Robservations on the media beat:
Terrell Brown, morning news anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, spent days inside the South Shore home of Tierra and Jermaine Muhammad, where they raised five children in a neighborhood of crime and violence. The result is “Our Chicago: Living While Black,” a half-hour special airing at 11:30 p.m. Sunday. “I was with the Muhammad family from sunup to sundown,” said Brown, who doubles as host and producer of the segment. “I learned how they played the hand they were given, and navigated tough circumstances to find solid footing and success. I didn’t want to narrate or get in the way of their truth. This is their story and I wanted them to tell it in their own words.” The ABC 7 special also reports on the struggle for healthcare services in Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods.
They’re turning back the clock for Christmas on WGN 720-AM, the Nexstar Media Group news/talk station. Starting at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve, WGN will air three hours of classic holiday broadcasts by Roy Leonard, the legendary personality who graced the station with warmth, class and style for 31 years. Leonard, who retired in 1998, died in 2014 shortly after his induction in the WGN Radio Walk of Fame. Starting at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve and airing through 10 p.m. December 25 will be “Christmas Radio Theatre,” a cavalcade of Christmas programs from the golden age of radio, hosted by Carl Amari.
It’s been two years since Entercom sold the 42-acre parcel in Itasca that had been the transmitter tower site of all-news WBBM 780-AM since 1942. This week Transport Topics, the newspaper of the trucking and freight transportation industries, reports Bridge Development Partners, which bought the property for $46 million, built a 750,000-square-foot logistics and warehouse complex. “This site had unparalleled highway access,” Bridge Development’s Nick Siegel told associate news editor Dan Ronan. “That’s about as close as you can get to O’Hare, and for us this was proximity to the other freight forwarders.” (Here is the link.) WBBM Newsradio now shares a transmitter site with Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM in Bloomingdale.
Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM has teamed with Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago to produce “The Pie: An Economics Podcast.” Featuring economists with expertise across a broad spectrum of issues, the series opens with “Pre-Existing Confusion,” focusing on the future of health insurance in the U.S. (Here is the link.) It’s hosted by Eduardo Porter and Tess Vigeland. Executive producer is Ellen Horne, former exec producer of Radiolab. “It has been a tough year for many, and understanding the impact of economics can help us all make sense of the world around us,” said Kevin Dawson, managing director of content development at WBEZ.
Dan Campana, a communications consultant and former reporter for the Aurora Beacon-News, Kane County Chronicle and DeKalb Daily Chronicle, has been elected president of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association. Since 2010 he has operated DanCamCom, a Streamwood-based communications company. He also co-wrote Cubs 100: A Century at Wrigley with Rob Carroll in 2016. “Long since I left daily newspaper life, I haven’t lost sight of the continued importance of local journalists and publications,” Campana said. “That’s why I remained a member of NINA and am proud to lead it in 2021.”
Mike Kramer, longtime publisher of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer magazine who rose to president of Law Bulletin Media, died Monday of T-cell lymphoma at 69. Born in downstate Danville and raised in Gibson City, Kramer graduated from Monmouth College and was scion of a family long associated with newspapers in central Illinois. He joined the Law Bulletin in 1997 and chaired the government affairs committee for the Illinois Press Association.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Jeff Hoover: I’ve worked with Paul for almost 20 years and a little known secret to our viewers is that he is very often the smartest guy in the room. Genuine, thoughtful, caring, and incredibly sexy. (Just trying to see if I catch him logging on to read this.)