Robservations: Media Burn wins grant to launch Guerrilla Television Network

Media Burn Independent Video Archive

Robservations on the media beat:

Chicago’s Media Burn Independent Video Archive has received a $459,150 grant from the Council on Library Resources to collaborate with the University of Chicago on digitizing hundreds of previously unseen videotapes from the 1970s. In addition to Media Burn’s content, the new Guerrilla Television Network will include work from Appalshop, Community TV Network, Experimental TV Center, Kartemquin Films and New Orleans Video Access Center. The grant marks a significant expansion for the nonprofit treasure founded in 2003 by legendary Chicago producer Tom Weinberg. Executive director Sara Chapman said it’s vital to preserve and make available guerrilla videotape from the 1970s because “it represents such innovative and singular content that is imminently going to be lost and forever forgotten,” adding: “It will be a significant step towards elevating these under-recognized works to the place they deserve in cultural history.”

Toni Ginnetti

More than a year after they were named recipients of Ring Lardner Awards for Excellence in Sports Journalism, Toni Ginnetti, Dan Roan and the late Cooper Rollow are finally getting their due. On April 29 the three will be honored at a virtual program from 7 to 8 p.m. (Here is the Zoom link to register.) The event will be hosted by Alex Maragos, news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. A trailblazing sports writer, Ginnetti joined the Sun-Times in 1981 after nine years as a reporter at the Daily Herald. She retired in 2014. Roan, who began his career at WCIA, the CBS affiliate in Champaign, joined Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9 as sports director and sports anchor in 1984. Rollow’s 35-year career at the Chicago Tribune included eight years as sports editor. The awards, founded in 2002 by the Chicago Athletic Association, honor broadcasters and writers who “exemplify the wit and warmth” of the world famous sportswriter, humorist and satirist. They’re a benefit for the nonprofit Union League Boys & Girls Club, which hosts the awards.

Julie Bosman

Julie Bosman, a national correspondent who covers the Midwest for the New York Times, has been promoted to Chicago bureau chief. Calling Bosman “a spectacular writer of both enterprise and breaking news,” her editors said: “She brings tremendous empathy to her subjects and wins their trust. She has enormous intellectual range. . . . And Julie is also a natural leader—someone who thinks of ways to make our team stronger by looking out for her colleagues.” The native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and gradate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined the Times as Maureen Dowd’s news assistant in 2002.

Justin Breen

North Shore native Justin Breen, the former DNAinfo Chicago senior editor who launched the public relations and communications business BrEpic in 2017, is about to unveil BrEpic Network, an invitation-only, premium connecting platform for the who’s who in business, philanthropy and global leadership. He’s founding it in partnership with San Francisco-based financial advisor Mark Fujiwara. Calling it “a perfect complement to BrEpic because BrEpic is essentially a giant incubator of geniuses around the world, and we are constantly introducing each other for mutual gain,” Breen said: “BrEpic Network will bring simple yet powerful technology to this network of visionary leaders and connectors. Leaders want instant, credible, vetted access to other leaders, and they want results in deliverable fashion. BrEpic Network will allow that to happen at an exponential rate.”

Mike Jacobsen

Colleagues are mourning the passing of Mike Jacobsen, 35, former producer at Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM and the former FM sports/talk station known as The Game 87.7. He died March 29 in Phoenix, where he had been a producer at KTAR. A native of Schaumburg and graduate of the University of Iowa, Jacobsen began as an intern at ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM. Before joining WGN he worked for Yahoo! Sports Radio and KLAA in Los Angeles. He later was director of education and an instructor at Illinois Media School and program director of WTLX in Madison, Wisconsin. “My life is better because Mike was in it,” Mary Sandberg Boyle, vice president and general manager of WGN, wrote on Facebook. “I will miss you always, Mike, but your memory only makes me smile.”

Sunday’s comment of the day: Ron Magers: Hard work and likely more pain ahead but keeping the slimy hands of a bad actor off Trib properties would be reason to hope.