Robservations: ABC 7’s ‘Windy City Live’ cruises to 10th anniversary

Ryan Chiaverini and Val Warner aboard the Wendella (Photo: Colin Hinkle)

Robservations on the media beat:

Wrapping up the May ratings sweep, Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini will host a special edition of “Windy City Live” Wednesday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their talk and entertainment show on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. They’ll originate the show from the Chicago River onboard a Wendella tour boat and visit neighborhoods throughout the city. The special also will feature a chat with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and highlights of the show’s past decade. “Our 10th anniversary is a great opportunity to thank viewers from around Chicago who have embraced this show for so long and to let them know how much we appreciate them and their amazing enthusiasm and support,” executive producer Hank Mendheim said in a statement. “Windy City Live,” which debuted May 26, 2011, airs weekdays at 1 p.m. and repeats at 12:05 a.m.

Dick Kay

No one can replace Dick Kay. So at least for now WCPT 820-AM doesn’t seem to be in any hurry. Since 2008 — two years after he wrapped up a 38-year career at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 — the legendary Chicago political reporter hosted “Back on the Beat,” a weekly talk show on the Newsweb Radio progressive talk station. Kay, who was 84, died May 13 after suffering a cerebral hemhorrage. Filling in from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday last weekend was Patti Vasquez. Filling in this weekend will be Andrea Darlas. Born Richard Snodgrass but known to friends as “Doogie,” Kay also was a longtime union steward and Chicago president of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. On the 10th anniversary of his radio show, Kay told me: “Not many people get a second career in the world of broadcasting. I’m grateful. It’s only once a week, which is not all that significant, but it sure helps keep me from being bored in my retirement. . . . I never know what to expect.”

George Floyd

News anchors Micah Materre and Ray Cortopassi will host “The George Floyd Tragedy – One Year Later,” a one-hour news special at 7 p.m. tonight on Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by Minneapolis police after he was arrested at a convenience store on May 25, 2020. According to the station, Materre and Cortopassi “will take a closer look at the tragic day that sparked outrage, protests and a movement here in Chicago and around the world.” WGN will rebroadcast the special at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Robin Green

Robin Green, who stepped down last summer after 25 years as an investigative producer at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and moved back home to Los Angeles, has been named senior producer of “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation,” the CBS Saturday morning show hosted by Mo Rocca. Green reports to executive producer Jim Lichtenstein, who spent 22 years in Chicago TV news as managing editor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and assignment manager at ABC 7.

Barry Rozner

A belated tip of the hat to a great writer and esteemed colleague, Barry Rozner, who took his leave earlier this month after 37 years with the Daily Herald — including the last 24 as star sports columnist. (Here’s the link to his farewell column.) Fittingly, on his last day on the job, Rozner picked up another Peter Lisagor Award for best sports commentary. “I realize the great fortune I’ve had to have witnessed so many championships, to have covered so many extraordinary events, and to have occupied this space for so very long. And now, how fortunate I am to go out on my terms,” he wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing this incredible ride with me, for always being there for me, and allowing me, humbly, to be there with you.”

Monday’s comment of the day: Tiffany Goldstein: Camp Broadcast was truly the most amazing experience! I believe every aspiring journalist should go through Camp Broadcast if they are seeking valuable career advice. Sam Alex’s master class has taught me the ins and outs of the media industry and the beauty of networking. A+ EXPERIENCE!!