Robservations on the media beat:
The advance of the Chicago White Sox to postseason play has delayed the debut of John Records Landecker as evening host on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM. Monday was to have marked the launch of Landecker’s show, which will air from 7 to 10 p.m. weeknights. But now the Radio Hall of Famer is holding off to avoid multiple sports preemptions or late starts in the coming weeks. Citing the unpredictability of postseason baseball, Mary Sandberg Boyle, vice president and general manager of WGN, said: “John’s show will now start once the season ends.” WGN is in the final year of its contract as radio home of the White Sox.
Fernando Diaz is on his way out after two years as editor-in-chief and publisher of The Chicago Reporter — although no one at the investigative news organization will say so or comment on what’s next. Sources said Diaz clashed with officials of the Community Renewal Society, nonprofit parent company of the 48-year-old publication. Diaz declined to comment, referring questions about his status to Waltrina Middleton, executive director of the society. Middleton never responded. Diaz, a onetime reporter for the Daily Herald and former managing editor of the Spanish-language daily Hoy Chicago, joined the Reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was managing editor for digital coverage.
Sally Ramirez, who was executive producer of WGN-Channel 9’s 9 p.m. newscast from 1994 to 1997, just stepped up to the biggest job of her career. The Chicago native and DePaul University graduate is executive producer of “The News with Shepard Smith,” which debuts tonight on CNBC. Airing here at 6 p.m. weeknights, the one-hour national news program promises to provide “deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories.” Ramirez most recently was executive news director at KHOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston. Smith joined CNBC in July after 23 years as a news anchor at Fox News.
Remember when talk show host Amy Jacobson sued to gain access to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s press conferences by insisting she was still a journalist? She eventually won her battle despite criticism for her role as a speaker at a rally protesting the governor’s stay-at-home orders. Now the morning co-host on Salem Media news/talk WIND 560-AM is at it again. On Saturday Jacobson spoke at a “Rally to Reopen Our Schools” in Arlington Heights. “I’m sorry that you’re part of this child abuse,” she told the crowd, according to the Arlington Heights Post.
In lieu of the usual cocktail party gathering, nominations will be announced online at 2 p.m. today for the 2020 regional Emmy Awards, sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. (Here is the link.) The virtual Emmy Awards presentation will be held in mid-November. As part of this year’s event, the academy will pay special tribute to health care workers in the eight markets the chapter serves — Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau, Madison, Rockford, South Bend and Peoria.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Tom Skilling: Congratulations Orion [Samuelson]! Over your amazing career you and Max [Armstrong] have done more to educate all of us on the world farming and agriculture than any two broadcasters walking this planet. THANK YOU for that! We depend so on our farmers and I think for many of us urban or suburban folk, what goes on on our farms is something of a mystery! It shouldn’t be — and you’ve helped mightily in changing that. I listened to you on my way to work when I was going to school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison back in the early ’70s and as I traveled to work working back in the mid ’70s in Milwaukee never knowing I’d have the privilege of working with you at WGN years later. You’re kind, knowledgeable and such a class act — perhaps the most famous alum out of Wisconsin’s famed and beautiful Kickapoo Valley!