Robservations on the media beat:
Roe Conn, the veteran Chicago broadcaster, has joined the Office of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart as a senior project manager. He’s currently working on a crime analytics team specializing in vehicular hijacking and roadway shootings. “It’s definitely an unexpected pivot, but Chicago is where I’m from and where I always want to be,” Conn, 57, told me. “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to be part of Chicago’s radio landscape – especially on two of the continent’s most legendary stations. But our town is facing a tough battle ahead and I couldn’t be more proud to get the chance to work alongside these amazing men and women who try to make our streets safer and our city better.” Conn, who hosted afternoons on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM and Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM, continues as a contributor to “Windy City Live” on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 and co-host of “Screen Time with Roe & Roeper,” a twice-weekly podcast with Richard Roeper.
Also joining the Cook County Sheriff’s Office — as a public information officer — is Shereen Mohammad, who’s been a news and traffic producer at Audacy all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM since 2014. The Columbia College graduate previously worked at KWQC, the NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa. “She was one of the essential workers throughout the pandemic and is an integral part of our team and frankly, she kept me sane during a very insane time in our lives,” said Lisa Fielding, afternoon news anchor at WBBM Newsradio.
Chicago media boasted two honorees among winners of the 2021 Gracie Awards announced this week by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Nina Hajian, who co-hosts mornings with Gabe Ramirez on Audacy Top 40 WBBM 96.3-FM, was cited for their show’s coverage of protests and unrest in Chicago last summer. And NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 was cited for its multipart series on “Race in Chicago,” spearheaded by news anchor Marion Brooks. The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created by, for and about women in radio, TV, cable and interactive media. Awards will be presented September 27 in Los Angeles.
Chicago’s Better Government Association presented its top prize for investigative reporting Tuesday to CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 for its coverage of a Chicago police raid on the wrong home. Investigative reporter Dave Savini’s story, “My Name Is Anjanette Young,” received the $15,000 grand prize in the BGA’s 2021 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards. Last year CBS 2 won a Peabody Award for Savini’s ongoing investigation of police raids on the wrong houses.
Paul Konrad, who’ll soon mark his 25th year as morning weatherman on Nexstar Media Group WGN-Channel 9, joins Steve Cochran’s “Live From My Office” podcast this week. (Here is the link.) In a wide-ranging conversation Konrad reminisces about growing up in a family of seven children in Naperville and offers candid assessments of his “WGN Morning News” co-workers. Asked what he’d do if he weren’t a forecaster, Konrad tells Cochran: “I would really like to be a dancer. My whole life I’ve dreamt of being like a flamenco — kind of an exotic dancer — not an erotic dancer but exotic with feathers and tights.” Cochran continues to post new podcasts on Mondays and Wednesdays with occasional bonus episodes on Fridays.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Dan Ferrelli: Congratulations Wendy [Snyder] and Ray Stevens, two of the funniest people in Chicago radio. I’ve known Ray for more years than either of us will admit and I can also say he’s a smart, solid guy. Chicago radio could use more personalities like them.