Robservations on the media beat:
Richard Milne, morning host at Audacy adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM, disclosed Wednesday that he has stepped away from the show for now to care for his wife, Charlene Milne, who has frontotemporal dementia. “We’re at end-stage now and this past Monday my love entered at-home hospice,” Milne wrote in a heart-wrenching Facebook post. “I’ve never mentioned any of this on the air and, even now, just writing it hurts my heart. But I wanted you to know what’s behind my absence from the XRT morning show as of late. I’ll be back when I can.” Milne, a 36-year veteran of the station, has hosted mornings since 2020. The couple met in 1988 when Charlene was in sales at XRT.
Tonight marks the launch of “On the Block,” a weekly newsmagazine show produced jointly by Block Club Chicago and Weigel Broadcasting. It will premiere at 7 p.m. on The U (WMEU-Channel 48.1) and also air several times during the weekend on WCIU-Channel 26 and MeTV Chicago. Promising to deliver “relevant news and compelling visuals” about Chicago and suburban neighborhoods with a “social media approach,” the show will be hosted by The U’s Brandon Pope, with reports from Jon Hansen and Block Club reporters. Hansen also will also serve as coordinating producer.
Jon Manley, assistant program director and midday host at WKQX 101.1-FM, is out after three years at the Cumulus Media alternative rock station. The Chicago native joined 101.1 WKQX in 2019 from KNDD in Seattle after stints at KXTE in Las Vegas and KEDJ in Phoenix. “Growing up as a kid I listened to WKQX from my bedroom, and during the pandemic I got to program WKQX from my bedroom,” Manley said in a statement. “I can’t think of a better way to end one chapter in my career and start another.” Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, confirmed Manley’s departure and said his replacement has not yet been named.
Tyler Aki, who joined WMVP 1000-AM as a part-time board operator and producer in 2019, has been promoted to full-time status and named producer of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman’s afternoon show on the Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk station. Aki’s on-air duties include co-hosting the “CDGA Golf Show” Sunday mornings with Barry Cronin along with other fill-in and weekend work. He’s a Glenview native and graduate of Glenbrook South High School and Syracuse University. Also at ESPN 1000, Shea Norling, a producer for Audacy’s BetQL Radio Network who previously worked for iHeartMedia, has been hired as producer of David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood’s morning show. He succeeds Danny Zederman, who moved up to director of content. “Both Tyler and Shea have track records of producing original and compelling content,” Zederman said. “They are strong additions to our content team, and I look forward to a bright future with them.”
Susan Jacobs, former senior vice president of sales and strategy for Tribune Publishing, has joined Crain Communications as senior vice president of sales for its four city-based publications, including Crain’s Chicago Business. She most recently has been senior vice president of sales and customer engagement solutions for OSG, the global provider of digital customer payment programs. Announcing the hire Wednesday, group publisher Jim Kirk said Jacobs “will work closely with me and our sales leadership to help shape and reimagine our client relationship experience to match the growing digital appetite of our partners across our cities as well as Green Market Report.”
Two more programs of note to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African American mayor: Starting at 2 p.m. Friday, NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5’s Peacock streaming channel will present a weekend marathon of programming, including a documentary hosted by Phil Rogers and a virtual roundtable discussion on Washington’s legacy, led by reporter LeeAnn Trotter. And at 7 p.m. Wednesday the Society of Midland Authors presents “Harold at 100: Politics, Characters and the Great Harold Washington,” a conversation with Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan and retired NBC 5 political reporter Peter Nolan, author of Campaign!: The 1983 Election that Rocked Chicago. The free public event will be at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 South Michigan Avenue.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Cassie Carlson: I’M HOME! Can’t wait to join the talented team at Fox 32 Chicago and cover sports in my hometown. This is a pinch-me moment. Dreams really do come true.