Robservations on the media beat:
Bob Stroud, one of Chicago radio’s most knowledgable and respected authorities on rock music for 40 years, has been nominated for induction in the Radio Hall of Fame. The top-rated midday star and host of the long-running “Rock ’n Roll Roots” on Hubbard Radio classic WDRV 97.1-FM is one of 24 nominees in six categories announced today. Chicago’s only other nominee is “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!,” the NPR comedy-quiz show produced by Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM. (Here is the link.) Winners will be announced August 17. In lieu of an awards dinner this year, the 2020 induction ceremony will be a live radio broadcast from multiple locations in October. The Radio Hall of Fame is based at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Ryan Burrow, Chicago-based ABC News Radio correspondent and reporter for WGN 720-AM, has been named news director of the Nexstar Media Group news/talk station. Burrow’s promotion comes as WGN plans to drop its affiliation with ABC News Radio and end its shared talent agreement. The Chicago native and graduate of Valparaiso University and DePaul University previously was a news anchor and reporter at Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890. Starting in September, WGN will serve as the audio news hub of “News Nation,” the national news operation being launched by Nexstar Media Group at WGN America cable network. Two more reporters are expected to be hired as WGN rebrands its radio newsroom with the startup.
While news/talk WVON 1690-AM continues its search for morning hosts to replace Maze Jackson and Todd Stroger (who resigned last week), owner Midway Broadcasting has announced plans to launch VON-tv, a digital TV streaming network. Starting in August, content will include WVON’s morning show and other live programming as well as independent films and documentaries. “We are excited to be in the digital space, originating from our hometown of Chicago,” said chair and CEO Melody Spann Cooper. “Having earned a reputation for cultivating nationally recognized programs and talent, Midway Broadcasting will continue to use its expanding platforms to showcase the many voices throughout Black America.”
Three former editors of 22nd Century Media are launching a Kickstarter campaign today to raise funds for a new nonprofit digital newsroom on the North Shore. (Here is the link.) If Joe Coughlin, Megan Bernard and Martin Carlino reach $50,000, The Record Community News Group will begin online news sites late this summer serving Wilmette, Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth and Glencoe. “We aren’t sure if this is the precise model to solve the local news problem in Chicagoland, but we think it could be,” said co-founder and editor in chief Coughlin. “So we’re back — with lofty aspirations and a team that has proven it can deliver unbeatable local news and sports coverage every day.” 22nd Century Media, which published 14 community newspapers and websites in the area, ceased operations in March after 15 years.
Katie Bright, who co-hosted mornings for 10 months on Entercom country WUSN 99.5-FM, has returned to the record promotion business as Midwest director of promotion for Capitol Nashville. Before her brief stint at US99 with Jason Pullman, Bright was national director of promotion at Warner Music Nashville. “It’s so good to be back,” the west suburban native said. “I’ve deeply missed the relationships, the music, the hustle, the teamwork, the highs and lows.” US99 has not yet named replacements for Bright and Pullman, who exited last month.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: John Roach: This isn’t about canceling. It’s about what is really true. It’s amazing how many people, mostly white and male, who are absolutely threatened by the truth. The Confederacy was not benign, but they succeeded in rebranding themselves during the Jim Crowe era. It’s about time we called them out on it. Some of the other stuff is overboard, but it will pass. But the Confederacy? They were slavers. Who really supports slavery, or making it seem like it was noble? Not any thinking person I know.