Robservations: NBC 5 expands ‘Chicago Today’; ‘Toon In With Me’ gets Christmas special; WGN Radio stonewalls on Dan Hampton

Matthew Rodrigues and Cortney Hall

Robservations on the media beat:

Just in time for the holidays, NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 has expanded its “Chicago Today” lifestyle show to five days a week. Hosted by Matthew Rodrigues and Cortney Hall, the show has been airing from 11:30 a.m. to noon Fridays since 2019. Now it also will air from 11:45 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday. (NBC 5’s 11 a.m. newscast will air until 11:45 a.m.) The program generates revenue through advertiser-supported sponsored content and product placement. “This is another way NBC 5 continues to invest in original content that highlights the best of our local communities, businesses, entertainment and of course Chicago’s food,” Kevin Cross, president and general manager of NBCU Local Chicago, said in a statement.

MeTV’s Super Colossal Cartoon Christmas

As “Toon In With Me” nears its first anniversary on MeTV, host Bill Leff and sidekick Toony the Talking Tuna are about to get their first primetime special. “MeTV’s Super Colossal Cartoon Christmas,” featuring holiday-themed animated shorts with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Popeye and others, will air Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. on MeTV. Look for appearances by “Toon In With Me” regulars Goldie Fisher and Mr. Quizzer along with special guests Svengoolie, Kerwyn and — quite possibly — Santa Claus. The morning version of “Toon In With Me” has been airing since January at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Dan Hampton

It’s been more than two weeks since former Chicago Bears defensive lineman and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Hampton was arrested on drunk driving charges, but WGN 720-AM refuses to comment on Hampton’s status with the Nexstar Media news/talk station. Without explanation, Hampton was missing Sunday from the weekly show he co-hosts during football season with ex-Bear Ed O’Bradovich. Nexstar Media and WGN representatives would not say if or when Hampton may return. The Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Office confirmed the arrest November 20 near Hampton’s home in Winfield, Indiana. According to multiple reports, it was his fourth DUI since 1996.

Madhu Krishnamurthy

Madhu Krishnamurthy, education reporter for the Daily Herald, was promoted Monday to assistant city editor. She joined the Daily Herald in 2000 as a Lake County bureau reporter and moved up to senior staff writer, weekend editor and Suburban Mosaic columnist. Since 2019 she has doubled as diversity editor, working with the newsroom’s diversity committee, collaborating with a related readers advisory panel and advising senior newsroom leadership. Krishnamurthy, who also teaches journalism at Columbia College, is a former president of the Chicago Headline Club. (This blog operates under an agreement with the Daily Herald.)

Monday’s comment of the day: Richard Sandler: Quite a star-studded group of [Silver Circle] honorees (obviously). My personal favorites are Dick Johnson (who I once met in the NBC 5 news studio), Roz Varon (who I remember from her radio traffic days) and Derrick Blakley (a true class guy).