Robservations: ‘Seinfeld’ Food Truck returns to Chicago; Bill Jackson’s ‘lost tape’ discovered; Illinois Rock Hall of Fame to induct Landecker, WXRT

“Seinfeld” Food Truck (2012 photo)

Robservations on the media beat:

It’s been 10 years since the “Seinfeld” Food Truck rolled into the Chicago area. Now it’s coming back – loaded with free treats (but no soup) for everyone. To promote reruns of the classic sitcom on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26, the truck again will distribute snacks associated with the show – including Junior Mints, chocolate babka, black-and-white cookies and Drake’s cakes. The truck will be parked at Chicago’s Jane Byrne Plaza, 180 East Pearson Street, Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., and at Oakbrook Center Mall in front of Macy’s Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bill “BJ” Jackson

Bill “BJ” Jackson, the beloved children’s show host who died in January, was best known for his Chicago TV classics “Cartoon Town” and “Gigglesnort Hotel.” But for a brief time in 1973, Jackson also hosted a show for NBC-owned WNBC in New York called “BJ’s Bunch.” A tape of that show discovered in the Peabody Awards archive has been restored by Rick Klein’s Museum of Classic Chicago Television (also known as Fuzzy Memories TV). On Friday Klein will present the complete “BJ’s Bunch” episode – unseen in almost 50 years – on his YouTube page. (Here is the link.)

John Records Landecker

Radio legend John Records Landecker, who’s currently hosting evenings at Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM, and WXRT 93.1-FM, the Audacy adult album alternative station, are among 2022 inductees to the Hall of Fame of the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66. This year’s other honorees are Styx, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Dan Fogelberg, The New Colony Six, Jim Peterik, Dennis DeYoung and Mercury Records. The second annual Hall of Fame ceremony will be June 5 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. (Here is the link for tickets.)

Rich King

Highly recommended: Ike and Me: What a Time It Was, the insightful memoir of former Chicago sportscaster Rich King, is about to be published by Rick Kaempfer and David Stern’s Chicago-based Eckhartz Press. (Here is the link to pre-order.) It’s more than just an engaging collection of war stories and character vignettes spanning a golden era in sports and TV news. It’s also a remarkably candid reflection on how King overcame the culture of racism that permeated his childhood on Chicago’s South Side and a tribute to the epic friendship he forged with intrepid cameraman and partner in crime, Richard “Ike” Isaac. After 48 years in the business, King retired from WGN-Channel 9 in 2016 and moved to Phoenix.

Deborah Douglas

Monday marked the launch of The Emancipator, a free digital news outlet and platform for commentary on racial justice. (Here is the link.) Co-editor-in-chief is Deborah Douglas, the Chicago journalist, author, educator and former Sun-Times columnist and editor. “The Emancipator will highlight issues tied to systemic reasons for racial inequality and the solutions to achieve equal opportunity and outcomes,” Douglas said in a statement with co-editor-in-chief Amber Payne. “The paywall-free digital publication will elevate the voices and leadership of people who have been systematically excluded from narratives, provide accurate and authentic framing, and tell stories in expansive, honest, challenging and responsible ways that move society forward.” The newsroom is supported by the Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.

Josh McGhee

Registration is still open for a free virtual journalism workshop for reporters, editors and students on covering systemic racism from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday. (Here is the link.) Moderated by Josh McGhee of Injustice Watch, the panel will include Alden Loury of Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein of the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, Kari Lydersen of the Social Justice News Nexus, and Asraa Mustufa of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists. The Zoom event is sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Investigative Project on Race and Equity, a project of the Friends of The Chicago Reporter.

Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal, who has been covering commercial real estate in Chicago since 2013, just joined the Chicago Tribune as senior real estate reporter. He most recently was a freelance reporter for Bisnow, the multi-platform digital media company specializing in commercial real estate news. Rogal, a lifelong Chicagoan and graduate of DePaul University, began as investigative reporter and associate editor of The Chicago Reporter.

Monday’s comment of the day: Madeleine Doubek: Fantastic choices for lifetime achievement. [Bill] Cameron is a legend and a delight.