Robservations on the media beat:
In a week of happy homecomings for Chicago television news anchors, Stefan Holt made his comeback to NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 after four years away. Beginning next week Holt will co-anchor weekdays with Marion Brooks at 4 p.m. and Allison Rosati at 10 p.m. (Rob Stafford continues to co-anchor with Rosati at 5 and 6 p.m.) Holt, a Chicago native and son of “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, spent five years as morning news anchor at NBC 5 before moving to WNBC in New York in 2016. “When Stefan walked back into the newsroom on Monday it was like he had never left,” said Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5. “He knows so many of us. It’s been great catching up. And he’s so excited to be back home in Chicago.” Rosati also returned this week after two months off recovering from surgery.
It’s been four months since readers of the Sunday Chicago Tribune have received Splash, the glossy local magazine covering style, society and celebrity. Now comes word it may not be gone forever. “Splash went on hiatus after the June issue, since so much of the content was around arts and events,” said publisher and general manager Susanna Homan. “We are taking a wait-and-see approach and will reevaluate it when events return.” Homan launched Splash at the Sun-Times in 2012 and moved with it to the Tribune in 2016.
Ben Ponzio, longtime Chicago radio sales executive, has been named general sales manager for Entercom Chicago. The lifelong Chicagoan and graduate of Fenwick High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign most recently was a senior account exec for Hubbard Radio. (In 2015 Ponzio briefly left radio to pursue what he called “a lifelong dream” to become a professional poker player.) He replaces Paul Agase, who held the job for three years. Entercom Chicago includes all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM, sports/talk WSCR 670-AM, Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM, adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM, country WUSN 99.5-FM, and classic hip-hop WBMX 104.3-FM.
Elvis Duran, the syndicated morning host from New York, has been tapped to host this year’s virtual induction ceremony for the Chicago-based Radio Hall of Fame. The event will stream live October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the SiriusXM Triumph Channel and various iHeartMedia stations. Class of 2020 inductees include: 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.; “The Breakfast Club” (Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy) of WWPR and Premiere Networks, and posthumously Cokie Roberts formerly of National Public Radio and ABC News.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Charlie Meyerson: As one of those who put the Chicago Reporter on the air (at WNUA in the ’90s), count me among those angered by its plight.