Robservations on the media beat:
Great news for fans of Nick Digilio: The former WGN 720-AM overnight host has not one but two new podcasts lined up in the weeks ahead. Starting in mid-January he’ll premiere “The Nick D Podcast,” a twice-weekly roundup of entertainment and pop culture, including reviews of movies, music, TV and books. His first guest will be Rich “Svengoolie” Koz. About a month later Digilio will launch “That Show Hasn’t Been Funny In Years: An SNL Podcast,” focusing on the history of “Saturday Night Live” over its 47-year run. Both podcasts will be produced by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network. Digilio was a popular presence on WGN for 35 years before he was cut from the Nexstar Media news/talk station in September 2020.
Billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime event,” WFMT 98.7-FM will celebrate its 70th anniversary as Chicago’s classical music station Monday by airing nine hours of live performances by a variety of performing artists. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the event will originate from Northeastern Illinois University’s Jewel Box Recital Hall. Among those featured will be musicians from Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Lincoln Quartet, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Sinfonietta, Haymarket Opera Company, Music Institute of Chicago, Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Ravinia Festival. “We are thrilled that so many esteemed classical music and folk artists will be joining us to celebrate WFMT’s 70th anniversary,” said George Preston, general manager of the Window to the World Communications station. “Their participation is a great tribute to the many dedicated people over the years who have worked to make WFMT the renowned institution that it is and will continue to be.”
Adeshina Emmanuel, editor-in-chief of the Chicago-based nonprofit investigative journalism organization Injustice Watch, has been awarded a 2022 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program Fellowship at Columbia Journalism School in New York. He was chosen through a Google News Initiative Scholarship. Before joining Injustice Watch in 2019, the Chicago native and Loyola University graduate worked for Chalkbeat, the Chicago Reporter and DNAinfo Chicago. “This is an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a leader,” Emmanuel tweeted. “The project I’ll be working on for Injustice Watch is tied to our judicial voter guides that we release every election year and related projects. Stay tuned!”
Holly Grisham Conroy is stepping down today after more than 23 years as an award-winning programming producer at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. “From joining the fledgling ‘190 North’ staff and helping to make it the longest-running lifestyles and entertainment show on Chicago airwaves to heralding our city’s unsung heroes on our award-winning community specials to bringing our ABC 7 audience amazing Windy City traditions like the Chicago Auto Show and the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, I could never have quite imagined all the incredible TV moments I’d get to be a part of, working alongside the most talented professionals in this business,” the Danville native and University of Illinois graduate told colleagues. “But it is time for me to step aside to both enjoy some family time and figure out what is next on this great TV ride of mine.” Said John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7: “Her presence and thoughtful contributions to the station’s special event programming has been immeasurable. She will be truly missed, both personally and professionally.”
Twenty-three years after he retired from WGN, longtime meteorologist Roger Triemstra, 91, just published his memoirs. (Here is the link to pre-order.) Cooler by the Lake traces Triemstra’s career from studying engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, working as an engineer at Amoco Chemical and Kaiser Aluminum, and serving as a U.S. Air Force meteorologist during the Korean War, to sharing the spotlight on WGN Radio and TV with an array of broadcast legends. The book features a foreword by WGN chief meteorologist Tom Skilling, who writes: “WGN and Chicago were blessed to have Rog Triemstra paving the way for today’s broadcast meteorologists, myself included. A pioneer, a mentor and great friend, too.”
Jim Bohannon, whose Westwood One Network syndicated overnight talk show airs on WGN Radio, has been named 2022 radio inductee in the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Bohannon, who worked at Chicago’s former WCFL in the 1980s, entered the Radio Hall of Fame in 2003. “Jim encompasses the spirit of radio,” NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith said in a statement. “His distinct voice, humor and engaging programs have informed and entertained listeners for 50 years, while addressing historic milestones affecting our nation.” Bohannon will be honored at the NAB Show this April in Las Vegas. Last year’s radio inductee was WGN’s John Records Landecker.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Rick Klein: Cheers to Rick Garofalo – a truly great guy who had the foresight to save a lot of memories before they were gone.