Robservations on the media beat:
Flush with a $1 million grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism announced plans Wednesday to launch a major initiative to fortify local news in Chicago. The Metro Media Lab will be created “to help local news organizations better engage with citizens; provide quality, solutions-oriented journalism; and strengthen the sustainability of local news organizations through research, training and student-produced storytelling in partnerships with Chicago outlets,” according to the university. The new program will complement the Medill Local News Initiative, a research and development project launched in 2018. Tim Knight, the former president and CEO of Tribune Publishing who became president and CEO of the McCormick Foundation earlier this year, said in a statement: “This investment in Northwestern’s Metro Media Lab will help broaden and deepen public affairs reporting to more inclusively and sustainably serve the region’s diverse communities.”
Look for Terrell Brown to anchor WLS-Channel 7’s 11 a.m. newscast Friday from the DuSable Museum of African American History on the South Side. To mark Juneteenth, Brown will broadcast from the museum’s exhibit on “Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey Toward Equality” and talk with experts on the historical significance of the date. Also on the ABC-owned station Cheryl Burton will host “Do You Hear Me? A Discussion about Race,” a half-hour town hall at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The dialogue will continue online at 7 p.m. at ABC7Chicago.com.
Scott Childers, longtime Chicago radio personality and broadcast historian, has been tapped by the soon-to-open Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 in Joliet to serve as its Illinois radio station historian. “Very excited to be a part of this very important and cool museum!” Childers said. The author of Chicago’s WLS Radio, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2008, Childers also created an online tribute to The Big 89 at WLShistory.com. Now chief engineer for Alpha Media’s southwest and west suburban stations, he’s been filling in as evening host on WERV 95.9-FM, the company’s classic hits station in Aurora.
Robb Rose, former host and morning show producer at Hubbard Radio adult contemporary WSHE 100.3-FM, has landed as director of content/operations manager for Townsquare Media’s five-station group in Midland-Odessa, Texas. He’ll also serve as brand manager/program director and morning co-host at KNFM (where’s he’ll use the on-air name “Gunner”). A Chicago native and graduate of Columbia College, Rose began as an intern at Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM. In May he was among 12 employees of Hubbard Radio Chicago laid off because of the decline in revenue attributed to the COVID-19 shutdown.
For the first time in months there’ll be a live sporting event heard this weekend on WSCR 670-AM, the Entercom sports/talk station. Coverage of the Belmont Stakes will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, produced by the Horse Racing Radio Network. The Score also plans to air the other two rescheduled legs of the Triple Crown — the Kentucky Derby on September 5 and the Preakness on October 3.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Elena Ferrarin: We’re lucky to work with Madhu [Krishnamurthy] at the Daily Herald, and she’ll do a fantastic job at the helm of the Chicago Headline Club. Congratulations!