Robservations on the media beat:
From the lieutenant governor of Illinois to the police chief of west suburban Aurora, 14 prominent women will be celebrated for their achievements during a monthlong, multiplatform tribute by iHeartMedia Chicago and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Coinciding with Women’s History Month, “Women Who Win 2021” will feature on-air and digital vignettes on all six iHeartMedia stations, websites and social media. “iHeartMedia Chicago is thrilled to honor these incredible women who have made a profound impact on our community,” said Matt Scarano, president of the station group. Links to the profiles and interviews are posted on the websites of hip-hop WGCI 107.5-FM, R&B WVAZ 102.7-FM, gospel WGRB 1390-AM, adult contemporary WLIT 93.9-FM, rock WCHI 95.5-FM and Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM.
Here are the honorees:
- Juliana Stratton, lieutenant governor of Illinois
- Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago
- Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board
- Kim Foxx, state’s attorney of Cook County
- Felicia Davis, president and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women
- Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner, Studio Gang
- Noor Raheemullah Hasan, executive director, Muslim Women’s Alliance
- Valerie Jarrett, co-chair, The United State of Women, and president, The Barack
- Celena Roldán, CEO, Illinois region, American Red Cross
- Susan Davenport Smith, pastor’s wife, Apostolic Faith Church
- Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and medical director and founder of Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Northwestern Medicine Center for Menopause
- Michelle Flowers Welch, chairman and CEO, Flowers Communications Group
- Karen Freeman-Wilson, president and CEO, Chicago Urban League
- Kristen Ziman, chief of police, Aurora
Nikki Chuminatto, midday personality and music director at Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM, has been added to the cast of Eric Ferguson’s morning show as a full-time contributor, joining regulars Violeta Podrumedic and Brian “Whip” Paruch. Jimmy Steal, vice president of brand and content at Hubbard Radio Chicago, said a search is under way for a replacement as midday host and music director. Chuminatto joined The Mix in 2006 from alternative rock WKQX 101.1-FM, where she also hosted middays. A graduate of Michigan State University, she previously worked for stations in Detroit and Lansing. “Eric in the Morning” parted company in December with former co-host Melissa McGurren.
Lynne Marek, former senior reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business, has landed as senior editor of Payments Dive, a newsletter and website focused on cashless commerce. She’ll continue to be based in Chicago. 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. She covered media, financial exchanges, hedge funds, private equity and higher education before leaving Crain’s in December.
Bob Sirott, who’s marking his 50th year on the air in Chicago, gets the profile treatment from Rick Kaempfer in the March issue of Illinois Entertainer. (Here is the link.) Now hosting mornings on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM, Sirott calls it “the most fun I’ve had since ‘Fox Thing in the Morning,'” referring to the morning show he hosted with his wife, Marianne Murciano, at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 in the ’90s. Looking back on his start at WBBM 96.3-FM in 1971, Sirott said: “They could afford to take a chance on a young kid like me because nobody had FM radio in their cars yet.” Two years later he moved up to The Big 89 — powerhouse rocker WLS 890-AM. “I joked at the time that I had go to an AM station so that I could afford to get an FM radio in my car,” he said.
Yvonne Daniels, known as the “First Lady of Chicago Radio,” was inducted posthumously Sunday in the National Black Radio Hall of Fame in St. Louis. A trailblazer for women and minorities over her 35-year career in broadcasting, Daniels broke barriers at WYNR and WCFL before she became part of the first all-woman radio team at WSDM in 1967 and the first woman hired as a music host at WLS in 1973. Following stints at WVON and WGCI, she hosted mornings at WNUA until her death in 1991. Daniels was inducted into the Chicago-based Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
Monday’s comment of the day: Martin Hawrysko: WGN America’s name change to NewsNation while the majority of the programming will not consist of news (at least at this time) is reminiscent of when WGN Radio, about a decade ago, attempted to brand itself as News 720 WGN when it was just a mere talk station.