Robservations on the media beat:
Gaynor Hall, a general assignment reporter at WGN-Channel 9 since 2008, has been named co-anchor of the Nexstar Media station’s Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts alongside Sean Lewis. Starting this weekend she’ll succeed Tonya Francisco, who shifted to co-host of “Daytime Chicago,” the new weekday morning lifestyle show, with Amy Rutledge. “Gaynor is an outstanding reporter who is tenacious, driven and knowledgeable,” said WGN news director Dominick Stasi. “As one of Chicago’s Very Own, she will be a huge asset to our WGN weekend morning news, bringing her unique perspective to the stories of the day.” Hall, a Chicago native and graduate of Whitney Young Magnet High School and Syracuse University, previously worked for CLTV, the former Chicago cable news channel, and WMGT, the NBC affiliate in Macon, Georgia.
There’s an opening for news director at WGBO-Channel 66, the Univision Chicago Spanish-language station, now that Teri Arvesu has left her post as vice president/director of content. Her promotion to a new corporate role will be announced soon, according to a company spokeswoman. Under Arvesu’s leadership Univision Chicago won the late-news ratings among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 for the first time in May. A Miami native who began her career with the Telemundo Spanish-language network, she joined Univision’s Miami flagship WLTV in 2003 as a producer and moved up to executive producer in 2007. She was named news director at Univision Chicago in 2013 and VP/director of content in 2017. Calling Arvesu “the consummate journalist,” Doug Levy, president and general manager of Univision Chicago, said: “She is curious and intense. I’ve learned so much from her. I’m really gonna miss her. My next news director has some big shoes to fill.”
Monday marks the launch of Axios Chicago Newsletter, a daily, early morning email report co-written by longtime Chicago media luminaries Justin Kaufmann and Monica Eng. They’re aiming to cover everything from politics and sports to food and lifestyle. (Here is the link to subscribe.) Said Kaufmann: “Monica started at the Sun-Times when she was 15. I started at WBEZ when I was 19. Between the two of us, we’ve covered Chicago for more than half a century. We’re super excited to bring Axios alive in our great city.”
Rob Nelson, who was the first of the original news anchors to bail out of NewsNation, just landed a new gig: Starting October 1 he’ll anchor from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on Newsy, the relaunched Atlanta-based 24/7 news network owned by E.W. Scripps Co. Before his one-year stint with Nexstar Media’s Chicago-based NewsNation, he worked for ABC News and WABC in New York. Nelson, who grew up in southern New Jersey and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, previously worked for The Times-Picayune and CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans.
Recommended viewing: “Muhammad Ali,” an eight-hour, four-part documentary on the life of the legendary heavyweight boxing champion who long called Chicago home, premieres at 7 p.m. Sunday on Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11. The latest PBS opus from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns was based largely on Ali: A Life, the 2017 best-selling biography by Chicago author Jonathan Eig, who served as consulting producer on the film.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Frank Baker: Who knew Kathy Hart was such a trendsetter?