Published on Friday, 22 July 2011 14:59
In this weekend's News & Notes, we have a handful of local media stories, including: the passing of "Mr. Bob" Trendler, Qumar Zaman blasts some poor baseball ownership, WXRT looks to pick up an alternative audience, Clear Channel Chicago boosts up its sales force, Kevin Matthews becomes the father of the bride, Todd Ciganek says goodbye to television news, Angie Lau says goodbye to Chicago, Geoff Pinkus is "Losin' Large" on WIND-AM, and Nick Digilio plays around and gets "Black & Blue." All of the details are just below...
* * Robert Trendler, best known to millions of Chicagoland families as "Mr. Bob," the smiling bandleader on WGN-TV's "Bozo's Circus," passed away on Monday at his home Ellenton, FL at the age of 99. Trendler worked for WGN's radio & television stations from 1935 until his retirement 40 years later, in 1975. He began as a freelance musician, then quickly worked his way up to an arranger & conductor for WGN. Six years after he started, he was promoted to be a director of the WGN Dance Orchestra and choral leader. In 1956, he became the head musical director of the WGN Orchestra. When "Bozo's Circus" debuted on Chicago television in 1961, "Mr. Bob" was chosen to lead the 13-piece Bozo's Big Top Band. The accomplished musician was also once the musical director for the Chicagoland Music Festival and also worked on occasion with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
* * Qumar Zaman, a man who has been around Chicago radio for a few years, has achieved some level of national fame this week, after his exit from his baseball announcing job became a viral hit. Zaman, who had been the play-by-play announcer for the Lake County Fielders this season, calling games on WKRS-AM, became frustrated when he witnessed players, coaches, and himself not be paid by the baseball organization for weeks. After many players and coaches quit the team in frustration, Qumar Zaman did the same, but not before stating exactly why he was leaving into the microphone. Qumar Zaman's farewell speech can be seen and heard on a YouTube video at this link HERE
. Zaman was previously a play-by-play announcer for the Schaumburg Flyers, as well as working for a while at WGN-AM & WSCR-AM. The Columbia College Chicago graduate was also one of the unfortunate good people who found themselves out of a paycheck when ChicagoSportsWebio quickly dissolved in the spring of 2009.
* * With the end of Q101 last week, WXRT-FM has been using the line "Chicago's Original Alternative" in their on-air imaging. 93XRT now remains the only radio station on commercial radio in Chicago that plays new rock music.
* * Clear Channel Chicago made a few moves this week in their Radio Sales departments, with two promotions and a key new hire. Amy Boeka has been promoted to Vice President of Sales, from her previous title of Senior Account Executive. The Chicago-area native is a long time media sales pro, having worked with Interp/ABC Radio Sales and TeleRep, prior to her few years with Clear Channel Radio Sales/Katz Media Group. Emilee Bond was also promoted to Vice President of Sales, from her previous title of Senior Account Executive. Bond, a native of Fremont, CA, has been with the company in Chicago since 1999 (except for two years when she was with Clear Chanel sales in LA). Newly hired for Clear Channel Radio Chicago is Amy Stanek, who will be Agency Sales Director for the entire Chicago cluster, where she will be overseeing station sales to local ad agencies. She has been in radio sales for 12 years, which included a stint working for WLUP-FM in Chicago, and jobs outside of the market. She most recently had been an Account Manager at Paycor, a Chicago payroll services provider. She starts with Clear Channel on August 1st.
* * Congratulations to former Chicago radio funnyman Kevin Matthews! For many years here is Chicago, Kev talked on the air about his baby girl Teage. Well, not only is Teague all grown up now, but this afternoon at a church in Chicago, Kevin Matthews' daughter was married to her longtime boyfriend Chase Wiseman. While Kevin Matthews was on hand for the joyous occasion today, sidekick Jim Shorts was sadly not invited.
* * Today was the last day of work for Todd Ciganek, the Chicago-based FOX News Midwest Bureau Chief since 2002. He is leaving FOX News to work outside of television. On Monday, he begins his new job as Vice President of Information Services for BidClerk, a Chicago-based company that does research reports for the construction industry. Ciganek had been with FOX News since 1999. There will be no interim replacement, as the FOX News Chicago Bureau will be overseen by the FOX News' national desk in New York for the time being.
* * Today was also the final day for Angie Lau on television from Chicago. Since April 2008, Lau had been the financial news anchor for the Bloomberg network, reporting live from the the trading floor Chicago Board Of Trade. She was seen on numerous channels nationwide each weekday morning, including being seen on the WGN Morning News. Lau will now be moving to Hong Kong, while continuing to work for Bloomberg. On her Twitter account
earlier this month, she wrote that she would be "trading in (her) Bucktown townhome for a Hong Kong shoebox!"
* * Starting next week, WIND-AM will begin airing the "Losin' Large Minute" starring Geoff Pinkus. "The Pinker" has been on a special diet for the last few weeks, documenting his weight loss progress on a Facebook page
and YouTube page
. He has already lost well over 60 pounds and plans on losing plenty more before the summer is out. Each day, Pinkus will give out some weight loss tips and share his secrets on the "Losin' Large Minute." ("Losin' Large" is a take off on the name of his Sunday night program on WIND-AM, "Livin' Large with Geoff Pinkus.")
* * WGN-AM weekend personality and popular fill-in host Nick Digilio is directing his first play in five years. The brand new stage production "Black & Blue" is a humorous story about two brothers and the rivalry between die-hard Cubs fans and die-hard White Sox fans. Not only is Nick Digilio directing the play, but he is also the co-author of the play, along with Anthony Tournis (who also stars as one of the brothers). The play can be seen at The Factory Theater, which is located at 3502 N. Elston Avenue in Chicago (inside the Prop Theatre). There are four preview shows beginning tonight, but the official opening of "Black & Blue" will be next Friday, July 29th at 8:00pm. Performances will be each Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 3:00pm through the first weekend in September. Tickets can be bought online at this link HERE
or by calling Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111. More information can be found HERE
and a humorous YouTube video promo for "Black & Blue" can be viewed HERE
Nick Digilio, in addition to his many years working on the radio (he first appeared on WGN in 1985 as a frequent guest of Roy Leonard's), has spent a dozen years working with The Factory Theater, including seven years as Artistic Director. He has taken part in almost 30 shows with the theater company, by acting in, writing and/or directing them. Being comfortable with appearing on stage, Digilio has also recently tried his hand at stand-up comedy.