Robservations on the media beat:
Tamron Hall’s syndicated daytime talk show is moving to ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, where it will air in place of “Windy City Live” at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting September 6. Soon to kick off its third season, the New York-based “Tamron Hall” has been airing here on Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26 and The U since 2019. John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, recalled Hall’s decade as a local news anchor and reporter at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 from 1997 to 2007. “Tamron Hall is an especially well-known and talented personality in our city, and I know our viewers will be excited to watch her show at 1 p.m.,” Idler said. “She already has so many fans in Chicago and we are thrilled to bring her authentic, distinctive and thoughtful conversations to ABC 7.” Hall said in a statement: “My love for Chicago is deep and real. It’s a second home for me and as we know there is no place like Sweet Home Chicago. Moving to the iconic ABC 7 is like winning life’s lottery. I look forward to joining forces with everyone there. I want to thank everyone at WCIU as their support over the past two years has been immeasurable in our success.” The locally produced “Windy City Live” will end its 10-year run as a weekday series September 3. “Tamron Hall” is produced by Walt Disney Television, a unit of ABC 7’s parent company.
Nexstar Media WGN-Channel 9 has tapped Amy Rutledge and Tonya Francisco to co-host “Daytime Chicago,” a new hourlong lifestyle show to air at 10 a.m. weekdays, starting in September. Topics will run the lifestyle gamut from entertainment and health to décor, cooking and travel, according to the station. The syndicated talk show “Rachael Ray,” now airing at 10 a.m., will move to afternoons. “We are very excited to launch more local programming for our viewers,” Paul Rennie, vice president and general manager of WGN, said in a statement. “With ‘Daytime Chicago’ five days a week, WGN will soon be airing 81 hours of weekly live local programming.” Rutledge had been a traffic and feature reporter at WGN before her last stop as co-host of “The Jam” on WCIU. Francisco co-anchors weekend morning newscasts on WGN. Like “Windy City Live” and similar programs, “Daytime Chicago” is designed to generate revenue through sponsored content — segments paid for by the products or services featured. Earlier this month WGN canceled “Chicago’s Best,” the weekly food show that also accepted branded content and product placement revenue.
Andrea Hanis, the stellar Chicago journalist who excelled as an editor at the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and Sun-Times, was named editor of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Monday. Peter Mierzwa, president and publisher of Law Bulletin Media, said the publication was “evolving and expanding to deliver news and analysis tailored to meet the growing needs of legal professionals and we are excited to have found an exceptional talent in Andrea Hanis to lead our newsroom and help us reach these goals.” Hanis, an Indiana University graduate who took a buyout from the Tribune in 2020, said: “I’m delighted to join Law Bulletin Media in serving readers who are highly engaged in their work lives and their professional community. We look forward to presenting new ways to help them stay current on essential news, analyze the business of law, connect with important people and ideas in their industry, and thrive in their careers.”
In a major hire for Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, Donna D’Alessandro has been appointed to the new position of executive vice president and head of content for Weigel’s broadcast networks — including MeTV, Heroes & Icons, Start TV, Decades and Movies! D’Alessandro signed on after nine years at Discovery, Inc., where she most recently was senior vice president of factual programming for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel. “Donna joins Weigel with a wealth of programming experience on multiple platforms and levels,” said Neal Sabin, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting. “Her energy, attitude and ability to innovate and motivate will serve our networks, viewers, staff and advertisers well.” Said D’Alessandro: “I am beyond excited to join the amazing team at Weigel as we work on the forefront of content evolution.” Earlier she was vice president of programming and strategy at BET Networks and director of program planning at Bravo.
Patti Vasquez, the radio personality, comedian and political activist, has moved up to Monday-through-Friday host on Newsweb Radio progressive talk WCPT 820-AM. Starting Monday “Driving It Home with Patti Vasquez” will air from 5 to 6 p.m. weekdays — following Joan Esposito’s afternoon show. “I am thrilled to join the progressive political conversation at WCPT on a full-time basis and very excited to promote freedom through equality and inclusion for all,” said Vasquez, who’s been a fill-in host for two years. She previously hosted late nights on Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM.
Crain’s Chicago Business is on the move. After 10 years at 150 North Michigan Avenue, Crain Communications is moving its Chicago offices to One Prudential Plaza at 130 East Randolph Street. Downsizing from 54,000 square feet to 25,000, the publisher is subleasing space previously occupied by tech giant Oracle. “With this move, we are doubling down on our commitment to the city of Chicago,” KC Crain, CEO of Crain Communications, said in a statement. “As a trusted and cherished journalism entity that thoroughly covers the business and political landscape here, it is also important our readers and business partners know that we, too, play a vital role in its growing business ecosystem.” Earlier this year the Chicago Tribune stopped paying rent on its space in One Prudential Plaza and moved out.
There’s a noteworthy new book out this week from Betsy Edgerton, associate professor of journalism at Columbia College and a former editor at Crain Communications. (Here is the link.) One Woman’s World: The Columns of Lenora Mattingly Weber, published by Image Cascade Publishing, recalls the work of the mid-20th century writer best known for her Beany Malone series of books for girls. Edgerton’s collection brings back the socially conscious “Mid Pleasures and Problems” columns Weber wrote from 1946 to 1967 for Catholic Extension, a monthly magazine still published in Chicago.
Monday’s comment of the day: Charlie Meyerson: Great to see a commercial Chicago broadcaster [WBBM Newsradio] stop treating its digital presence as an afterthought.