Robservations on the media beat:
Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper has teamed up with WGN 720-AM radio personality Roe Conn on their first podcast series. “The Best Movies of the Decade,” based on Roeper’s top picks by genre, is being produced by the duo for the Sun-Times. (Here is the link.) “We’re thrilled Rich and Roe brought this idea to us and are glad to see the natural rapport they’ve built over the years on the radio transfer so effortlessly over to a podcast focused solely on movies,” said Sun-Times editor-in-chief Chris Fusco. “I’m confident Roger Ebert would give them a ‘thumbs up’ and we hope listeners will, too.” It marks the latest podcast collaboration for the Sun-Times, following “The Ben Joravsky Show” with the Chicago Reader and Frank Main’s “Motive” with Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM. Roeper continues as regular contributor to Conn’s afternoon show on WGN.
Susan Carlson signed off Sunday after six years as weekend morning news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. With sadness she told viewers on social media she’s cutting back to reporting duties three days a week. Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, said Katie Kim will continue to anchor weekend mornings, with other staff members rotating as co-anchor for the time being. Carlson joined NBC 5 in 2013 after more than 10 years at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2.
In the just-finished November rating sweep, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 increased the lead over its competitors for its 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekday newscast in households and among viewers between 25 and 54. Still running dead last at 10 p.m. is CBS 2, which dropped 14 percent in the key demo since last year. (In March Brad Edwards replaced Rob Johnson alongside Irika Sargent as CBS 2’s main anchor team.) ABC 7 also is celebrating that its locally produced “Windy City Live” talk show is beating all of its syndicated competitors (including newcomer “The Mel Robbins Show” on Nexstar Media WGN-Channel 9) at 1 p.m. weekdays.
A new bilingual news collaborative is being formed to fill the void after Tribune Publishing pulls the plug on Hoy Chicago. Latinext, a cross-platform news team targeting the 2.1 million people in the Chicago area’s Latinx community, will be launched early next year by Univision Chicago and The Chicago Reporter. The enterprise will be managed jointly by Fernando Díaz, editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, and Teri Arvesu, vice president of content for Univision Chicago. The initial focus of Latinext will be Aurora, Elgin, Berwyn, Joliet and Waukegan along with other new ports of entry for immigrants.
With considerable hoopla — and the financial backing of Chicago sportscasters Ryan Baker, Lou Canellis and Kip Lewis — the restaurant and sports bar Reverie opened at 414 North Orleans Street in 2014. After numerous complaints from area residents and a series of license violations, it’s now closed for good. Brendan Reilly, alderman of the 42nd Ward encompassing River North, renewed calls for an investigation of Reverie’s business licenses after shots were fired outside the nightclub in March.
Friday’s comment of the day: Rose Trauth: I’m very disappointed in many of the changes that Sean Compton and Mary Sandburg Boyle have made [at WGN Radio]. Taking Bill and Wendy off the air was a huge mistake. They kept it light and fun. They were a breath of fresh air compared to other programs on other stations. The weekend schedule is horrible with syndicated programming like the Dallas Cowboys football. WGN is better than that. Sinatra for three hours on a Sunday morning? That’s just weird. I thought it was 2019, not the 1950’s.