Robservations: David Kaplan named to Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

David Kaplan

Robservations on the media beat:

David Kaplan, the Chicago sportscasting dynamo, has been named to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. He’ll be inducted October 28 at Wintrust Arena in a 2021 class that also includes former baseball outfielder Curtis Granderson, former NFL coach Mike Shanahan and baseball pioneer Andrew “Rube” Foster (posthumously). Kaplan currently hosts mornings with Jonathan Hood on Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM and hosts “Football Aftershow” for NBC Sports Chicago. He previously hosted “Sports Talk Live” on the regional sports network for more than 16 years. In announcing Kaplan’s selection, the Hall of Fame committee noted the north suburban Skokie native is the only person in Chicago media history to have hosted a daily TV show, a daily radio show and written a regular column in a major newspaper all at the same time. Continue reading

Robservations: Buyouts expected to accelerate exodus from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Robservations on the media beat:

By this time next week the Chicago Tribune could be saying goodbye to some of its best-known bylines. An exodus of top talent is expected now that the newspaper is fully under the control of a hedge fund known for severe cost-cutting at newsrooms across the country. Full-time editorial employees have until Wednesday to apply for voluntary buyouts — the first step in deeper reductions expected under new owner Alden Global Capital. Next Friday they’ll be notified if they’ve been accepted. Those who are accepted will be gone by Friday, June 18. It’s the “last train out of Dodge,” according to one insider. Continue reading

‘Chicago’s Very Own’ goes digital with ‘WGN News Now’

Chip Brewster and Christine Flores

The busiest TV newsroom in Chicago just got busier.

In addition to broadcasting more than 72 hours of news each week on WGN-Channel 9, the Nexstar Media Group station just launched “WGN News Now,” newscasts produced exclusively for digital platforms, including WGNTV.com, the WGN News mobile app and social media.

News updates are presented at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The 2 p.m. report is in Spanish — a first for “Chicago’s Very Own” and a tacit recognition of the growing impact of Hispanic viewership in Chicago. Continue reading

Robservations: Joe Walsh ‘bummed’ to lose another radio show

Joe Walsh (Photo: Ashlee Rezin)

Robservations on the media beat:

You may have missed it if you blinked, but another radio show has come and gone for Joe Walsh. The former northwest suburban Republican congressman announced he’s been dropped after one year as afternoon host on the GAB Radio Network. His show airs here from 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on Evanston Broadcasting news/talk WCGO 1590-AM. “The network is run by a big Trumper, and he’s wanted to boot me for awhile. Looks like it finally happened,” Walsh tweeted. “Not surprised, but I am bummed. I thought it was so important to have ONE anti-Trump conservative voice on the radio. . . . I’m no victim. And I wasn’t ‘cancelled.’ This is the market at work. And the market says there’s no room in the GOP or talk radio for an anti-Trump conservative.” GAB Radio Network did not respond to requests for comment, but posted the following on its website: “Regardless of what Mr. Walsh is saying on social media and the press, as you can see he is still on the network. Until we come to a production agreement, please enjoy the Joe Walsh replay.” Walsh spent six years on Salem Media news/talk WIND 560-AM before he left in 2019 to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. Continue reading

Univision Chicago has winning story with historic ratings sweep

Erika Maldonado and Enrique Rodríguez (Photo: Univision Chicago)

Friday’s post here reported on the latest ratings for Chicago’s five English-language newscasts at 9 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, focusing on an unusual three-way tie for supremacy in a key audience measurement.

But there’s a bigger story to emerge from Nielsen’s May sweep when you include late-news ratings for the city’s two Spanish-language stations — Univision Chicago WGBO-Channel 66 and Telemundo Chicago WSNS-Channel 44. For starters, they were the only stations in the market to increase their overall viewership year-to-year. Continue reading