Robservations on the media beat:
Ryan Chiaverini spent Tuesday in front of the cameras, but it wasn’t as co-host of “Windy City Live.” Instead he was playing a small role as a lawyer for the upcoming Lifetime movie “Switched Before Birth.” It’s directed by Elisabeth Rohm, whom Chiaverini first worked with when the former “Law and Order” star auditioned to co-host “Windy City Live.” “Now here we are 10 years later working together,” he told me. “I’m not quitting my day job, but it’s fun to moonlight in the acting world. Hoping to do more in the future.” Chiaverini joined ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 in 2006 and became co-host of “Windy City Live” with Val Warner in 2011.
WCCQ 98.3-FM, the southwest suburban country music station owned by Alpha Media, has rounded out its drive time talent. Todd Boss, who hosted afternoons for nine years, has been promoted to content director and morning host. He succeeds Roy Gregory, who was cut in February after 28 years at the station. “I look forward to the challenge of creating a strong community involvement and building the listenership to a level it has never been before,” Boss said in a statement. Moving up to afternoons is former part-timer Anthony “Antone” Koris, who previously spent 17 years as fill-in host and production assistant at Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX 101.9-FM. “I’m overjoyed to be doing afternoons on a great station like WCCQ,” he said. “It’s a dream come true to be on the radio everyday in my hometown again.” In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WCCQ tied for 31st with a 0.6 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 132,800.
Aubrey Sampson has joined Brian From as afternoon co-host on WYLL 1160-AM, the Christian station owned by Salem Media Group. Starting today she replaces Ian Simkins, who left “The Common Good” in February to pastor a church in Nashville. Sampson, a graduate of Wheaton College, is the author of three books and host of a podcast. “To have such a gifted communicator like Aubrey join ‘The Common Good’ is an incredible score for AM 1160,” said Jeff Reisman, regional vice president and general manager. “She brings a fresh perspective and an important voice to many of the issues that are close to the hearts of our listeners.” The show airs from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays.
Hopes continue to rise that the rival bid for Tribune Publishing will keep the parent company of the Chicago Tribune out of the hands of New York-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Tribune Publishing acknowledged in a press release this week that Newslight LLC, the company formed by Maryland hotel magnate Stewart Bainum and Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, presented a fully financed bid that exceeded the offer by Alden. Journalists from the Chicago Tribune Guild and other newspaper unions will host a “Save Local News Summit” at 6 p.m. tonight on Zoom. (Here is the link to register.) Speakers will include two U.S. representatives from Illinois — Jan Schakowsky and Marie Newman.
To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11 will rebroadcast “Prisoner of Her Past” at 10 p.m. Thursday. The 2010 documentary, produced by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, follows former Chicago Tribune arts and music critic Howard Reich to Eastern Europe as he discovers the ordeal his mother endured in the Holocaust. It was the basis for Reich’s highly acclaimed memoir of growing up in Skokie as the child of survivors. Earlier this year Reich accepted a buyout and stepped down after 43 years at the Tribune. His mother, Sonia Reich, recently turned 90.
John Ruane, the former sports and entertainment writer at the Sun-Times, has just released his fifth book. A Dangerous Freedom, a thriller novel set in Chicago, was published Tuesday by Post Hill Press. It’s available on Amazon. Ruane says he was inspired to create the character of Dylan Reilly after watching news reports about terrorist attacks and domestic shootings (and he calls the Chicago TV reporters in his story “all fictionalized but familiar”). “John has introduced a new American hero with the strong potential for a series of Dylan Reilly books,” Anthony Ziccardi, publisher of Post Hill Press, said in a statement.
Monday’s comment of the day: Steve Robinson: No two people I’ve ever met have been as dedicated and persistent as Media Burn’s Tom Weinberg and Sara Chapman. They have never taken their eyes off the ball and this momentous grant from the Council on Library Resources is a testament to their nearly two decades of unrelenting work. I hope and trust legendary Tom has lit up at least a few cigars to celebrate this wonderful achievement.