Robservations on the media beat:
Three Chicago stations are vying for the radio rights to Chicago Bears football broadcasts, according to multiple sources. Audacy all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM, radio flagship of the Bears since 2000, is seeking to renew the franchise when its current deal expires after next season. This time around two others bidding for the Bears are: WMVP 1000-AM, the Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk station; and WCHI 95.5-FM, the rock music station owned by iHeartMedia. No word yet on when a decision will be announced.
Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM has launched a monthlong series commemorating Title IX, the federal law that advanced women’s rights in education and athletics. Vignettes hosted by Peggy Kusinski, Sarah Spain, Dionne Miller and Courtney Cronin are airing daily during mornings, middays, afternoons, evenings, weekends and some Chicago White Sox baseball broadcasts. “Title IX made a major impact on women and sports,” said Danny Zederman, director of content at ESPN 1000. “It is an honor to be able to showcase some of the influential women in sports on ESPN Chicago. We are lucky to have such dynamic voices in Peggy Kusinski, Sarah Spain, Dionne Miller and Courtney Cronin as our teammates and telling these stories.”
Lizzie Baumgartner, a former assistant producer in the newsroom at WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM, is returning to the Audacy all-news station as managing editor of podcasts. She most recently has worked as audio production coordinator for Audacy’s alternative rock and country stations. With degrees from North Central College and DePaul University, Baumgartner also teaches at North Central and Elmhurst University. She starts in her new role Monday, according to Ron Gleason, brand manager of WBBM Newsradio, who said Baumgartner would be “a tremendous resource in the newsroom.”
Sam Alex has assembled another stellar lineup for Camp Broadcast, his annual master class in media for high school and college students who are aspiring journalists and broadcasters. Starting Monday at Art Center Highland Park, sessions will feature Marc Silverman of ESPN 1000, Tiffany Goldstein of CMT, Melissa Forman of iHeartRadio, Mike Berman of NBC, Dave Eanet of WGN, Jesse Rogers of ESPN 1000, Jordan Bernfield of WGN, Anita Blanton of Fox 32, Marci Braun of Audacy and Sean “Sonic” Leckie of Audacy. (Here is the link to register.) “As a journalist and broadcaster, I am passionate about giving aspiring young journalists real-world experience they can’t necessarily get in the classroom,” Alex said. “This year we’re bringing together 25 high school and college students with some of the biggest names in the entertainment and music industry to hone their journalism skills and prepare them for a career in media.” Alex, who was born in Park Ridge and raised in Hoffman Estates, hosts and produces a syndicated country music radio show.
A perfect book for Father’s Day comes from Teddy Greenstein, senior editor of PointsBet who covered college football at the Chicago Tribune for more than two decades. Along with Quarterback University founder Donovan Dooley, Greenstein has written Quarterback Dads: Wild Tales From The Field + Wise Words For Parents & Players, a look at different approaches and styles of fathers with sons in pursuit of greatness on the gridiron. It features advice and insights from top players and coaches, including Archie Manning, Kurt Warner, Todd Marinovich and Warren Moon. (Here is the link to order.) A portion of the book and merchandise proceeds will be donated to the Detroit Police Athletic League.
Ken Bode, a prominent political reporter for NBC, PBS and CNN who also served as dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism for three years, died June 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was 83. Bode, who was born in Chicago and studied at the University of South Dakota and the University of North Carolina, began in TV news as a political correspondent for NBC News and later moderated the PBS public affairs roundtable “Washington Week.” As dean of Medill from 1997 to 2000, Bode was credited with expanding the school’s broadcast news program.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Patty Martin: Boy, am I glad I don’t have to find the person who can fill [Bob] Stroud’s fine Ralph Lauren shoes . . . because there is no filling them. The Drive was crafted around Stroud. This is a big deal. That said, way to go, Stroud! You are going to LOVE semi-retirement. Congrats!!!