Robservations: Kristie Graybill leaves Kiss FM morning show; NewsNation moves ‘Dan Abrams Live’; ‘Those Were the Days’ to celebrate belated milestone

Kristie Graybill

Robservations on the media beat:

It’s over and out for Kristie Graybill after one year as a contributor to Christopher “Fred” Frederick’s morning show on Top 40 WKSC 103.5-FM. She’d been missing from “The Fred Show” for two weeks without explanation before iHeartMedia confirmed that she no longer works for Kiss FM. No further comment was provided. Graybill, an Ohio native who previously co-hosted mornings at KSLZ in St. Louis, joined the show after longtime co-host Angi Taylor shifted to mornings on rock WCHI 95.5-FM. A replacement for Graybill is expected to be named soon. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, Kiss FM ranked first in mornings among all listeners between 18 and 34 and among women between 25 and 54.

Dan Abrams

Dan Abrams proved to be a bust at 7 p.m., so NewsNation is moving his weeknight talk show to 8 p.m., starting tonight. After six months on Nexstar Media’s Chicago-based cable news network, “Dan Abrams Live” averaged 57,000 viewers nationwide — down 36 percent from the same time last year. (Among viewers between 25 and 54, it averaged a mere 8,000.) By switching the show to 8 p.m., NewsNation bosses hope Abrams can benefit from the absence of Rachel Maddow from MSNBC and Chris Cuomo from CNN. The move “will expose Dan and his show to millions of new viewers at a time when the cable news landscape is going through a lot of transition, with a number of schedule changes and anchor realignment underway,” said Michael Corn, president of news for NewsNation. “NewsNation Prime,” anchored by Marni Hughes, will move to 7 p.m.

Those Were the Days

Tickets are on sale for the 50th anniversary of “Those Were the Days” — a live event April 10 at Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue. (Here is the link for tickets.) Among special guests will be Rich Koz of “Svengoolie,” Tim Kazurinsky of “Saturday Night Live,” Scott Lowell of “Queer as Folk,” Kevin Murphy and Mary Jo Pehl of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and Jim O’Heir of “Parks and Recreation.” Musical performers will include The Dooley Brothers and The Flat Cats. “’Those Were the Days’ has always been about taking sounds from the past and giving them a new life, and that’s our goal with this anniversary show,” said Steve Darnall, who’s hosted the show since he succeeded founder Chuck Schaden in 2009. “We’re delighted for the chance to honor this milestone anniversary — even if it’s a little after the fact — and we’re especially thrilled for the chance to celebrate both our show’s history and radio’s history with some very talented people who share our affection for the golden age of entertainment.” The actual 50th was May 2, 2020, but the celebration was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns. “Those Were the Days” airs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday on College of DuPage WDCB 90.9-FM.

Marci Braun

It turned out to be a banner week for WUSN 99.5-FM: First the Audacy country music station enjoyed a notable surge in the Nielsen Audio ratings, boosting its overall share by 55 percent and returning to the top 10 after years in the doldrums. Then it took home top honors in the annual Country Radio Seminar/Country Aircheck Awards Friday. US99 was cited as large market station of the year, and Marci Braun was cited as large market operations manager/program director of the year. Braun, who was born and raised in Arlington Heights and graduated from Buffalo Grove High School and St. Norbert College, has been a pillar of US99 since 2004.

Samantha Chatman

Samantha Chatman, consumer investigative reporter for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, will receive the 2022 Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media from the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. She’ll be honored at the group’s virtual 95th annual meeting March 24. Allison Rosati and Rob Stafford, news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, will emcee the event, and famed Chicago chef Rick Bayless will serve as keynote speaker. (Here is the link to register.) Chatman, who grew up in Hyde Park and graduated from Lincoln Park High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, joined ABC 7 in 2019 from NBC-owned KXAS in Dallas.

Friday’s comment of the day: Bill Molloy: Block Club Chicago is some of the best $50 I spend each year. Great news about the expanding staff!