Robservations on the media beat:
Fans of Steve King and Johnnie Putman will have several opportunities to reconnect with the husband-and-wife team on Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM. Once again they’ll host their annual New Year’s Eve show on December 31. Among guests on the 25th anniversary broadcast of “Steve & Johnnie’s Cheap Date Life After Dark New Year’s Eve Extravaganza” from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be musical mentalist Sidney Friedman and the River Road Trio. They’ll also be filling in on WGN for Roe Conn from 3 to 7 p.m. on December 27 and for Justin Kaufmann from 7 to 11 p.m. on December 30. Earlier they filled in for Kaufmann on Black Friday. King and Putman, who drew top ratings for WGN on overnights for more than 26 years, retired in 2011 and were inducted in the WGN Walk of Fame in 2015. They now live in Florida.
Kelly Gueno, programming assistant for iHeartMedia Chicago, has been promoted to assistant program director of urban programming, overseeing urban adult-contemporary WVAZ 102.7-FM, urban contemporary WGCI 107.5-FM and gospel WGRB 1390-AM. A Chicago native and graduate of Fisk University and Chicago State University, she began as a promotions assistant in 2006. In her new role Gueno reports to Derrick Brown, vice president of urban programming for the iHeartMedia Chicago region. “She literally grew up at our stations and it has been absolutely gratifying to see Kelly’s progress from our promotions department to being a programming assistant and now assistant program director for our iconic urban brands,” Brown said.
Year-end staffing changes at the Chicago Reader include the departures of three full-time employees, including director of photography Jamie Ramsay, whose position is being eliminated. Also leaving the alternative weekly are deputy editor Kate Schmidt and art and design creative lead Sue Kwong. Reader publisher Tracy Baim said the latter two positions will be filled.
Veteran Chicago sportswriter Ed Sherman has written the official history of the Big 10. Featuring more than 300 photos and a foreword by commissioner Jim Delany, This is Big: How the Big Ten Set the Standard in College Sports covers all sports and history of the conference dating back to its founding in 1895. (Here is the link.) It’s Sherman’s third book.
Sunday’s comment of the day: Gene Christianson: Tough call. Who does one root for, when the choice is between two scumbags?