Robservations on the media beat:
Chicago media dynamo Heather Cherone has joined WTTW-Channel 11 after two years as managing editor and City Hall reporter for The Daily Line, the subscription newsletter on state and local politics. The Window to the World Communications public television station announced today that Cherone has been hired as a digital news reporter covering City Hall. A native of Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood and graduate of Kenwood Academy and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Cherone previously worked for DNAInfo/Chicago and the Chicago Tribune, where she helped launch TribLocal in the south and west suburbs. Earlier she covered politics and government for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Oakland Tribune. Cherone recently moderated Chicago Journalism Town Hall 2020 with Ken Davis, and was cited here among the 25 Most Powerful Women in Chicago Journalism.
Yet another media casualty of the COVID-19 shutdown may be RedEye, the weekly nightlife, dining and entertainment tabloid published by the Chicago Tribune. “Because bars, restaurants, theaters and other nightlife will be closed over the coming weeks, this is the last RedEye we will publish for a while,” read a message to readers in a “special coronavirus edition” March 19. Asked if or when RedEye would come back from hiatus, a Tribune Publishing spokesman said the company would continue to evaluate the situation, adding: “We’re not in a position to evaluate the potential audience for RedEye or when it might return given that transit ridership is down significantly and that bars, restaurants, theaters and other nightlife remain closed and will remain closed or disrupted for weeks.” Founded as a free daily in 2002, RedEye cut back to weekly publication in 2017.
George Papajohn, who resigned earlier this month as associate managing editor for investigations at the Chicago Tribune after 38 years at the newspaper, is joining BuzzFeed News as deputy editor on the investigations desk. “Thrilled to be joining the robust investigative unit at @BuzzFeedNews, an extremely talented team producing ambitious work from across the globe, overseen by @arielkaminer,” Papajohn tweeted. “This editing job is an incredible opportunity, a new challenge and a way to continue to make an impact. Here’s to a new adventure. And I’m thankful for that as well.” Papajohn directed the Tribune’s “Hidden Hazards” project, which won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
Julie Mann, managing editor of Entercom all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM, will headline a free webinar Wednesday on “Radio and Digital Media During a Pandemic.” Sponsored by the Publicity Club of Chicago, the online event will run from noon to 1 p.m. Registration is required to participate. (Here is the link.) Mann joined WBBM Newsradio as a reporter and weekend news anchor in 1997 and was promoted to managing editor in 2010.
Finalists for the 2019 Peter Lisagor Awards were announced Friday by the Chicago Headline Club. (Here is the link.) More than 900 entries were received for this year’s judging in print, radio, television and digital categories. Due to cancellation of the Lisagor Awards dinner May 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic, winners will be announced at a “virtual celebration” online. The awards are named for the late Chicago Daily News Washington bureau chief. The Headline Club also announced three finalists for The Watchdog Award for excellence in public-interest reporting: ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune for “The Quiet Rooms”; CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 for “Unwarranted”; and ProPublica Illinois for “You’re Destroying Families.”
Justin Kaufmann, T.J. Shanoff and Scott Goldstein are the creative team behind behind “The Pandemic Talk Show,” billed as “the show you never knew you needed for the time you never thought was possible.” The pilot for the Zoom-based comedy/variety talk show premiered Friday on YouTube. (Here is the link.) “The whole goal of the show is to reflect life that’s happening right now as we all are sheltered in place,” host Kaufmann says in the opener. “But there also are heroes that are on the front lines fighting this virus every single day, and we want to take our part to recognize [them].” Guests include Abby McEnany of Showtime’s “Work In Progress,” Bill Brickey of the Old Town School of Folk Music, and Dr. Rahul Khare, CEO and founder of Innovative Care.
Friday’s comment of the day: Kevin Lampe: It is good to have Justin Kaufmann back on Saturday afternoons. Maybe Aaron Freeman and John Dempsey could join him for a “Metropolis” reunion?