Robservations on the media beat:
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.
The remarkable life and legacy of Russ Ewing is recalled in the latest episode of the podcast series “Criminal.” Produced by Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer, “Call Russ Ewing” recounts how the legendary Chicago TV reporter became known for escorting more than 100 fugitives and suspects safely into police custody. (Here is the link.) It features interviews with three former colleagues from ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 — reporter Charles Thomas, producer Pat Arnold and cameraman Ken Bedford — as well as public defender Marijane Placek. “You trusted him immediately because you knew he was from the neighborhood,” Thomas says. Ewing, who retired from ABC 7 in 1995, died in June at 95.
Geoffrey Baer is on the move again. The latest documentary from Chicago’s unofficial tour guide covers every inch of the CTA’s color-coded lines – Red, Blue, Green, Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple and Yellow — and their environs. The 90-minute special “Chicago By ‘L’” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. March 4 on Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. “As a kid, I remember staring out the windows of the ‘L’ in wonder as we passed perilously close to buildings through the rich and complex quilt of Chicago cultures,” Baer said. “And I still love it today. It’s like touring the world for the minimal price of a train fare. Just steps from each station is yet another fascinating personal connection to be made, a restaurant to try, a business to explore, or a landmark to admire. This is a program for the ‘train geek’ inside all of us.”
If you haven’t already seen Anderson Cooper’s stunning interview of Rod Blagojevich on CNN Friday night, do yourself a favor and watch it. (Here is the link.) Cooper eviscerates the former Illinois governor for claiming that he’s a “political prisoner” who was treated like Nelson Mandela. Blasting Blago for refusing to admit wrongdoing, Cooper says: “You’re creating a whole new alternative universe of facts. And that may be big in politics today, but it’s still, frankly, just bull—-.” Cooper later apologized for the profanity.
Monday’s comment of the day: Dan Haley: Sunday’s conversation at the Chicago Journalism Town Hall was great. For all the necessary conversation about inventing new business models and the blossoming of active collaborations, the strongest, most essential talk was about race, diversity, inclusion, equity. These are topics which have to be at the top of the list in every newsroom even when the conversation is hard or uncomfortable. The conversation is also way overdue and a tremendous opportunity. Almost all of us in this business have a long, long way to go. Yesterday was a worthy contribution to the conversation. Thanks to all the strong voices heard.