Robservations: TV reporter from Crystal Lake dies in motorcycle crash

Jennifer Lenzini

Robservations on the media beat:

Jennifer Lenzini, a 26-year-old TV news reporter who grew up in northwest suburban Crystal Lake, was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday in North Port, Florida. Lenzini, a graduate of Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, had just joined NBC affiliate WBBH/ABC affiliate WZVN in Fort Myers, Florida, in July after four years with NBC affiliate KTIV in Sioux City, Iowa. She was riding on the back of a BMW motorcycle Saturday afternoon in Sarasota County when the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree, according to police reports. “Jenny covered stories that mattered most to our community in Charlotte County and Lee County. She was always diligent in her work and made sure you knew how grateful and thankful she was to be reporting in Southwest Florida,” her station posted Sunday. “She idolized Diane Sawyer growing up and loved being around people.”

Colin Boyle

Colin Boyle has moved up from freelance status to a full-time staff position as a photographer and reporter for Block Club Chicago, the nonprofit digital news treasure. The Chicago native and graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism recently completed a Pulliam Fellowship at the Indianapolis Star and served as an intern at the Sun-Times. “As a freelance photographer, Colin captured some of Chicago’s most pivotal moments for Block Club as the city grappled with a pandemic, protests and civil unrest,” said Stephanie Lulay, managing editor and co-founder of Block Club Chicago. “We need Colin telling Chicago’s stories — and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the team full-time.” Tweeted Boyle: “I can’t wait to get back to serving my hometown through visual reporting and connecting with my neighbors across Chicago!”

Steve Bartelstein

From the “Where Are They Now?” file: Remember Steve Bartelstein? In Chicago the former TV newsman lasted 10 months as morning news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 from 2010 to 2011. That unhappy experience ended a media career that included stops at ABC-owned WABC and CBS-owned WCBS in New York and CNN in Atlanta. Today the north suburban native (and fellow Niles East High School graduate) is calling balls and strikes as an umpire crew chief for the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, the minor league that includes the Chicago Dogs. Bartelstein also leads winter umpire camps for high school and college officials.

Micah Materre

News anchor Micah Materre will host “Behind the Headline: Chicago Violence,” a half-hour news special at 7 p.m. Tuesday on Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9. The special will examine the city’s public health crisis during an ongoing gun violence epidemic coupled with a coronavirus pandemic. Materre will lead a conversation with people on the frontlines who are trying to bring peace and create lasting change. It will be streamed live at WGNTV.com/Live.

Friday’s comment of the day: Martin Hawrysko: Peter Nickeas has the true heart and dedication of a reporter. He is the ultimate journalist’s journalist. Congratulations to him, as well as CNN, which is gaining a valuable addition.