Robservations: Tribune Publishing CEO exits on Alden’s first day as owner

Heath Freeman (Photo: Golden Solutions)

Robservations on the media beat:

Terry Jimenez

Alden Global Capital’s first day as owner of Chicago-based Tribune Publishing turned out to be Terry Jimenez’s last day on the job as CEO. Jimenez, the sole member of the company’s board of directors to vote against the sale to Alden, cashed out Tuesday with $2.55 million. Heath Freeman, president of Alden, was named president of the newly formed Tribune Enterprises, with Alden controlling all seven board seats. The parent company of the Chicago Tribune begins its new era under Alden with $278 million in debt and a future clouded by concerns of major newsroom cutbacks. Jimenez and Tribune Publishing did not respond to requests for comment.

Tony Shute

After 33 years at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 Tony Shute is retiring this week as executive producer of the 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekday newscasts. He joined ABC 7 in 1988 after eight years as a writer and producer at WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM. A native of Cleveland, he’s a graduate of Northwestern University School of Speech. “Tony has been a leader and a significant voice in our newsroom for more than three decades,” said John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7. “He has covered some of the biggest local and national stories of our time, and his contributions have been immeasurable. We wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.”

Suzanne McBride

Columbia College Chicago Professor Suzanne McBride, chair of the college’s communication department, has been named dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “Dean McBride is a distinguished academic who brings both vision and significant management experience to the role as Dean,” Marcella David, senior vice president and provost, said in a statement. McBride, who’s been on the Columbia faculty since 2005, also works part-time as an assistant metro editor at the Sun-Times.

Ava Thompson Greenwell

Ava Thompson Greenwell, professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, will headline a Zoom discussion about her new book, Ladies Leading: The Black Women Who Control Television News. It’s an exploration of racism and gender bias experienced by Black female pioneers in television newsrooms, and the strategies they used to further representation in news coverage. Starting at 7 p.m. tonight the event is hosted by Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications. Moderator will be Susy Schultz, executive director of the museum. (Here is the link to register.)

Mister Kelly’s

“Live at Mister Kelly’s,” a one-hour documentary about the legendary Rush Street nightclub, will premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday on Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. (It will be rebroadcast at 12:30 a.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday.) Directed by Theodore Bogosian, the film includes interviews with many of the stars who graced the stage, including Barbra Streisand, Lily Tomlin, Bob Newhart, Herbie Hancock, Shecky Green, Ramsey Lewis, The Smothers Brothers, Lainie Kazan, Tom Dreesen and Mort Sahl. An expanded 80-minute version of the documentary is expected to be released this fall. Executive producer is David Marienthal, whose father and uncle owned Mister Kelly’s from 1953 to 1975. They also ran the Happy Medium and the London House.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Marty Robinson: Way back in the 70s, when I finished my Friday afternoon shift at WTTW, I would stop in at Malnati’s in Lincolnwood to spend an hour with friends. On several occasions, Barry [Rozner] came in after his vendor job at Wrigley Field. In the course of our conversations, he asked how I’d gotten into the business, and I asked him about his aspirations. I thought then that he would realize his dream of becoming a sportswriter, but never imagined that he’d become the best in the business. Godspeed, Barry!