Robservations: Chicago’s broadcast museum wins John Oliver art exhibit

John Oliver

Robservations on the media beat:

Museum of Broadcast Communications

Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications will be one of five museums in the country to exhibit artwork featured on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Starting October 5, Oliver’s self-proclaimed “Masterpiece Gallery” will be on display for four weeks at the museum, 360 North State Street. Pictured above is Oliver with his painting of Wendy Williams eating a lamb chop. In addition to winning the national competition, the museum will receive a $10,000 grant and an additional $10,000 will be donated to its designated charity, the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “We are grateful to John Oliver and his staff for this incredible — and fun — honor,” Susy Schultz, executive director of the museum, said in a statement. “We wrote a compelling letter, and our team went all out in our video entry.” Schultz cited the “star power” of Rich “Svengoolie” Koz and executive producer Jim Roche for their role in the museum’s pitch. (Here is the link to Oliver’s video message to Chicago.) Continue reading

Robservations: WLS Radio taps producer to replace City Hall reporter Bill Cameron

Mallory Vor Broker

Robservations on the media beat:

Bill Cameron

After 10 years as a producer at WLS 890-AM, Mallory Vor Broker has been named political reporter for the Cumulus Media news/talk station. She succeeds Bill Cameron, who retired August 20 as dean of Chicago’s City Hall reporters. Vor Broker, who most recently was executive producer of John Howell’s afternoon show, previously worked with Steve Dahl, Roe Conn and Lauren Cohn at WLS. A graduate of Ohio University and Roosevelt University, she started as an assistant producer at Audacy all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM and a traffic producer and reporter for Radiate Media. “While Bill Cameron has left some big shoes to fill, Mallory joins the team equipped with the knowledge of how Chicago-style politics work and a Rolodex to complement that,” WLS news director Nick Gale said in a statement. “We welcome Mallory to the team, knowing she is well prepared to keep WLS listeners informed on what’s happening at the Hall as well as down in Springfield.” In a farewell conversation capping his 51 years in Chicago radio, Cameron will appear on his former show, “Connected to Chicago,” at 7 p.m. Sunday. Returning to interview his longtime colleague will be retired WLS news anchor John Dempsey. Continue reading

What Rick Telander wants you to know about ‘improper DUI charge’

Rick Telander

For the last word on Rick Telander’s DUI arrest we turn now to Rick Telander.

As reported here August 20, the veteran Chicago journalist and senior sports columnist at the Sun-Times was cleared of all charges in connection with a traffic stop July 25 in north suburban Wilmette.

Telander, 72, who lives in north suburban Highwood, was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, disregarding a traffic control device, speeding, improper lane usage and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. He declined to comment while the case was pending. Continue reading

Assistant news director Sarah Dunlap Burke leaves ABC 7 in a New York minute

Sarah Dunlap Burke

Still reeling from a massive decline in ratings, the firing of sports anchor Mark Giangreco, the cancellation of “Windy City Live” and the layoffs of more than a dozen staffers, ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 just lost its No. 2 news executive.

Sarah Dunlap Burke resigned Friday after seven years as assistant news director at ABC 7. She is expected to be named vice president and news director of WCBS, the CBS-owned station in New York, where she once worked as executive producer. Continue reading

Robservations: ‘A true news lion with heart’ raises hopes at CBS 2

CBS 2 Chicago

Robservations on the media beat:

Jennifer Lyons

Now that Jennifer Lyons has been named president and general manager of WBBM-Channel 2, look for the CBS-owned station to green-light plans to launch a 4 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscast. The widely admired broadcast news executive who led WGN-Channel 9 to new heights and launched NewsNation in record time inherits a perennial also-ran in the ratings that appears poised for brighter days with Lyons and news director Jeff Harris. Newsroom veterans hailed her appointment Thursday as a huge morale boost — and a potential game-changer for the market. The good news came just 48 hours after CBS 2 won the coveted national Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence. “We’re fired up to have a true news lion with heart lead us @cbschicago. Welcome aboard, @JenLyonsTV,” tweeted CBS 2 news anchor Brad Edwards. The last time a former news director ascended to the front office at CBS 2 was 2008. Anyone remember Bruno Cohen? Continue reading

Jennifer Lyons named president and general manager of CBS 2

Jennifer Lyons

Jennifer Lyons, who’s been one of Chicago’s most honored and respected broadcast news executives for more than two decades, has been named president and general manager of CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2.

Her appointment, effective Monday, was announced today by Wendy McMahon, president and co-head of CBS News and Stations.

“We feel extremely fortunate to have someone like Jennifer, who has a proven track record of success in Chicago, joining as the leader of our team, products and platforms at CBS 2,” McMahon said in a statement. Continue reading

WGN leads the cheers as sports legend Jack Rosenberg gets his Way

Jack Rosenberg Way

The dedication of “Jack Rosenberg Way” at East Illinois Street and Cityfront Plaza Drive drew a gathering of family, friends and sports media personalities Wednesday to remember the beloved sports editor for WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM.

Jack “Rosey” Rosenberg, whose name was synonymous with WGN sports for more than 40 years, died in December at 94. WGN morning host Bob Sirott spearheaded the effort to honor him, and Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly sponsored the City Council resolution designating the honorary street naming just east of Tribune Tower, former home of WGN. Continue reading

Robservations: Block Club Chicago hires reporter Quinn Myers from WTTW

Quinn Myers

Robservations on the media beat:

Block Club Chicago

Quinn Myers, a reporter and producer for WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” has been hired by Block Club Chicago to cover the Wicker Park, Bucktown and West Town neighborhoods for the nonprofit neighborhood news site. “Wicker Park and Bucktown readers have been some of Block Club’s biggest supporters from Day One, so we’re thrilled to be bringing in an experienced reporter who deeply cares about the community,” said co-founder and director of strategy Jen Sabella. “Like many Block Club reporters, Quinn lives in the beat he’s covering. We believe that deep connection to the community makes our hyperlocal coverage more reflective of the neighborhoods.” Myers, a graduate of George Washington University, joined the Window to the World Communications station as an associate producer and reporter in 2019. He previously worked as a reporting intern and contributor for Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM. “Absolutely thrilled to be part of one of the most engaged and vital newsrooms in the city and I can’t wait to get started,” Myers tweeted. At Block Club he replaces Hannah Alani, who moved out of town. Continue reading

NBC 5 promotes Alicia Roman to top weekday morning weather job

Alicia Roman and Andy Avalos

With the impending retirement of longtime meteorologist Andy Avalos, NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 has promoted Alicia Roman to primary weekday morning weather duties, effective August 30.

Roman, who joined NBC 5 in 2011 from then-CBS affiliate WISH in Indianapolis, most recently has been weekend morning meteorologist and backup to Avalos during the week. Now she’ll take over from 4 to 7 a.m. weekdays. Continue reading

Robservations: ABC 7’s Ryan Chiaverini ‘super surprised’ to catch COVID

Ryan Chiaverini

Robservations on the media beat:

Ryan Chiaverini can’t catch a break. In July he got word that “Windy City Live,” the daily talk show he’s been co-hosting for the past 10 years on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, had been canceled effective September 3. Then last week he returned from officiating at co-host Val Warner’s wedding in Cancun to learn he had tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. “Here I am, one of the many breakthrough cases that we’re seeing in our state and across the country,” Chiaverini told ABC 7 news anchor Judy Hsu. “I do really believe that because I am vaccinated the severity of my symptoms have been much less and I’ve been able to recover much faster. My fever only lasted about six hours or something like that,” adding: “I was super surprised and it is disappointing. . . . I’ll be the first to admit I was back out giving hugs and handshakes and living our lives like we wanted to get back to, but this thing is real.” P.S. Warner tested negative. Continue reading