Robservations on the media beat:
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.
Norman Parish, former assistant metro editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, has been named director of recruitment for Report for America. Based in Chicago, he’ll help place emerging journalists in local news organizations to report on under-covered issues and communities through the national service program. Parish, who most recently was metro editor at the Daily Southtown, previously worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Arizona Republic, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Milwaukee Journal, Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune and the Chicago Citizen newspapers.
Veteran Chicago journalist Dave McKinney will be honored Saturday by Eastern Illinois University as a 2019 Distinguished Alumnus. The 1986 EIU graduate and former Daily Herald reporter covers state politics for Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM, which he joined in 2017. McKinney previously spent 19 years with the Sun-Times as Springfield bureau chief. (Here is the link for tickets.)
Matt Dubiel, Chicago broadcaster and general manager of west suburban WCKG 1530-AM/102.3-FM, is recovering from his second surgery for thyroid cancer this year. “I encourage you to listen to your body and be vigilant about getting resolution from your healthcare providers,” he wrote on Facebook. “Reminder to be grateful for every moment, every hug, every single good thing and even some of the not-so-good things. . . . Nothing else matters but your health, believe me.”
John M. Downs, an acclaimed artist for the Chicago Daily News and the Sun-Times from the 1960s until his retirement in the 1990s, died Monday of complications from lymphoma at 82. “He had an off-kilter sense of humor and was one of the kindest guys I know,” longtime friend Bill Linden told Maureen O’Donnell in the Sun-Times obit on their colleague. “I would always be on him [about] being a rube from Wisconsin, but he was an incredible artist.” Downs attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was taught by artist LeRoy Neiman.
Monday’s comment of the day: Veronica Resa: Chris Myers was a great friend to the City of Chicago when I worked for Special Events. He was always ready to shine a light on the positive for the benefit of the public. RIP, you will be missed.