Robservations on the media beat:
Cokie Roberts, the trailblazing political reporter and analyst for National Public Radio and ABC News, will be inducted posthumously in the Radio Hall of Fame. Roberts, who died of breast cancer last year, was among the winners announced today by the Chicago-based shrine to radio’s legends. For the second straight year no one from Chicago made the cut. (This year’s hometown nominees were Bob “Rock ’n Roll Roots” Stroud and “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!,” the NPR comedy-quiz show produced by Chicago Public Media.) Joining Roberts in the class of 2020 are: Glenn Beck of Premiere Networks; Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps of KLOS in Los Angeles; Angie Martinez of WWPR in New York; Sway Calloway of Sirius XM; Donnie Simpson of WMMJ in Washington, D.C.; and “The Breakfast Club” (Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy) of WWPR and Premiere Networks. Inductees will be honored October 29 in a virtual ceremony to air as a live radio broadcast.
Darryll King, who hosted mornings on south suburban gospel WYCA 102.3-FM, retired last week after 20 years on the air and in sales with Crawford Broadcasting. “With her infectious laugh and spread of cheer throughout the office, we will surely miss Darryll and all the great things she brought to our company and to listeners on WYCA Rejoice 102.3,” said program director Tracy Williamson. Starting today, the station will carry the syndicated morning show of Erica Campbell, a gospel singer and reality TV personality. “Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell” will air from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays.
Without fanfare Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM has moved the start of Mike Mulligan and David Haugh’s morning show to 6 a.m. For several weeks now, update reporter Mark Grote has been hosting “The Mully & Haugh Pre-Game Show” from 5 to 6 a.m. No reason was cited for the move, but it’s believed to be related to changes in morning-drive listening patterns during the pandemic. Today marks the start of a new battle for sports fans in Chicago with the debut of David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood from 7 to 10 a.m. on WMVP 1000-AM, the ESPN Radio station managed by Good Karma Brands. “Kap & J. Hood” will mark the station’s first local morning show in more than 20 years under ESPN ownership.
Nick Digilio returned as overnight host Sunday on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM after a lengthy absence said to be part vacation and part disappearing act. No wonder all questions about him drew radio silence from his bosses. A few of Digilio’s cryptic Facebook posts (“It’s been a rough few days, but I’ll be fine,” and “Man, it’s been a crazy and stressful month”) only added to the mystery. Back on the air, Digilio told listeners he spent part of the time staying with his parents. “I needed to be with my parents,” he said. “Thank you for your concern. I’m back. I’m working.” It’s not the first time Digilio had been missing in action for personal reasons. The WGN Radio Walk of Famer, who recently marked his 35th year at the station, moved up to full-time host in 2013.
About 50 current and former co-workers staged a surprise parade outside the home of Bob Smith Saturday to honor him on his retirement after 26 years as an editor at the Daily Herald. A mentor to countless reporters, Smith was hailed as “one of the newsroom’s selfless unsung heroes” in a Daily Herald editorial. “We remain thankful for the exquisite devotion he brought to local journalism and for the inspiration he provided our staff.” Smith, who grew up in Elmhurst and graduated from York High School and Northern Illinois University, joined the Daily Herald in 1994 as an assistant city editor after working for the Beacon News in Aurora, Daily Journal in Wheaton and Press Publications in Elmhurst. In an email to colleagues, he called himself the “Forrest Gump of journalism, just a schmo stumbling along but always surrounded by immensely talented people who made me look as good as possible.”
Friday’s comment of the day: Steven Weseman: We have here a report from Mr. Feder designed to draw readers to debate in comments. Real news or rabble rousing? I’m not sure, but I rather admire Mr. Feder’s sense of humor reflected in some of his “news” selections.