Robservations on the media beat:
The Chicago police murder of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton at his West Side apartment in December 1969 was so miserably reported by major media outlets that reporters turned to the Chicago Journalism Review to get the truth out. The result was a 16-page special edition with a detailed account of the murder and its attempted coverup. Coinciding with release of the Academy Award-nominated film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” surviving editors of the Chicago Journalism Review have digitized and posted the complete issue online. (Here is the link.) It includes resources to learn more about police and FBI roles in the assassination. Hank DeZutter, a former Chicago Daily News reporter who became editor of the Chicago Journalism Review, said the story “reverberates to this day, informing new generations and reinforcing the shocking memories of those who lived through this horrendous chapter in Chicago’s and the nation’s history.” Founded in 1968, the nonprofit review was published monthly until 1975.
Adrienne Bankert, a New York-based national correspondent for ABC News, has joined NewsNation, Nexstar Media Group’s Chicago-based cable news network, as an anchor/correspondent. Nexstar Networks president Sean Compton said Bankert “will play a critical role in our plans to expand our news programming even further, assuming anchoring duties on a new national newscast we intend to launch later this year.” Variety reports she’ll be part of the anchor team for a morning news show. Bankert, a University of Southern California graduate, also is the author of Your Hidden Superpower: The Kindness that Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone.
Adam Delevitt, former senior program director of ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM, has been named director of broadcast and streaming media for Rush Street Interactive, the Chicago-based online casino and sports betting company. “Sports betting content has always been a dream role for me,” he said. The north suburban native and graduate of Maine East High School and Bradley University spent 21 years at ESPN 1000, where he rose from evening show producer to programming chief. Earlier this year Delevitt worked briefly for a computer software company.
It’s been an impressive first year for “The Crisis Cast,” the weekly podcast hosted by Chicago communications consultants Lissa Druss and Thom Serafin. (Here is the link.) Each episode features expert guests with unique perspectives on the challenges facing today’s businesses, politicians and nonprofits. Among media figures who’ve appeared are Rick Pearson, Ilyce Glink, Tracy Baim, Andy Shaw, Bob Keickhefer, John Camper, Frank Main, Madeleine Doubek, Rick Telander and David Haugh. “We were amazed and flattered at how many people wanted to share their stories and share them with us,” Druss said. “The pandemic has changed everyone’s life. We have been blessed to share important stories on ‘The Crisis Cast.’” It’s produced by Todd Manley, former station manager and vice president of content at news/talk WGN 720-AM.
Another notable podcast milestone this week is the 100th episode of “Live From My Office,” Steve Cochran’s twice-weekly conversation series. It’s a collection of some of the best moments, including appearances by Mike Toomey, Kathleen Madigan, Dave Barry, Paul Coyte, Doc Emrick, Rahm Emanuel, Joe Walsh, Bridget Gainer and Chuck Todd. (Here is the link.) Cochran launched the series following his run as morning host at WGN 720-AM. After initially producing it for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, he expanded it to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and cochranshow.com.
Winners of the 2021 Studs Terkel Community Media Awards will be announced during a virtual event on Facebook Live, starting at 5:30 p.m. today. (Here is the link.) Named for the late Chicago author and broadcaster, the awards recognize excellence in coverage of Chicago’s diverse communities and demonstrate authentic storytelling in the spirit of Terkel’s gift for elevating people’s voices above power. They’re presented by Public Narrative, the nonprofit community media organization. The 26th annual awards presentation will take place online May 13.
Monday’s comment of the day: Dennis FitzSimons: Paul Davis was a leader. He had great integrity and was a tremendous advocate for strong local journalism. I was fortunate to have worked with him at WGN.