Robservations: WBBM Newsradio hosts 25th annual ‘Good Neighbor Radiothon’

Eddie “Chicago Ed” Schwartz

Robservations on the media beat:

Pat Cassidy

It’s been nearly four decades since the late, great Eddie “Chicago Ed” Schwartz, king of late-night radio in Chicago, launched his annual Good Neighbor Food Drive on WGN 720-AM. Twenty-five years ago it morphed into the “Good Neighbor Radiothon” on Entercom all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM to raise money for The Salvation Army. Starting at 7 a.m. Friday, WBBM Newsradio anchor Pat Cassidy will host the 11-hour fundraiser, seeking donations via phone or online. (Here is the link.) “Over the years, WBBM’s ‘Good Neighbor Radiothon’ has helped feed, clothe and house thousands of Chicagoans in need,” said Rachel Williamson, regional president and market manager of Entercom Chicago. “This year especially, many of our neighbors are facing new challenges they’ve never before experienced. . . . We’re looking forward to supporting The Salvation Army’s efforts to keep our friends healthy during the holidays and beyond.”

Lynne Marek

Lynne Marek is out after 10 years as senior reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business. Over that time she was a gracious colleague on the media beat and also covered financial exchanges, hedge funds, private equity and higher education. “We wish Lynne the absolute best in whatever she chooses to do going forward,” said Crain’s editor Ann Dwyer. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a master’s degree from American University in Washington, Marek began in the Washington bureau of the Chicago Tribune and worked for Bloomberg News and the National Law Journal before joining Crain’s in 2010.

Carly Luque

After 17 years as an assignment editor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, Carly Luque has been hired as assignment manager at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, starting Monday. Calling it “an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Luque said: “I’ve been wanting more responsibility, and this was the natural next step. . . . I’m sad to leave my CBS family but excited for what’s next at Fox 32.” The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduate began as a production assistant and field producer at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 before joining CBS 2 in 2003. Luque continues as president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Chris Jones

What does a theater critic do when there’s no theater to write about? If you’re as talented and versatile as Chicago Tribune ace Chris Jones, you turn your critical eye to sports. This week Jones posted a column decrying the hypocrisy of America’s universities continuing to promote college football during a pandemic. (Here is the link.) “The continuance of this season is utterly indefensible in college football because the athletes look to their schools for nurturing, education and protection,” Jones wrote. “None of which are presently taking place. None of them. It’s unbelievable. And a moral failing of staggering proportions.”

Julian Jumpin’ Perez

Julian Jumpin’ Perez, who was the first on-air personality hired when Entercom launched its classic hip-hop format on WBMX 104.3-FM in 2018, continues as one of the “BMX Four” mixers from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays. But he’s no longer hosting middays or evenings full-time. Perez, a veteran of Entercom Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM in the ’90s and a founding member of the B96 Street Mix, also was part of the “Hot Mix Five” on the original WBMX in the ’80s. Look for 104.3 Jams to make adjustments to its air shifts after the start of the year. Until then, music in middays and evenings will air without hosts, according to program director Todd Cavanah.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Ken Davis: Hey John, are you sure about this? I mean, you wanna give it all up after only 17,520 days of gathering and delivering the news?Working alongside Don and Roma, Big John and Mancow? Doing live spot news on Channel 32? Breaking news on WBBM and WMAQ Radio? That stint in Kansas City — and those magical Saturday afternoons with Aaron Freeman on BEZ’s Metropolis? It’s been a great honor, Mr. Dempsey, to have known you through it all. You’re the single most versatile broadcaster I know. Can’t wait to see how you reinvent yourself after a well-deserved break. Meanwhile, thanks for a big basket of memories.