Robservations on the media beat:
Halloween is still almost three weeks away, but they’re already thinking about Christmas at iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT 93.9-FM. Listeners again are being invited to guess the exact day and time Lite FM flips to Christmas music this year, with the winning entry eligible for a $1,000 prize. (Here is the link.) “Can’t give you the exact day yet . . . but I can say that Christmas music starts in less than 40 days on @LITEFMChicago!” program director and afternoon host Mick Lee wrote on Facebook. Last year the switch to “Chicago’s Christmas Music Station” came at 4 p.m. November 5. The earliest it’s happened was November 2 in 2006 and 2007. The ratings are always through the roof.
Chicago comedian Pat McGann has been tapped to host this year’s virtual Emmy Awards ceremony of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The event November 22 will stream live on chicagoemmyonline.org, YouTube and Vimeo, starting at 7 p.m. It’s a return engagement for the South Side native and former house MC at Zanies Chicago, who won high marks as Emmy show host in 2016. Presenters representing the eight markets in the academy’s chapter — Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, South Bend, Wausau, Rockford and Peoria — will pay tribute to notable first responders/essential workers in their respective markets.
After weeks of stonewalling the media (as well as its own current and former employees), the nonprofit outfit behind the Chicago Reporter finally responded to questions about the future of the investigative news organization. “The weight of the work done at the Chicago Reporter calls for a newsroom that works collaboratively and tirelessly to investigate racial and economic inequality across our city,” Waltrina Middleton, executive director of the Community Renewal Society, said in a statement. “Conversations around restructuring at the Chicago Reporter have been underway for months and that knowledge has been internally communicated. This restructuring will entail a new editor and publisher. . . . The Community Renewal Society has the utmost respect for the role of the press, specifically the role of the Chicago Reporter and its editorial independence and inclusivity, and so it will always hold newsroom management and staff to that same standard.”
Jan Jeffcoat, who co-anchored morning and noon newscasts for Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 from 2007 to 2012, is stepping up to a national role. She’s been hired as main anchor of a three-hour weekday morning headline news service to be launched early next year by Sinclair Broadcast Group. It will be seen on Sinclair’s CW and MY network affiliates. “With so much currently going on across the world, being able to be a part of Sinclair and contribute to its remarkable local news coverage is an opportunity to report on news that will impact millions,” said Jeffcoat, who most recently was a news anchor for WUSA, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. “As we push through these continuously turbulent times, it’s my responsibility and goal as an anchor to provide viewers with the most up-to-date, crucial news and information.”
Friday’s comment of the day: Ken Davis: It didn’t take ProPublica Illinois long to establish itself as a critical piece of the local journalism landscape. So happy to hear the news of their expansion. And thanks to the philanthropists who made it happen.