Robservations on the media beat:
Today marks the launch of The Record North Shore, the nonprofit local news site founded by three former editors of 22nd Century Media. Joe Coughlin, Megan Bernard and Martin Carlino created the startup with a crowdfunding campaign and backing from the Institute for Nonprofit News. It initially will serve the North Shore suburbs of Wilmette, Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth and Glencoe. In a welcoming message to readers, co-founder and editor-in-chief Coughlin wrote: “The Record is a nonprofit digital newsroom built on integrity, courage and care. The platform change allows us to better serve your community, and we are going to do this the right way, placing reporters on the ground to cover your hometown every single day, not just when a big story breaks. . . . While donations via a successful Kickstarter campaign got us off the ground, our events and subscriptions will keep us in the air. Much of our site’s content (public-service journalism like breaking news, police reports, public-safety news and more) will be free to read, but our other work will be for subscribers who value dedicated local reporting.” 22nd Century Media, which published 14 community newspapers and websites in the area, ceased operations in March after 15 years.
On second thought, John Records Landecker can’t wait to get started. Following up on a report here Wednesday that Landecker had postponed his debut as evening host at WGN 720-AM until the Chicago White Sox complete postseason play, he’s decided to launch his show next week no matter what. “I guess I’m like the CDC . . . I changed my mind,” the Radio Hall of Famer told me. Starting Monday, “The John Landecker Radio Oasis” will air from 7 to 10 p.m. weeknights on the Nexstar Media Group news/talk station. Explaining the show’s title, Landecker said: “It is a three-hour oasis from the stressful world we all share. All that stuff you heard all day? I’m not talking about any of it. I’m going for entertainment and fun. Will there be music? Yes, but in a way that is totally unique. Boogie Check? Yes. Stay tuned — more will be revealed!”
The headline-grabbing ratings victory by iHeartMedia R&B WVAZ 102.7-FM wasn’t the only eye-popping news to come out of the Nielsen Audio survey released this week. Univision Radio notes that WOJO 105.1-FM, the regional Mexican station known as Que Buena 105.1, ranked No. 1 among adults between 18 and 49 and between 25 and 54. That’s a remarkable achievement for a Spanish-language station in Chicago. In addition Sylvia del Valle, the syndicated afternoon personality known as “La Bronca,” finished first in both key demographics for WOJO.
Mort Meisner, the former Chicago television news manager who became one of the nation’s top talent agents, just published his memoir. Enough to Be Dangerous: One Agent’s Life in TV News and Rock & Roll features stories from his years as an assignment editor and producer for two Chicago TV newsrooms in the ’80s, including infamous run-ins with Walter Jacobson, Mike Royko and others. (Here is the link to order.) “One of the reasons I wrote this book is to expose what happens behind closed doors in the media,” said Meisner, now based in Detroit. “And I’m telling my personal stories because they raise provocative questions about our world. They’ll make you laugh, cry, and cringe, and really think about life.”
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Scott Stantis: Fernando Diaz is one of the most talented, thoughtful and forward thinking journalists I have ever met. He was turning The Chicago Reporter into a well run, well funded and important voice in Chicago. This is sad news indeed.