Robservations on the media beat:
With 10 days to go before its launch as TV home of Chicago Cubs broadcasts, Marquee Sports Network has added former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace to its roster of part-time on-air personalities. He’ll provide pregame, in-game and postgame analysis for the network while continuing as an analyst for Arizona Diamondbacks games on Fox Sports Arizona. Also joining Marquee Sports Network is Big Ten Network reporter and host Elise Menaker, who’ll produce feature stories and other content for Marquee and contribute as a field reporter and host. Menaker, who’ll continue to work for BTN, is a former sports anchor and reporter at NBC affiliate WTMJ in Milwaukee and the younger sister of Chicago radio personality Michelle “Showbiz Shelly” Menaker. “We are excited to bring Mark back home to Wrigley Field to share his knowledge and passion for baseball and the Cubs, and in Elise, we have someone who will instantly bring a fresh and unique sports perspective to the broadcasts,” said Mike Santini, Marquee’s senior vice president of programming and production.
Sandy Pudar, assistant news director at Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9, has been named news director of WGN America “News Nation,” the three-hour nightly national newscast set to be launched this summer. The move reunites Pudar with Jennifer Lyons, the former WGN news director who was promoted to vice president of news for WGN America last month. “Sandy is a creative and driven news leader who has the unique ability to develop and execute a plan like no other,” said Paul Rennie, vice president and general manager of WGN. “Fortunately both Sandy and Jennifer are staying in the family.” A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pudar joined WGN as an intern in 1999 and worked as a news writer and producer before moving up to executive producer of “WGN Morning News” in 2009 and assistant news director in 2014.
Newsman, bluesman and longtime Chicago radio raconteur Buzz Kilman will be back on the air Friday when he fills in for David Plier from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM. Kilman was last heard on WGN when Jonathon Brandmeier hosted mornings there from 2011 to 2013. He’s been a fixture on Chicago radio since 1980 when he joined the station formerly known as The Loop as Steve Dahl’s morning news anchor.
Rich Campbell, who covered the Chicago Bears and the NFL for the Chicago Tribune, is the latest to announce his resignation from the newspaper’s sports staff. He said Tuesday he’s leaving to take another job outside of sports media. Campbell, a graduate of Washington and Lee University, joined the Tribune in 2013 after working for The Washington Times and the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He’s also stepping down as a Bears insider and occasional fill-in host at Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM.
Here’s wishing Mary Kay Kleist a speedy recovery and hoping she’s back on her feet soon. The top meteorologist for CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 is out of commission after undergoing foot surgery in January. She said she expects to return to CBS 2 within the month.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Steve Scott: Sometimes the word “iconic” is overused to the point that its definition is diluted. But not in this case. John Records Landecker is, indeed, iconic in the world of radio broadcasting. He has entertained. He has innovated. He has inspired. Congratulations, JRL!