Four Chicago journalists win 2022 Studs Terkel Awards

Bob Black

Trailblazing photojournalist Bob Black, who was first African-American photographer hired at the Chicago Sun-Times, has been named one of four winners of the 27th annual Studs Terkel Community Media Awards.

Black, 82, who began his career at the Chicago Defender, retired from the Sun-Times after 38 years in 2006.

Also announced as 2022 Studs Terkel Award winners Thursday were journalists for three nonprofit news organizations in Chicago: Maya Dukmasova, senior reporter at Injustice Watch; Jacqueline Serrato, editor-in-chief of South Side Weekly; and Maria Ines Zamudio, immigration reporter for Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM. Continue reading

Robservations: XRT’s Richard Milne steps away from morning show; ‘On the Block’ debuts on The U; Jon Manley out at 101.1 WKQX

Richard Milne

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. Continue reading

Palatine’s Cassie Carlson comes home to join Fox 32 sports team

Cassie Carlson

At Palatine High School, she was famous as girls volleyball standout and team captain Cassie Jane Chaplinsky.

Now, after scoring a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017 and TV sports jobs in Lubbock, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee, she’s coming home as Cassie Carlson, newest sports anchor and reporter at WFLD-Channel 32.

Matt Piacente, vice president and news director of the Fox-owned station, told staffers Tuesday that Carlson will start there next week. She replaces Kaitlin Sharkey, who signed off Sunday after two years at Fox 32. Continue reading

Robservations: Sports anchors away — Lauren Magiera leaves WGN, Kaitlin Sharkey leaves Fox 32; The Score picks up Gabe Ramirez

Lauren Magiera

Robservations on the media beat:

The ranks of Chicago’s women sports anchors are noticeably smaller today. Lauren Magiera signed off Sunday after six years as sports anchor and reporter at WGN-Channel 9. The Nexstar Media station chose not to renew her contract, according to insiders. “Working at WGN has been an honor,” Magiera told me. “It truly was the opportunity of a lifetime — to join the team and get to cover the historic Game 7 of the Cubs World Series just months later. But it wasn’t just the countless opportunities that made my six years so special. It was the people. It was an inspiration getting to work with with such creative, clever and comedic minds.” Magiera, who grew up in the northwest suburbs and graduated from Barrington High School and the University of Alaska Anchorage, hosted a pregame show for the Green Bay Packers and worked for ABC affiliate WAOW in Wausau, Wisconsin, before joining WGN in 2016. Hired to succeed the retiring Rich King, she was billed as the station’s first female sports anchor and reporter. “We wish her well in her future endeavors,” said WGN news director Dominick Stasi, who confirmed that a search is on for her replacement. Continue reading

Robservations: Brad Edwards still ‘CBS 2’s biggest cheerleader’; IBEW technicians go back to work at WTTW; Lisagor Awards finalists announced

Brad Edwards

Robservations on the media beat:

Despite losing his role as main news anchor at WBBM-Channel 2, a gracious Brad Edwards said he will “always be CBS 2’s biggest cheerleader.” After three years alongside co-anchor Irika Sargent, Edwards will shift next month to primary anchor for CBS News Chicago, the 24/7 streaming news service, and continue as an investigative reporter at the CBS-owned station. The move was prompted by the hiring of Joe Donlon, announced this week by CBS 2 president and general manager Jennifer Lyons and news director Jeff Harris. “I have always known that chair was not mine,” Edwards replied to my inquiry. “It was an honor, and Joe is a fantastic ‘next’ to join my dear friend Irika, and new pals [meteorologist] Albert [Ramon] and [sports anchor] Marshall [Harris]. They will make a great team. I’m excited about the new chair Jennifer and Jeff have pulled out for me — delivering our critically important content to new audiences. Let’s go!” The Michigan native came to CBS 2 via Indianapolis and Detroit as a reporter in 2012 and was an unexpected choice when he was tapped as anchor in 2019. Last summer Edwards was awarded the prestigious National Edward R. Murrow for Excellence in Writing, drawing praise from CBS 2 news boss Harris as “one of the finest storytellers and writers in our industry,” adding: “And what he produces is as close to art as we can get with words, sound and video.” Continue reading

Will Joe Donlon and Irika Sargent stop CBS 2’s revolving door of anchors?

Joe Donlon and Irika Sargent

When Joe Donlon hauls anchor over to WBBM-Channel 2 next month, it will mark the 14th change in 22 years to the talent lineup on the CBS-owned station’s nightly newscasts.

Wednesday’s announcement that Donlon would replace Brad Edwards alongside Irika Sargent at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. raised hopes once again of creating a team that clicks with each other and with viewers. Continue reading

Striking broadcast technicians reach tentative settlement with WTTW

Employees on strike at WTTW (Photo: Local 1220 IBEW)

Striking broadcast technicians at WTTW-Channel 11 reached a tentative contract agreement with management Wednesday, likely ending the three-week work stoppage at the public television station.

Local Union 1220 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, representing more than two dozen technicians, graphic artists and floor crew members, is expected to announce results of a ratification vote Thursday.

If the contract is approved, workers could be back on the job by Friday. Continue reading

CBS 2 hires Joe Donlon as top news anchor

Joe Donlon

Joe Donlon, who stepped down last month after a stint at Chicago-based cable news startup NewsNation, has been hired as main news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. Starting May 2, Donlon will anchor the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscasts with Irika Sargent.

Brad Edwards, who held the top anchor job at CBS 2 since 2019, will shift to primary anchor for CBS News Chicago, the station’s 24/7 streaming news service, and continue as an investigative reporter. Continue reading

Bruce St. James out as morning host at WLS Radio

Bruce St. James

Bruce St. James, a Phoenix radio import who never caught on as morning personality at WLS 890-AM, is out after 16 months at the Cumulus Media news/talk station. Wednesday was his last day on the air.

Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, confirmed that St. James was no longer hosting mornings. Chicago radio veteran Ramblin’ Ray Stevens will be filling in “until we find a permanent replacement,” according to Nyren, who declined further comment. Continue reading