Robservations: ‘La Ley’ staffers vote to drop union representation

La Ley 107.9

Robservations on the media beat:

Employees of WLEY 107.9-FM, the Spanish-language regional Mexican station known as “La Ley,” have voted to decertify Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) as their representative. Since 2018 Miami-based parent company Spanish Broadcasting System had been negotiating on an initial collective bargaining agreement with the union, but no agreement was reached. The decertification vote was confirmed June 28 by the National Labor Relations Board. “We greatly respect the important decision made by our employees to move forward without a union to act as intermediary between them and the company in the resolution of personnel matters at our Chicago facilities,” said Richard Lara, general counsel for SBS. “The company looks forward to working more directly with our employees to build an even stronger presence in Chicago with our unique branded entertainment in this important market.”

David Plier

Dave Plier will host a celebration of “The Groovy Sixties” on a special edition of his Friday night show on Nexstar Media Group news/talk WGN 720-AM. Starting at 7 p.m. he’ll feature conversations with Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, Barbara Eden of “I Dream of Jeannie,” Bill Mumy of “Lost in Space,” Dick Smothers of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” and producer George Schlatter of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” Plier also will replay interviews with the late Dawn Wells of “Gilligan’s Island” and Adam West of “Batman.” Portions of the special will be rebroadcast at 1 p.m. Saturday on WGN.

Dave McBride

It was a pleasure to hear from the great Dave McBride, former Chicago radio newsman and essayist who now lives in Palm Beach County, Florida. He’s just published his first novel, Lock, Stock & Peril, a clever murder mystery set in Key West, introducing a former investigative reporter named Milo Bird. McBride’s website at includes a link to order the book as well as a time capsule of his Chicago radio days, spotlighting his memorable runs with Robert Murphy on Q101 and Steve Dahl on WCKG, along with an archive of his travel stories. McBride is already at work on a second book — an anthology of his award-winning radio monologues titled The Book of Raves.

Bill Barnhart

Longtime Chicago business journalist Bill Barnhart died July 3 after battling liver disease for more than five years. He was 74. Best known for his 26-year career with the Chicago Tribune, Barnhart wrote the daily “Market Report” column where he focused on stock, bond and market stories. Earlier the graduate of Knox College and the University of Chicago worked for City News Bureau, the Suburban Trib, Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times. He also delivered daily financial market reports on the former CLTV cable news channel. As an author he wrote biographies of former Illinois Governor Otto Kerner and Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. “Bill Barnhart was solid as a rock, giving a gravitas to business journalism that inspired those who hoped to follow in his footsteps,” colleague Andrew Leckey told the Society for Advancing Business Reporting and Editing.

Wednesday’s comment of the day: Rick La Fever: I just wish we would get a newsroom that WOULD NOT use the Breaking News graphic and alert on EVERY STORY!