Robservations on the media beat:
Alan Krashesky, principal news anchor at top-rated ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, has been off the air since November 25. Now comes word he’ll be out for the rest of the year following surgery for an undisclosed ailment. “After a planned surgical procedure, I’m recovering at home and doing well,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers and am looking forward to being back on the ABC 7 anchor desk sometime in January. Until then, wishing our viewers a very happy and safe holiday season.” Krashesky, 60, joined ABC 7 in 1982 and succeeded Ron Magers in the 10 p.m. anchor chair in 2016.
Steve Warmbir, interim editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times, posted a deeply moving tribute Wednesday to his stepfather, Terry Warmbir, 73, a retired bricklayer who died one week after testing positive for COVID-19. (Here is the link.) “COVID does not care about your best intentions. Or your risk assessments as you put on your amateur epidemiologist hat. Or your carefully laid out plans to ‘put family first’ with a large gathering,” his stepson wrote. “It killed my stepfather, who followed the rules as he had all his life, washing his hands, wearing his mask, keeping his distance — a man who wanted nothing more than to sit in a lawn chair next year, the sunshine warm on his face, and watch his granddaughter get a hit at her softball game. COVID does not care.”
It didn’t take long for Candace Jordan to land a new platform for her peerless coverage of the society beat and nonprofit community. The former Chicago Tribune “Candid Candace” columnist has been hired as a contributor to Chicago Star Media, the hyperlocal news publisher of Streeterville News, New Eastside News and West Loop News. “We’re thrilled that Candace is joining our team,” said Elaine Hyde, publisher of Chicago Star Media. “She’s such an icon and an iconic Chicago writer and personality. There is still life in the city, and Candace is the one to take us on that journey.” Jordan also continues her lively blog at CandidCandace.com.
Good news for fans of Jesse Rogers, the Chicago radio veteran who covers Major League Baseball for ESPN. At a time of widespread cutbacks at the network, Rogers just signed a multi-year renewal with ESPN, via agent Bryan Harlan. He continues as baseball insider at Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM. The Northbrook resident and Northern Illinois University graduate worked 17 years at Entercom sports/talk WSCR 670-AM before joining ESPN 1000 in 2009 (with a brief detour as program director of Webio in between).
Mara Shalhoup, editor of the Chicago Reader from 2011 to 2015, has been hired as editor of ProPublica South, the Atlanta-based local initiative of the independent, nonprofit investigative news organization. She’ll oversee six reporters covering Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. Shalhoup, who most recently was deputy editor of Atlanta Magazine, shared the news with a tweet, adding: “Someone pinch me — masked, from a six-foot distance.”
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Gary Lee: Fond memories of annual station picnics at the WBBM-AM transmitter site. Plentiful catered BBQ, out-of-shape radio people suffering sprains and bruises playing softball and volleyball, transmitter building tours, John Madigan in shorts. Then there was the young son of GM Bill O’Donnell falling and suffering a bloody forehead. His mom, Julie, calmly explained Chris was accident prone, and “we usually just butterfly it. He’s a boy and doesn’t need stitches.” Watching “NCIS: Los Angeles,” I’ve never spotted any scars.