Robservations on the media beat:
Two months after he was on hand for the launch of CHGO Sports, former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Olin Kreutz has been dropped as a contributor to the digital media startup. According to the company, Kreutz physically attacked an unspecified employee Monday morning. “Effective immediately, Olin Kreutz is no longer with CHGO,” the company tweeted. “Although we were shocked by the incident, we are thankful that the employee is okay. The health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance and we will not tolerate any action that puts that in jeopardy.” No other information was provided by the company, but the victim was subsequently identified as Adam Hoge. Kreutz later tweeted a photo of Mike Tyson with the following quote: “Social media made y’all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.” Kreutz, who played for the Bears from 1998 to 2010 and was a six-time Pro Bowler, continues as a contributor to Audacy sports/talk WSCR 670-AM and NBC Sports Chicago.
Marquee Sports Network, the regional sports partnership of the Chicago Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group, has announced a multiyear deal for live broadcasts of up to 16 Chicago Sky WNBA Champion professional women’s basketball games. Starting with Friday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Sparks, the Sky broadcast team will include Lisa Byington and Jason Ross Jr. on play-by-play and Stephen Bardo and Meghan McKeown as analysts. When Sky games conflict with Cubs games, Sky games will be carried by Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26 as well as Marquee Plus. “This partnership with Marquee elevates the Chicago Sky fan experience in a way that has never been done before,” Adam Fox, president and CEO of the Sky, said in a statement. “Women’s basketball, particularly the Chicago Sky, is increasingly gaining attention and affinity, and Marquee’s commitment to women’s professional sports made this an easy partnership. With Marquee, as well as our continued relationship with WCIU, fans will never miss a moment of the Sky’s title defense.”
Rob Stafford, news anchor and investigative reporter at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, just launched the second season of “Scene of the Crime,” the true-crime mystery series on NBC 5’s streaming video service. The latest episodes examine the mysterious death of Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day, the disappearance of an “American Idol” contestant’s mother, Viola Martin, and an update in the case of missing United Airlines executive Jake Cefolia. “Scene of the Crime” may be accessed by downloading the NBC Chicago channel on Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV.
Geoff Morrell, a former general assignment reporter at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, is out as senior executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at Walt Disney Co. Among other things he was said to be embroiled in the ongoing controversy between the company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “After three months in this new role, it has become clear to me that for a number of reasons it is not the right fit,” Morrell wrote in an email to employees. Before he joined ABC News as White House correspondent, Morrell worked for CBS 2 here from 1996 to 2000.
Steven Leventhal, owner and general manager of SRN Broadcasting, announced he’s stepping aside after 25 years as sports director of the company, based in north suburban Lake Bluff. Assistant sports director Phil Meyers will take over his duties. “Phil has done a terrific job overseeing most of the sports coverage here at SRN for the past several years, so it was long overdue to make it official,” Leventhal said. “I know our sports division is in very capable hands.” Leventhal said he plans to write a novel based on his time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and work on expanding his InternetFM steaming music platform.
Dave Plier, the Chicago media man of many hats, rates the profile treatment from Rick Kaempfer in the May edition of Illinois Entertainer. (Here is the link.) Plier, a retail marketing executive by day, tells how he came to be a regular weekend and fill-in host at Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM and board chair of Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications. “The museum is on the way back,” Plier tells Kaempfer, adding: “We have an inaugural award ‘The Bob Newhart Award For Excellence in Television’ we will launch this fall with Bob. We have a Radio Hall of Fame event this July where we will celebrate Top 40 Radio personalities from the ’60s and ’70s.”
Monday’s comment of the day: Bob Stroud: I first met Nancy Turner in the summer of 1971 when we were both cast in a show in summer stock theatre in Sister Lakes, Michigan, at the Sister Lakes Playhouse. There’s not a nicer, more talented individual than Nancy Turner. Enjoy it all, Nancy, you’ve earned it!