Robservations: Will Paul Sullivan fill Tribune’s sports media gap?

Chicago Tribune

Robservations on the media beat:

Paul Sullivan

You don’t replace a Phil Rosenthal, whose words and thoughts “shined like diamonds” before he gracefully bowed out last month as sports media columnist at the Chicago Tribune. But the beat goes on. Monday brought the debut of a “sports media week in review” column by Paul Sullivan, the veteran baseball writer and “In the Wake of News” sports columnist — including a couple of generous nods to previous Tribune sports media columnists Rosenthal and Teddy Greenstein. (Here is the link.) Sullivan told me he’s not really covering the media beat, but he didn’t say whether his media recap will become a regular weekly feature. Here’s hoping it does.

Bob Vasilopulos

Bob Vasilopulos, the legendary Chicago TV sports producer who has worked the last 12 Olympic Games, is about to cover his 13th. Starting July 23, he’ll be employed by Olympic Broadcasting Services as a producer/reporter covering men’s basketball at the rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. “Capacity at all venues will be 50 percent — and only local Tokyo spectators — with no cheering allowed,” Vasilopulos told me. “So all the jubilant patriotic flag waving and cheering on your countries best that we are use to seeing during an Olympics will be replaced by a friendly golf clap. That will be very strange to experience. . . . Working last year’s Bears games for the NFL Network and sometimes sitting in a seat and looking around at a completely empty stadium will serve as conditioning for what I’ll experience in Tokyo.”

MeTV FM

MeTV FM was off the air for five and a half hours Friday while modifications were made to its transmitter. It marked the latest step in efforts to keep Weigel Broadcasting’s popular soft-rock oldies station at WRME 87.7-FM on the air. The Federal Communications Commission set July 13 as the deadline for all low-power Channel 6 TV stations to cease operating as radio stations. Venture Technologies Group, which owns the license for the frequency, said it has devised a technical solution to keep MeTV FM on the air, pending FCC approval. Following the latest transmitter work the station’s signal sounded as strong as ever, but MeTV FM no longer has a usable audio signal on Channel 6.

Joan Esposito

Joan Esposito, afternoon host on Newsweb Radio progressive talk WCPT 820-AM and longtime Chicago newscaster, gets the profile treatment from Rick Kaempfer in the July issue of Illinois Entertainer. (Here is the link.) “I feel engaged with the world in a way I didn’t feel when I was out of the business,” Esposito tells Kaempfer. “I like being back in the world of current events. Carol Marin used to say to journalism classes, ‘Do you really love information because that’s what this job is all about.’ And I love it. I love talking to other people who do, who come at it a little differently than I do. Parts of my brain have been reactivated.”

Thursday’s comment of the day: Scott Gutmann: The Blackhawks have 15 digital content and six communications department employees, but they can’t afford Chris Boden. OK, got it.