Robservations on the media beat:
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.
It’s hardly the comeback his fans were hoping for, but Dan McNeil has landed a two-hour weekly football show on a radio station in Hammond, Indiana. Starting this week, “Danny Mac’s Friday Tailgate” will air from noon to 2 p.m. Fridays on WJOB 1230-AM/104.7-FM, the Northwest Indiana news/talk station owned by Vasquez Development, on its video subscription service JEDtv, and on the Tune-In app. Once among the most prominent sports talk hosts in Chicago, McNeil was fired last September as afternoon co-host on Audacy sports/talk WSCR 670-AM after tweeting what his bosses called a “degrading and humiliating” comment about ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor and her choice of wardrobe. McNeil later apologized to Taylor. “Good to be back!” he told Facebook followers. “It’s been a long year.”
Mitch Rosen, who already wears two hats — as brand manager and program director of both The Score in Chicago and WSSP, the sports/talk station in Milwaukee known as The Fan — just added a third. He’s been named director of operations for BetQL Network, which provides sports betting programming for a dozen Audacy sports stations (with more on the way). “Mitch Rosen has been at forefront of all the planning, operations and execution of this seamless expansion,” said Matt Volk, vice president of sports for Audacy. “He has been a trusted leader and point of contact for so many important BetQL Network initiatives. . . . We are thrilled with Mitch’s daily dedication to all of his stations, its people and Audacy.”
Jay Zawaski, who rose from intern to executive producer over more than 20 years at The Score, is shifting to co-owned WBBM Newsradio as managing editor of podcasts and multimedia. In the newly created position Zawaski “will be identifying opportunities and oversee development of new, unique podcasts to serve all Chicagoans,” according to Ron Gleason, brand manager of WBBM Newsradio. His first job will be to hire two podcast/multimedia producers, Gleason added. A native of south suburban Homewood and graduate of Lewis University, Zawaski also served as Blackhawks hockey columnist and blogger for The Score. His new role is part of Audacy’s “multiplatform transformation” of its news brands nationwide.
Dionne Miller, sports anchor and reporter at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, will join Jeff Meller as co-host of the weekly Chicago Bears pregame show on WMVP 1000-AM, the Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk station. They’ll start together September 12 at 5 p.m. “Dionne is extremely talented and will provide great insight for our fans before each game,” said Mike Thomas, ESPN Chicago market manager. Also at ESPN 1000 former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will return as a contributor to Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman’s afternoon show. Cutler will appear at 3 p.m. Fridays throughout the football season.
Former National Hockey League player and ESPN broadcaster Colby Cohen has been hired as a content analyst for the Chicago Blackhawks. He’ll appear regularly in studio as part of NBC Sports Chicago’s coverage of Blackhawks games. Analysts Jamal Mayers and Steve Konroyd are out. “I am incredibly honored to join the Blackhawks family and can’t wait to connect with the most passionate, knowledgeable and electric fans in hockey on a daily basis,” Cohen said in a statement. “Their enthusiasm and dedication to such a storied franchise is what makes the prospects of this position so exciting. I look forward to working with the many talented individuals at the Blackhawks and NBC Sports Chicago whose job it is to bring the fans the best coverage possible.” Cohen filled in for Eddie Olczyk on an NBC Sports Chicago broadcast earlier this year.
Tuesday marks the inaugural induction ceremony of the new Illinois Rock & Roll Museum Hall of Fame. Starting at 7 p.m. at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, the charter inductees include Chicago radio legends Larry Lujack and Dick Biondi as well as Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Chicago, Cheap Trick, Ides of March, Buckinghams, REO Speedwagon, WLS Radio, Chess Records and Thirsty Whale. (Here is the link for tickets.) The museum is being completed at a three-story, 15,000 square-foot building at 9 West Cass Avenue (at “the crossroads of Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway”) in downtown Joliet.