Robservations on the media beat:
Another sports talk offering has just been added to the Chicago media menu. This week marks the launch of The Kontender, a 24/7 digital audio network with commercial-free sports content focusing on Chicago and Washington, D.C. (Here is the link.) Chicago sports programming, including Pat Morenzoni’s “The Windy City Breeze” and Jon Zaghloul’s “Sports Talk Chicago,” will air on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (along with other content on Sundays). Washington sports content will air Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. “We look to take advantage of talent that may be on the sidelines because of the economic trouble of traditional radio broadcasters,” said Joe Curci, marketing manager of the Scotch Plains, New Jersey-based network. “And we’re always looking to find new faces that haven’t gotten a look.” Plans for a mobile app are in development.
Chicago radio veteran LaMont Watts has been programming Club Steppin’ on one platform or another since 2004. Now the urban adult-contemporary format is back on the air at 101.9-FM HD2 on a signal leased from Hubbard Radio Chicago. “‘Steppin” has been a rich part of Chicago’s community and although it was doing great online, I decided to hyperlocalize it for our Chicago-based advertisers and listeners,” Watts said. “The great people at Hubbard Radio gave me the opportunity to be a voice in the urban Chicago radio market.” (Here is the link.) Watts also co-hosts from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays with DJ Flyy Diva. Other local talent includes Gregory “Chef Greg” Dorsey from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tracey Dion from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Until August 2019 Club Steppin’ had been airing on 95.1-FM.
A collection of covers spanning the history of Chicago’s LGBTQ media has just been published by Windy City Times. Windy City Times at 35, a 393-page full-color book available in print or PDF download, features covers from Windy City Times, Outlines, BLACKlines, En La Vida, Identity and Nightspots. (Here is the link.) “I am so excited to have all of these covers in one place,” said Tracy Baim, co-founder of Windy City Times. “We are working on digitizing a lot of our archives, since so much of our work existed prior to the expansion of the Internet. We have been so lucky to document the amazing historical arc of our community.” Windy City Times ceased print publication in September 2020.
It’s been almost 30 years since legendary Chicago news anchor and commentator Walter Jacobson sat with serial killer John Wayne Gacy for a 30-minute interview at Menard Correctional Center. Jacobson later called it one of the most chilling assignments of his career. In light of renewed interest in the case (including a new six-part documentary series on Peacock), Jacobson will share his memories of that encounter on Bob Sirott’s morning show at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM. Gacy, the serial killer who buried the bodies of victims in the crawl space of his Norwood Park Township home, was convicted in 1980 of murdering 33 young men and boys and was executed in 1994.
Meha Ahmad, a producer at Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM, has been promoted to senior producer of “Reset,” the midday talk show hosted by Sasha-Ann Simons. Ahmad, who previously produced “The Morning Shift,” is a southwest suburban native and graduate of Columbia College. Before joining WBEZ she worked for Al Jazeera in Washington, D.C., as a news and field producer. “Reset” airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Former Daily Herald reporter Anna Marie Kukec Tomczyk has written We are Eagles: Inspiring Stories of Immigrant Women who took Bold Steps in Life through Literacy. Just published by Fig Factor Media, the book focuses on the founding and first 25 years of the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora as seen through the eyes of immigrant students whose lives were changed. (Here is the link.) Tomczyk, who stepped down from the Daily Herald after 17 years in 2017, works as a freelance writer and editor and owns Chicago-based Forest Glen Media.
Friday’s comment of the day: Jim Turano: Isn’t it Eric Zorn’s job as a columnist to ask questions, have an opinion and generate debate?