roseanne Tellez. Continue reading

Robservations: New voice in the night at 103.5 Kiss FM

Jordan Foster

Robservations on the media beat:

Jordan Foster, the overnight and fill-in host who goes by the name JRDN, was promoted Wednesday to nighttime personality at iHeartMedia Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM. From 7 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, he succeeds Erik Zachary, who stepped down in August. “I’m really excited and honored to be taking on this role,” Foster said in a statement. “It’s something I’ve worked towards for a while now, so I can’t wait to serve Chicago some great times and good laughs.” A native of Syracuse, New York, and graduate of Syracuse University, Foster began his career as the rap artist Jay Foss before joining iHeartMedia Chicago in 2015. Said 103.5 Kiss FM program director James Howard: “He brings a level of energy to events that no one can match.” Continue reading

Window to the World CEO unveils ambitious vision for WTTW, WFMT

Sandra Cordova Micek

Sandra Cordova Micek has spent the last 16 months listening, questioning and thinking about where Chicago’s premier public television station and classical music radio station are headed.

Now she is putting it all together.

As president and CEO of Window to the World Communications Inc., the Wilmette resident and former Hyatt Hotels marketing executive has headed the nonprofit media enterprise since the spring of 2018, when she succeeded another Wilmette denizen, Daniel Schmidt, who held the top job for nearly 20 years. Continue reading

Robservations: NBC 5’s Kalee Dionne maps out new life in Dallas

Kalee Dionne

Robservations on the media beat:

Paul Deanno

Say goodbye to Kalee Dionne. After three years as meteorologist at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 she’s heading to Dallas as a Monday-through-Friday weather forecaster at ABC affiliate WFAA. “We’ll miss her spunk, her humor and her passion for the science of meteorology,” weekend news anchor Michelle Relerford wrote on Facebook. Dionne and her husband, Jonathan Pair, recently adopted their first child. A native of Herscher, Illinois, and graduate of Southern Illinois University, Dionne joined NBC 5 from NBC affiliate KSHB in Kansas City. New to the NBC 5 weather front is Paul Deanno, who signed on this week at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. The Syracuse University graduate previously worked at KOMO, the ABC affiliate in Seattle; WTVJ, the NBC-owned station in Miami; and KPIX, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco. Continue reading

Chicago radio ratings: 101.9 The Mix takes back the crown

Melissa McGurren, Eric Ferguson and Brian “Whip” Paruch

After falling to a tie for sixth place one month ago, WTMX 101.9-FM jumped back to the top spot in the Chicago radio survey released Monday.

The Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary station known as 101.9 The Mix also finished first in mornings with Eric Ferguson, Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch, and afternoons with Kevin “Koz” Koske and Jennifer Roberts, according to the latest Nielsen Audio report. Continue reading

Chicago Journalists Association to honor ABC 7’s Cheryl Burton

Cheryl Burton

Longtime Chicago news anchor Cheryl Burton has been named recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Journalists Association.

Burton, who anchors the top-rated 5 and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 with Alan Krashesky, will be honored November 15 at the association’s 80th anniversary awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Drive. Continue reading

Chuck Schaden returns to celebrate ‘Those Were the Days’ at 50

Chuck Schaden

As “Those Were the Days” prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the man who started it all is coming back to the weekly old-time radio showcase.

Starting this weekend Radio Hall of Famer Chuck Schaden will produce and host “Recollections at 50,” a series of 20 weekly segments dedicated to memorable moments from the program’s first half-century on the air. Continue reading

Robservations: Steve Dahl hosts lookalike costume contest

Dag Juhlin, Steve Dahl and Brendan Greeley

Robservations on the media beat:

Leave it to Steve Dahl to come up with a new twist on an old stunt. During an appearance at Zanies Rosemont Wednesday the Chicago radio legend will host a Halloween costume contest. But here’s the catch: Fans can dress up only as Dahl or one of his co-hosts, Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley. (Or as Dahl calls them “three stay-at-home podcasters.”) The event will feature a recording of two episodes of Dahl’s daily podcast before a live audience. (Here is the link for tickets.) Continue reading

Postage due: Where’s the stamp for Walter Cronkite?

Walter Cronkite

On Tuesday the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would honor the late journalist Gwen Ifill with a Forever postage stamp in 2020.

As the 43rd stamp in the Postal Service’s Black Heritage series, it’s a fitting tribute to the former anchor of the “PBS NewsHour” and the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week,” who died in 2016.

But it made me wonder about another iconic journalist who has yet to receive similar recognition. More than a decade after his passing, they still haven’t issued a commemorative stamp for Walter Cronkite. Continue reading

Robservations: Bulls begin new era on NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago

Robservations on the media beat:

Neil Funk

For Chicago Bulls fans Wednesday will bring a new beginning on NBC Sports Chicago. The season opener against the Charlotte Hornets will be the first of 82 regular season Bulls broadcasts airing exclusively on the regional sports network. It also will mark the debut of new Bulls game night studio host Jason Goff, and the start of the final season for play-by-play legend Neil Funk, who announced he’ll retire at the end of his 28th season with the team. Also new to NBC Sports Chicago this season is Bulls “Insider” and former Chicago Tribune NBA expert K.C. Johnson. Continue reading