Robservations on the media beat:
Whether he’s coming or going, Jimmy de Castro always puts on a good show. To mark his last day on the job as senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago, the legendary Chicago radio impresario showed up in holiday attire that would make Santa blush. “It ain’t over til we say it’s over!,” de Castro posted on Facebook wearing the getup. At a farewell staff meeting Thursday he stood in front of a screen depicting himself in the suit astride a black horse, presumably riding off into the sunset. Although he’s calling it quits after two years in the top job, de Castro is expected to continue as consultant for Entercom and launch a new venture involving sports betting and gaming information. He may be leaving the broadcasting business for now, but one thing’s for sure: No one will ever call The Deacon shy and retiring.
Coinciding with retired Chicago White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson’s election as 2020 Ford C. Frick Award winner by the Baseball Hall of Fame, NBC Sports Chicago will rebroadcast “Hawk” twice this weekend. Hailed as the definitive documentary on Harrelson’s life and career, the Emmy award-winning 2018 documentary featured interviews with family members, players, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters. It will air at 11:30 p.m. tonight and 9:30 p.m. Sunday (as well as 9 p.m. Christmas Day). The hourlong doc was produced by the White Sox and NBC Sports Chicago.
Turi Ryder, the former Chicago radio personality and author of the fictionalized memoir She Said What? (A Life on the Air), has just launched “Turi Ryder’s ‘She Said What?’ Podcast.” With co-host Kathryn Lake, a commercial producer and occasional on-air voice at Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM, initial episodes cover everything from marriage and divorce to spoiling Santa and spy elves. (Here is the link.) “There will be two short podcasts — under 15 minutes — released each week,” Ryder told me. “I don’t wish a longer commute than that on anyone.”
The annual “top doctors” issue of Chicago magazine is usually among the best-sellers of the year for the city monthly. But in the just-published January 2020 edition, “top docs” take a back seat to cannabis. In what editor Susanna Homan calls “a really fun and elegant treatment of the topic,” the 14-page cover package includes takeouts on the best strains, tastiest edibles and coolest accessories along with expert advice as Chicago and Illinois enter the era of legal cannabis.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Nancy Angell Babendir: “Family Classics” was something special to grow up to and while my two favorite movies (“Snowfire” and “Lassie Come Home”) haven’t been played since the Frazier Thomas days, I’m glad to see that WGN is keeping it alive at least a little. Thanks Steve Sanders for stepping in and I hope Dean Richards has an easy recovery.