Robservations on the media beat:
The long-delayed induction of Chicago’s Class of 2020 Silver Circle Award winners will finally happen this weekend. Jackie Bange, Mark Giangreco, Alan Krashesky, Jennifer Lyons, Marda LeBeau and Richard Bernal will be among honorees at the virtual event, airing from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday on The U, Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26.2/WMEU-Channel 48.1. Posthumous inductees will be Marlin Perkins, Lynn Hauldren and Jack and Elaine Mulqueen. Sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the event will be emceed by Jim Williams, news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and 2018 Silver Circle inductee.
Northwestern University football and men’s basketball will continue on WGN 720-AM through 2025-26 under a five-year extension with the Nexstar Media news/talk station. WGN Radio has been home of the Wildcats since 1996. “I’m excited to see our relationship with Northwestern Athletics continue,” said Dave Eanet, WGN sports director and a Northwestern Athletics Hall of Famer. “We’ve had so many great moments — Bowl games, two Big Ten Championship games, the NCAA Tournament, and I know many more thrilling moments are ahead.” Derrick Gragg, NU vice president for athletics and recreation, said: “WGN Radio and Dave Eanet have been synonymous with the Northwestern Wildcats for decades, and we’re excited to continue that partnership. His voice is the soundtrack to so many incredible memories for our fans, and we look forward to many more over the next five years.”
Signing on this week as a per diem reporter at Nexstar Media WGN-Channel 9 is Jewell Hillery, just in from WAPT, the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi. The Chicago native and University of Illinois graduate previously worked at WTVO, the ABC affiliate in Rockford. Also new to WGN is longtime Chicago sportscaster Chris Boden. The former Comcast SportsNet Chicago host, who grew up in south suburban Burbank and graduated from Luther South High School and Columbia College, most recently was studio host for Blackhawks hockey broadcasts on WGN Radio. “Grateful and pumped for new opportunity joining this place to help out an outstanding sports team,” Boden tweeted.
Doug Hastings, vice president of Moody Radio, has announced his retirement after 40 years with the broadcast unit of Chicago-based Moody Bible Institute. He’ll step down in February. “God has truly blessed Moody Radio with a great team who shares the gospel with boldness and are passionate about helping our listeners take their next step with Jesus Christ,” Hastings said in a statement. “I am grateful to everyone at Moody for the honor of serving all these years.” With degrees from Moody and Columbia College, the Chicago native joined Moody Radio’s network development department in 1981 and rose to general manager. He was named vice president in 2018.
News anchor Robin Baumgarten and weatherman Paul Konrad, both celebrating 25 years on the top-rated “WGN Morning News,” shared highlights of their time on the show and secrets of their chemistry in an interview with WGN Radio host Dave Plier. (Here is the link to the video of their conversation.) “Luckily I think — just speaking of Paul and Larry [Potash] and I because we’re the last three standing — I think we just have fallen into this easy rhythm with each other where we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Baumgarten said. “And thank God management just let it go and evolve.”
Missing Mancow? Since May Chicago radio veteran Erich Mancow Muller has been hosting “Monday Night Live with Mancow,” a weekly podcast featuring new rants along with old content. Episodes appear on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch and Rumble. “We wanted to create the least amount of friction possible between our listeners and our content and ensure that if we get censored or de-platformed by the tech-monopolies, there are plenty of additional options to access our show,” he said in a statement. “The new Mancow 2.0 is pure Mancow minus the well-paid annoying sidekick chuckleheads. Everything we hear now is pre-chewed corporate pablum puked into America’s psyche. This is something else.”
Friday’s comment of the day: Cindy Patrasso: “Windy City LIVE” was an exceptional gem, with an unrelenting, powerhouse team. So solid. Strong. Diverse. Fun. Talented. Dedicated. Driven. Proud. The experience, unmatched. The effort, unparalleled. Here’s to it all and all the people, for a decade, who made that studio come alive. Building WCL with Emily Barr and Marlaine Selip from those white canvas days was simply the best.