Before he became ‘Mayor Pete,’ Buttigieg worked as NBC 5 investigative intern

Pete Buttigieg

For six weeks during the summer of 2002, a 20-year-old college student named Peter Buttigieg toiled in the background as an intern at WMAQ-Channel 5, the NBC-owned station in Chicago.

Few could have imagined then that he would become mayor of his hometown of South Bend, Indiana, or that 18 years later he would be on the March 17 Illinois Democratic primary ballot as a candidate for president of the United States. Continue reading

Bruce Dold out as Chicago Tribune publisher, editor-in-chief

Bruce Dold (Photo: Bill Healy)

In a top-level shakeup by the new corporate overlords of Tribune Publishing, Bruce Dold is out as publisher and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune, and Peter Kendall is out as managing editor.

Succeeding Dold in the editor-in-chief role is Colin McMahon, who will continue in his current position as chief content officer for Tribune Publishing. Continue reading

Robservations: Lee Phillip Bell, ‘First Lady of Chicago TV,’ recalled as ‘gracious and kind’

Lee Phillip Bell (1955 photo)

Robservations on the media beat:

Lee Phillip Bell, the Chicago talk show pioneer who co-created two long-running CBS soap operas, is being remembered as the “First Lady of Chicago Television.” Bell died Tuesday in Los Angeles at 91. From 1952 to 1986 she hosted “The Lee Phillip Show” and “Noonbreak” on CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. Together with her late husband, William J. Bell, she created “The Young and the Restless” in 1973 and “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 1987, moving Bell-Phillip Television Productions to L.A. with their children, William James Bell, Bradley Phillip Bell and Lauralee Bell Martin. Born Loreley June Phillip in 1928 in Chicago, she graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School and Northwestern University while working in her family’s floral shop. An opportunity to demonstrate flower arrangement led to full-time employment at CBS 2 and her first show, “Mornin’ Miss Lee.” “Our mother was a loving and supportive wife, mother and grandmother,” the family said in a statement. “Gracious and kind, she enriched the lives of all who knew her. We will miss her tremendously.” Continue reading

Robservations: ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’ to be recycled as weekly podcast

Oprah Winfrey

Robservations on the media beat:

Oprah Winfrey is opening the vault to 25 years of “legendary interviews, a-ha moments, ugly cries and unforgettable surprises,” according to an announcement this week by her company, OWN. Starting Tuesday, audio from more than 4,500 episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will be released as a serialized weekly podcast. (Here is the link to subscribe.) The first 10 installments will focus on race relations, drug addiction, divorce and weight loss, among other topics. “As we head into a new decade, it’s a great time for fans of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ to revisit the joy, laughter and inspiration that kept us all tuning in daily for 25 years,” Tina Perry, president of OWN, told People magazine. “ ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show: The Podcast’ is the perfect opportunity to look back and reflect, take stock of how we’ve grown and to be reminded that we’re all in this together.” Produced in Chicago and syndicated nationally from 1986 to 2011, it remains the highest rated daytime talk show in history. Continue reading

Robservations: Barry Cronin takes over weekly golf show on The Score

Barry Cronin

Robservations on the media beat:

David Schuster

Barry Cronin, the former Sun-Times sportswriter who’s now editor of Chicago District Golfer magazine, has been named co-host of “Scorecard,” the weekly golf show on Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM. Starting April 4, he’ll join co-host David Schuster, reporter and update anchor on The Score, from 6 to 8 a.m. Saturdays. Cronin and Schuster succeed Ed Sherman and Steve Olken, who stepped down after 10 years on the show. “In addition to keeping up with the PGA Tour, David and I plan to entertain our listeners by exploring local courses, how to play better, the latest golf gear, cool golf travel destinations, how to get more kids involved in the game . . . the list goes on,” Cronin told me. “From the outside, golf might look like a quiet game, but there are a lot of issues and controversies roiling just below the surface and we’re going to look into them — along with getting into all the fun stuff. I’m grateful and honored for the opportunity.” After 13 years at the Sun-Times, Cronin left in 1995 to become a golf industry publicist and launch Cronin Communications, based in Park Ridge. Continue reading

Robservations: Unforced errors tarnish Marquee Sports Network launch

Marquee Sports Network

Robservations on the media beat:

The Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group had more than a year to get their act together to launch Marquee Sports Network. Even so, Saturday’s long-awaited debut turned out to be the worst new product launch in memory. Still without Comcast Xfinity, the region’s largest cable provider, it only got worse from there. Hulu + Live TV, touted as a streaming alternative for cable cord cutters, pushed back its start date for Marquee to perhaps opening day March 26. Also left in the dark were countless Charter Spectrum and DirecTV customers. Others had no idea where to find Marquee, thanks to the network’s inadequate marketing efforts. Remember when Cubs bossman Tom Ricketts got roundly booed onstage at the mere mention of Marquee during last month’s Cubs Convention? Those boos just got louder. Continue reading

Robservations: One-woman show ‘Reporting Live: I’m Ana Belaval’ goes onstage

Ana Belaval

Robservations on the media beat:

Ana Belaval, the multitalented “Around Town” reporter on the top-rated “WGN Morning News,” is about to star in her own one-woman comedy show. “Reporting Live: I’m Ana Belaval” shares her personal story “on how facing weakness can be the key to unlocking destiny.” Written and performed by Belaval (and subtitled “I’ve Kept It Real: A One-Woman Show”), it opens April 23 for one week at The Den Theatre, 1331 North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. (Here is the link for tickets.) “We worked with Ana to bring her story to life as if we were reporting ‘live from inside the brain of Ana Belaval’,” said Wendy Mateo, who developed and directed the show with Lorena Diaz. “Do you have your tickets?” Belaval tweeted Wednesday. “You know I keep it real but I’m taking it to another level.” Continue reading

How Chuck Goudie scored that golden seat next to Blago

Rod Blagojevich and Chuck Goudie (Photo: ABC 7 Chicago)

A gaggle of Chicago reporters were on hand at Denver International Airport when Rod Blagojevich boarded a United Airlines plane Tuesday night after his release from prison. But only one managed to secure the coach seat next to the former Illinois governor for the 2½-hour flight home.

Chuck Goudie, veteran investigative reporter for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, somehow pulled it off — to the astonishment and envy of his peers. Continue reading