Robservations on the media beat:
Marquee Sports Network, set to debut February 22 as TV home of Chicago Cubs broadcasts, will air a weekday morning sports betting show — “Follow The Money” with Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard — produced by Vegas Stats & Information Network. “That’s our toe in the water in the gaming space, but I would expect more to come from us,” Mike McCarthy, general manager of the regional sports network, told Cablefax.com. The joint venture between the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group kicks off a major promotional campaign today in hopes of building awareness — with or without Comcast Xfinity onboard. “We’re going to tap into and drive home awareness of all the brand benefits using imagery and emotion and what fans go through when they’re watching nine innings of Cubs baseball,” marketing vice president Amy McDevitt told Broadcasting & Cable.
Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM just debuted the second season of its investigative podcast series “Motive.” Produced and hosted by Candace Mittel Kahn, it reports on the death of Lauren Bajorek, a 21-year-old student who was studying in Seville, Spain, during the summer of 2015. Mittel Kahn and editor Alexandra Salomon spent a year investigating claims by dozens of women who told of being sexually assaulted during study abroad. (Here is the link.) “This new season of ‘Motive’ once again takes listeners inside a single, real-life story to answer a broader question: ‘How could this have happened?’” said executive producer Kevin Dawson. “This time our story is set in Spain to look at the tragic outcome of Lauren Bajorek’s study abroad trip, but goes further to add insights to an important and timely conversation about sexual violence against women.”
Now that Joe Walsh has ended his quixotic bid for the Republican presidential nomination, don’t look for the former suburban congressman to be back on Salem Media news/talk WIND 560-AM or any other radio station for that matter (unless he buys his own airtime). “I don’t like President Trump, so I have no home on conservative talk radio,” he told the Daily Herald Friday. Since stepping down from WIND in August, Walsh was replaced as afternoon host by Steve Cortes, who was an outspoken supporter of Trump as a CNN political commentator and a member of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council. Walsh was replaced on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated evening show by Dan Proft, the WIND morning host.
The great Fred Mitchell, former Chicago Tribune sports columnist, will sign copies of his 12th book, The History of Loyola Basketball: More than a Shot and a Prayer, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Wednesday at Harry Caray’s Restaurant, 33 West Kinzie Street. Joining him will be Sister Jean Schmidt, chaplain for the Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball team. Mitchell, who accepted a buyout in 2015 after 41 years at the Tribune, serves as community correspondent for the Chicago Blackhawks and adjunct professor of journalism at DePaul University. On February 17 he’ll present the trophy to the 2019 winner of the Fred Mitchell Award (honoring the nation’s best college football kicker) during the National Football Foundation ceremony at Halas Hall.
Donna Vickroy, a mainstay of the Daily Southtown for 38 years, has retired after accepting a buyout from parent company Tribune Publishing. The South Side native and graduate of Richards High School and Illinois State University won awards and a loyal following for her work as a reporter, columnist and entertainment editor. “I am honored to have had so many experiences and to have been able to share them with you,” Vickroy told readers in a farewell column. “I don’t think there are words that can adequately express my gratitude for your trust.”
Donald R. Farnham Sr., Emmy Award-winning cameraman for ABC News and ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, died Sunday at 94. As a Marine in World War II he survived the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. He joined ABC in 1948 and worked as a cameraman on “Monday Night Football,” the Super Bowl, the World Series and three Olympic games, and was part of the ABC News team that traveled with President Richard Nixon to China in 1972. He retired after 45 years in 1993 and lived in Riverside. “Don was one of the finest and most fascinating human beings you would ever want to meet,” ABC 7 reporter Janet Davies wrote on Facebook. “I am incredibly sad we have just lost another from ‘The Greatest Generation.'”
Friday’s comment of the day: Spike O’Dell: Such a sad day. I still won’t listen to any of the audio from it all. I can’t. On that fateful day, I met Bob [Collins] at the top of the exit stairwell while he was leaving and I was coming in. I told him to have a good day, and he said he was gonna go flying. As he passed me, I “goosed” him on the butt. (I always did because he was so jumpy and giggled like a kid.) He jumped as usual, and his last words to me were: “Oooo . . . I think I love you!” Pretty good words to remember him by. I still miss ya, Bubba.