Robservations on the media beat:
Jim Rose, who’s been a key player on WLS-Channel 7’s sports team since 1982, signed on Wednesday for three more years with the top-rated ABC-owned station. “For almost 40 years JR has been serving sports fans and the Chicago community,” said John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7. “His passion for excellence and professionalism has created a legacy that we are thrilled to continue.” Rose, 67, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Rhode Island College, joined ABC 7 as a sports anchor and reporter from WIXT, the ABC affiliate in Syracuse, New York. In 2013 Rose was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His new deal solidifies ABC 7’s front line in sports, following a three-year extension for lead sports anchor Mark Giangreco last fall.
“Backstory with Larry Potash“ returns for another season this weekend on Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9. Airing at 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, the “forgotten history” series hosted by the “WGN Morning News” anchor explores intriguing tales in history, culture, religion and science from Chicago and beyond. Highlights this season include stories on the unheralded stars of baseball’s Negro leagues who paved the way for Jackie Robinson; the Chicago bootlegger king who was the inspiration for The Great Gatsby; and the unlikely political alliances that propelled Abraham Lincoln to power. Episodes are repeated at 11 p.m. Sundays.
Streetsblog Chicago, the nonprofit news source focusing on sustainable transportation and livable communities, has launched an online effort to raise $50,000 by the end of the year. Together with $75,000 pledged by The Chicago Community Trust, the additional funding would be used to promote assistant editor Courtney Cobbs to co-editor (making her the first African American to lead a Streetsblog site). The expanded budget also would underwrite a new weekly series on transportation and urban planning issues that impact Chicago’s Latino community. (Here is the link to contribute.)
Allison Rosati, who just marked her 30th year as a news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, has been off the air for the past month while at home healing from surgery. “Grateful to be feeling better . . . [and] hope to be back to work soon!” she posted on Facebook last week along with a photo of her canine companion Apollo. Rosati, 57, who co-anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, joined NBC 5 in 1990 from WGRZ, the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, New York. She’s been anchoring at 10 p.m. since 1997, making her the longest tenured late-news anchor in Chicago.
Condolences to Dean Richards, veteran entertainment reporter, critic and host at WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM, on the loss of his mother. Angeline Smirniotis died Tuesday at Evanston Hospital after a long battle with dementia and heart issues. She was 97. A lifelong Chicagoan, Smirniotis raised four sons and was known for her passion for cooking and baking. “In recent years, she became a quasi-WGN radio star herself when she’d come on my show to share recipes,” Richards said. “She was a massive fan favorite at some of my personal appearances, even bringing homemade Greek yogurt for the audience once.”
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Bill Mielke: Leila Rahimi should never have been let go by NBC Sports Chicago in the first place. She is one of the better communicators here and a refreshing take from the same recycled men who jump station to station. We need more like Leila and less like Mac.