Robservations on the media beat:
With the opening of the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66 in Joliet set for this summer, voting is under way on the first Hall of Fame class. Charter members have until February 14 to cast their ballots in five categories — including competition between Larry Lujack and Steve Dahl as disc jockeys, and WLS and WXRT as radio stations. (Here is the link.) The inaugural Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be March 29 at the Renaissance Center in Joliet. Billed as “a vibrant and dynamic cultural center, spanning age, race and musical genres,” the museum is being completed at a three-story, 15,000 square-foot building at 9 West Cass Avenue (at “the crossroads of Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway”) in downtown Joliet.
In addition to the departure of music critic Greg Kot reported here Wednesday, the list of Chicago Tribune employees leaving under the company’s voluntary buyout offer includes: editorial writer Andrea Hanis, criminal justice editor Matt O’Connor, higher education reporter Dawn Rhodes, sportswriter Jimmy Greenfield and Design and Production Studio directors Liz Fitzgerald and Jordan Dziura. Previously reported were buyouts for sports editor Tim Bannon and senior arts and entertainment editor Carmél Carrillo. “I grew up living for the arrival of the nice thick Sunday Tribune every week, and it was a thrill to work here. It’s a room where it feels like everyone is either a legend or a legend-in-the-making, whether the public knows their names or not,” said Hanis, whose last day is Friday.
With the impending demise of “MHz Worldview,” Window to the World Communications is changing the lineup on two digital channels and expanding them to 24/7 programming, effective March 1. WTTW World (the public media news, documentary and informational channel) will be seen on WYCC 20.1, Comcast Channel 372 and RCN Channel 57. WTTW Create (the public media “do-it-yourself” channel) will be seen on WTTW 11.3, Comcast Channel 369 and RCN Channel 38. “We believe these public media services are core to our purpose to enrich lives, engage communities and inspire exploration,” said Lisa Tipton, WTTW’s head of programming.
Cheryl W. Thompson, investigative correspondent for NPR and president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, will be the keynote speaker February 22 at the Chicago Headline Club’s eighth annual seminar on the Freedom of Information Act. The daylong FOIA Fest conference dedicated to public information will be at Loyola University’s Schreiber Center, 16 East Pearson Street. It will feature panels and workshops with leading journalists, attorneys and community groups. (Here is the link for tickets.)
It’s a banner year for Mitch Rosen, the longtime operations director and program director of Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM. He just topped this year’s list of the best major market program directors in the country, according to Barrett Sports Media. In addition he’ll be honored February 27 at the 2020 BSM Summit in New York as first recipient of the Mark Chernoff Award. “Under Rosen’s watch, The Score has continued to lead in Chicago, delivering strong ratings thanks to a weekday lineup which is well respected by industry executives,” said consultant Jason Barrett. Said Rosen: “I’m humbled . . . but it’s the people — not me.”
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Larry Weiland: Greg Kot is an excellent critic who has introduced me to uncountable artists over the years (along with Jim DeRogatis). He’s helped keep me from calcifying in my preferences as I’ve now passed over middle age. Glad he and Jim will still be doing “Sound Opinions.”