Robservations on the media beat:
Former Chicago sports anchor Mark Giangreco was a no-show Sunday when the long-delayed 2020 Silver Circle Awards finally were presented. Anchorman and 2018 Silver Circle inductee Jim Williams, who emceed the virtual program for the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, presented and accepted the award on Giangreco’s behalf. (Here is a link to the video.) Giangreco was the only one of the six living honorees who did not submit a video biography or record an acceptance speech. Initially selected for the career honor in November 2019, Giangreco was fired last March after 27 years at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Reached Monday, he said he had planned to travel out of the country last week but canceled the trip and ran out of time to select a presenter or prepare a video. “I certainly didn’t mean to demean the award or disrespect the other honorees,” he said.
Former Chicago news anchor Robin Meade just marked her 20th anniversary as morning news anchor at HLN. She already was the longest-running morning anchor on a national news show. A native of New London, Ohio, who competed in the 1993 Miss America pageant as Miss Ohio, Meade joined NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in 1995 as a reporter and morning news anchor and moved up to weekend evening news anchor. From there she signed on with CNN Headline News in Atlanta to host “Morning Express with Robin Meade.” Her first day on the air at HLN was September 11, 2001. “From that dark day in U.S. history to now, she has consistently brought the news to millions of viewers with compassion, humility and a little levity too,” wrote Ken Jautz, CNN executive vice president.
“King of the United States: Remembering Garfield Goose,” is the title of Jim Engel’s presentation Friday at a fundraiser for Kenosha Community Media, a nonprofit media resource and provider in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As Chicago’s leading historian on children’s TV, Engel will enhance his talk by displaying original puppets from the long-running show and original paintings by the late puppeteer, art director and clown Roy Brown. The sold-out event at the Kenosha Public Museum runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Brian Babylon, the Chicago-born stand-up comic, radio host and self-proclaimed “Prince of Bronzeville,” debuts this week as late-night host on KBLA, the new Los Angeles progressive talk station owned by Tavis Smiley. Babylon hosted and produced “The Morning AMp” from 2011 to 2015 on Chicago Public Media’s Vocalo platform. Joining him occasionally will be Molly Adams, his former Vocalo co-host. Babylon continues to perform on weekends at the Laugh Factory in Chicago.
Radio colleagues are mourning the loss of Jamillah Muhammad, who rose from morning show producer at WVAZ 102.7-FM to assistant program director and music director of the iHeartMedia R&B station in the 1990s. The Columbia College graduate also worked as an intern in the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events. Muhammad, who most recently was executive vice president of Lewis-Kortez Group, a marketing and talent management firm, and operations manager/program manager of KJLH in Los Angeles, died of colon cancer Sunday at age 51.
Longtime Chicago sportscaster Jerry Kuc died Friday, according to his son, sportswriter Chris Kuc. He was 82. Remembered as a versatile broadcaster and generous mentor, the elder Kuc began as a copy boy at the Sun-Times and worked at TV and radio stations in Chicago and Milwaukee. A tribute posted by Steve Leventhal of SRN Broadcasting cited “Jerry’s willingness and eagerness to teach the craft of sports reporting and broadcasting to a whole crop of young professionals who began their broadcast careers in Chicago in the 1990s. . . . He taught me about broadcast ethics, how to ask good questions in a press conference and how to produce a clear and concise sports report.” (Here is the link.) “He was a great man who made me who I am today,” Chris Kuc wrote on Facebook. “I’ll miss him terribly.”
Monday’s comment of the day: Edward M. Bury: I just hope that this series from NBC 5 compels some to put down their guns and address conflicts without resorting to violence. One could hope.