Robservations on the media beat:
Natasha Korecki, who was a star reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald before joining Politico, has been promoted to White House correspondent. She covered the campaign of Joe Biden for Politico throughout the 2020 presidential race. A University of Illinois graduate, Korecki joined Politico in 2015 after 12 years at the Sun-Times and seven years at the Daily Herald. She wrote the daily Politico Playbook on Illinois politics before being named national correspondent in 2018. “Having the opportunity to cover the White House is an honor of a lifetime, particularly given the unprecedented crises our nation is facing,” Korecki told me. “I’ve long cherished my role as a journalist and that’s especially been true at a time when the media has been under fierce attack. I’m thankful for having gone through the reporting rigors at places like the Daily Herald and the Sun-Times, which helped prepare me for this moment.”
Chicago Tribune staffers unloaded on their bosses Wednesday after the newspaper reported it was being sued for $4.8 million in unpaid rent on its Prudential Plaza offices. Property owner Sterling Bay filed the suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court after Tribune Publishing failed to pay rent since March, according to reporter Ryan Ori’s exclusive. While the company declined to comment, employees were unsparing in tweeting their disgust. From reporter Greg Pratt, president of the Chicago Tribune Guild: “Not only are the corporate ghouls at Alden Global Capital bad to their journalists, they’re civic deadbeats. This is a good illustration of why we need ownership that cares about Chicago and journalism.” From theater critic Chris Jones: “I don’t doubt this is a salvo that will lead to a settlement and pandemics hurt all. But how does @chitribopinion hold businesses accountable for ethical behavior when @chicagotribune itself is not itself paying rent?” From reporter Alison Bowen: “At this point basically just waiting for the company to sell the scarf I left on my chair last March and still not invest that money in journalism.” Tribune Publishing announced last week it was leaving Prudential Plaza after three years and moving to the Freedom Center printing plant at 777 West Chicago Avenue.
Tonight’s the night WXRT 93.1-FM, the Entercom adult album alternative station, reveals the results of its 2020 Listener Poll. But unlike the in-person galas of the last 37 years, this year’s event will be virtual. Starting at 6 p.m. and streaming live at 93XRT.com, Lin Brehmer, Terri Hemmert, Marty Lennartz, Richard Milne, Johnny Mars, Emma Mac, Frank E. Lee and Ryan Arnold will be on hand for the festivities, featuring a performance by Tributosaurus. In addition to the usual categories (such as Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Break Out Artist and Best TV Show), unique winners this year will include Favorite COVID Pastime, Favorite Outdoor Patio and Favorite Streaming Platform for COVID Binge Watching.
Hot off the presses is the 35th anniversary issue of Newcity, the monthly arts and culture magazine for Chicago. Publisher and editor Brian Hieggelke, a former investment banker, launched the alternative newspaper with his wife and younger brother in 1986. The former weekly and later biweekly was transformed to a monthly in 2017. “So many great memories came rushing back working on it,” Hieggelke said of the special edition, citing contributions from Ted C. Fishman, Frank Luby, Scoop Jackson, Robert Rodi, Ray Pride, Sharon Hoyer, Kerry Cardoza and David Hammond. “We promise to give everything we’ve got to make a great magazine for the next 35 years.”
Marty Greenberg is being remembered by Chicago radio colleagues as an outstanding broadcast executive and a generous mentor. As vice president and general manager of WLS 890-AM from 1973 to 1979, he led a revitalization of the Top 40 powerhouse and restored its dominance in the format over WCFL. Greenberg, who was 79, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday at his home in McKinney, Texas. John Records Landecker called him “one of the finest GMs I ever worked with.” Among his early hires at WLS was a fledgling program director named John Gehron, who later would rise to general manager himself. “Marty was brought in to change the culture and I was lucky to be part of the team he put together,” Gehron recalled. Following his success at WLS Greenberg was promoted to president of ABC FM Stations and also held top jobs with Belo Broadcasting, Duffy Broadcasting, Genesis Broadcasting and Emmis Broadcasting.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Bill Figel: In a business tough as nails in cactus plants, it’s so great to see a nice man like Jack Taylor have it his way. Carry on, gentle man.