Robservations on the media beat:
WGN-Channel 9 reporter Erin Ivory disclosed Wednesday that she has been on medical leave for more than a month and suffered a heart attack during that time. “I have received the most amazing care from the hospital cardiac team and for that I am so grateful,” she posted on social media along with a photo. “I feel tremendously blessed to be alive and finally back home with my family. Please know how much your emails and love has brightened this hard stretch.” Ivory, 46, joined the Nexstar Media Group station in 2011 after two years as a per diem reporter. She and her husband, WGN meteorologist Demetrius Ivory, have four children at home. Dominick Stasi, news director of WGN, said: “We are so glad that Erin is on the mend. Both she and Demetrius are a huge part of the WGN family. We look forward to her return, but in the meantime, we are wishing her a healthy recovery.”
Even a glimmer of hope is better than no hope at all. But chances of derailing a takeover of Tribune Publishing by Alden Global Capital appear to fading. Baltimore businessman Stewart W. Bainum Jr. offered to pay more than Alden, according to government filings released this week. But the board of the Chicago Tribune’s parent company continues to back the New York-based hedge fund — in part because Bainum’s bid was contingent on financing he had not secured. “Alden indicated it would vote its shares against a deal with any other bidder, effectively scuttling any chance of selling the company to another party,” Crain’s Chicago Business reported. Alden is known for cutting staffs and bleeding newspapers dry.
The exodus of irreplaceable talent from the Chicago Tribune continued Wednesday with the resignation of Hal Dardick after 17 years as a reporter. “It’s been a fabulous and enlightening ride, for which I will forever be grateful, but there always comes a time to move on,” he wrote on social media. Dardick, who grew up in Oak Park and graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specialized in investigating politics, government finances and taxes for the Tribune. He’s going to work for Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on documenting the property tax system in Illinois.
It’s been more than a year since retired Chicago news anchor Ron Magers was named recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence. But the ceremony honoring him along with Chicago Tribune police reporter Jeremy Gorner (recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award) was postponed because of the pandemic. Now DePaul has rescheduled the presentation as a virtual event on April 22. Carol Marin, who’s co-director of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence with Don Moseley, co-anchored with Magers from 1985 to 1997 at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5.
Chicago Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg has signed on with Marquee Sports Network as a part-time baseball analyst. He’ll contribute to select spring training and regular season Cubs broadcasts, pregame and postgame shows and other programming. “Ryne defined a generation of Cubs baseball, and we look forward to having him contribute to all facets of our network moving forward,” Mike McCarthy, general manager of the Sinclair Broadcast Group/Cubs-owned regional sports network, said in a statement.
Wednesday’s comments of the day: Eric Zorn: Well, [Eddie Arruza] has a future in PR if he wants it! This — “It was unfortunate and sad to see the reporting surrounding the situation at ‘Chicago Tonight’ and its new news director. As I said when I departed, I wish the hard-working and devoted staff only the best moving forward. That includes visionary and inspiring leadership so the program can continue being a beacon of balanced and in-depth news reporting and analysis for the Chicago area.” — is impressively anodyne and unresponsive, top-drawer argle-bargle.
Eddie Arruza: Thanks for the blurb, Eric. Adding top-drawer anodyne argle-bargler to my Linkedin skills.