Published on Saturday, 16 October 2010 11:15
In quite possibly the longest News & Notes ever (don't worry - you have all weekend to read it), we look at local media stories involving: the Tribune's Chicago Live! show, Ed Vrdolyak going up the river, WLUP & WKQX going down the drain, Lenny McAllister getting national exposure, Garry Meier gets all gossipy, Steve & Johnnie play Cupid, Fresh 105.9 and Don & Roma do some legal bribery, WLS-FM shows their listeners some LOVE, Roland Martin moves away, Sarah Jindra helps out with traffic, Sarah Spain wants your opinions, Elliott Harris is "Bearly" talking, Josh Mora is smartly blogging, and sad farewells to Reid Hanley and Jack Angell.
* * The new Chicago Tribune/Second City six-week live show
, "Chicago Tribune's Chicago Live!" kicked off this week. (Not to be confused with "Chicago Tribune Live" on Comcast SportsNet.) The premiere show was recorded on Thursday night at the basement stage of the Chicago Theatre and featured the Tribune's Rick Kogan, Tim Baltz, David Haugh, Steve Rosenbloom, Michael Phillips, along with Father Michael Pfleger, the cast of Billy Elliott, the Steinmetz High School poetry team, and others. The one-hour radio version of the program aired last night on WGN-AM at 11:00pm. For those who missed it, podcasts of show segments can be found HERE
* * Former Chicago talk radio host for WLS-AM & WJJD-AM, Ed Vrdolyak, is going to jail. "Fast Eddie," who is best known for being a former Chicago alderman and political advisor, was sentenced to ten months in prison yesterday, resulting from a $1.5 million real estate kickback scheme. Vrdolyak will also have to serve five months of work release and five months of home confinement, along with paying a $260,000 fine. Vrdolyak's attorney said they do not plan to appeal the sentence.
* * Once again, Emmis Communications filed a quarterly report with the SEC showing decent gains in revenue for the company, especially in the radio division. (The entire report can be read HERE
) Only two radio markets under-performed and lost money: their Los Angeles station, which is leased out to another company, and their Chicago stations, WLUP-FM & WKQX-FM. The biggest loser was WLUP. Emmis has been quietly looking for a buyer for their Chicago stations. One has to wonder if the company will not try a little harder and perhaps make some drastic management changes in the meantime...
* * WVON-AM's newest host
, Lenny McAllister, is featured in the brand new November issue of Essence Magazine, in a special section focusing on "Race in America." He is also featured now in a video segment on the same subject on Essence Magazine's website. Lenny McAllister's video interview can be found HERE
. McAllister's radio show can be heard each morning on WVON-AM at 5:00am.
* * In addition to now adding video segments to the 5:00pm WGN-TV Newscasts
, WGN-AM's Garry Meier is becoming a gossip columnist... sorta'. As a parody of the Chicago Sun-Times' SNEED column -- Michael Sneed's regular gossip & news bite feature -- Garry Meier is now writing a SNERD column, which is a funny fake gossip column by once-famous ventriloquist dummy Mortimer Snerd. These parody columns can be found HERE
* * Also found on the WGN-AM website is video footage of a very special event that happened this week on the air here. Musician Doyle Dykes and his daughter, vocalist Haley Dykes, came to Chicago Thursday night to be on WGN's Steve & Johnnie overnight show early Friday morning. The duo performed the song "Baby What You Do To Me" and then took some calls. The first call turned out to be Haley Dykes' boyfriend who proposed to her and showed up inside the studio to present the ring to the stunned singer. The song, the proposal, the tears, and much more were all captured on video. It can be seen at this link HERE
. Once again proving what a special treat Steve & Johnnie's show is each night.
* * Desperate to stop the many months of depressing ratings, Fresh 105.9 is turning to an old radio trick: bribery. WCFS-FM is giving away $105 every hour between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Names are drawn at random from those who sign up. Winning names are called at :05 after the hour and the winner has 15 minutes to call in and win the cash. The contest is being called the "Fresh Free Money Payoff." Details and how to register are at this link HERE
* * Similarly, WLS-AM morning show hosts Don & Roma Wade are doing some listener bribing of their own. Starting Monday morning, they will be giving away $1,000 a day. When the show plays a sound bite from the Gordon Gekko character from "Wall Street," the 8th caller gets the dough. If that caller is also a "WLS Insider" (someone who has signed up on their website), the money doubles. Details HERE
* * WLS-FM has an even greater contest going on! They are taking a large group of listeners to Las Vegas, NV to see Cirque du Soleil's LOVE (the amazing Beatles celebration) along with Dave Fogel, Marti Jones, Greg Brown and Dick Biondi. Each weekday morning, Dave Fogel will announce the Beatles "Song of the Day." When the song plays between 9:00am and 5:00pm, the 15th caller wins the trip for two with the WLS-FM staff. (Having seen LOVE earlier this year, I can highly recommend it!) Details on the contest can be found HERE
* * The Sun-Times' Stella Foster is reporting this week
that Chicago media star Roland Martin will soon be leaving Chicago and moving to Washington DC. The move makes it easier for him to concentrate on his national media work, including his commentaries on CNN.
* * WBEZ traffic reporter (and sometimes fill-in traffic reporter for NBC5) Sarah Jindra has put together a fantastic twenty-five page document that helps explain a lot of the traffic report jargon that is heard each day during the fast-paced radio traffic reports. Where and what is... the Bishop Ford? Hubbard's Cave? The Jane Addams? The Merge? The Extension? The Hillside Strangler? These questions and most every other one you can think of are now answered on this handy guide. You can download a PDF copy of Sarah's excellent guide at this link HERE
. Great job Sarah!
* * Speaking of Sarahs... ESPN1000 is now putting sports anchor Sarah Spain's television experience to good use. She has been filming "Fan Speak" videos for WMVP's website this month. The first two videos can be found HERE
. This Sunday afternoon, Sarah Spain will be at Austin's Saloon (481 Peterson Rd., Libertyville) from Noon-2:00pm filming more segments. In addition to watching the Bears game on the big screen, Sarah will be asking fans their opinions on Chicago sports and handing out twenty pairs of Chicago Blackhawks tickets.
* * Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist, Elliott Harris, will be foregoing his usual practice of hanging around pretty young ladies, to hang around with the somewhat less attractive Robin Earl and David Spada on the next edition of "Bearly Legal" on WIND-AM. The sports talk show airs at Midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning.
* * Former reporter for Comcast SportsNet, Josh Mora, has taken to blogging. On his new blog, "40YearOldNothing's Blog
," he talks about his exit from Comcast SportsNet and starting over with a new career path at the age of 40. After his surprise exit from Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Mora now lives outside of Orlando, FL and is an executive with Full Sail University.
* * Longtime Chicago Tribune sportswriter, Reid Hanley passed away this week at the age of 64. He had retired from the Tribune in 2008. His wife is Tribune lifestyles editor Linda Bergstrom. Loving tributes to the man can be found on the Chicago Tribune website
and by Crain's Chicago Business Sports Media columnist Ed Sherman
* * Early Chicago radio and television newscaster Jack F. Angell passed away last week at the age of 90. Angell had worked for the news department of NBC in Chicago from the late 1940s until his retirement in 1960. He joined Evanston's WNMP-AM in 1947 before moving over to WMAQ-AM. In the 1950's, he moved over to the television side of NBC, becoming a newsman on WNBQ-TV (now known as WMAQ-TV).