Published on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:38
Here are another ten local media stories in today's News & Notes, including: Tribune Company's bankruptcy exit plan is officially confirmed; the Chicago Tribune helps out Journatic; CSN Chicago covers the Chicago Bears' Training Camp; WIND-AM & WYLL-AM join iHeartRadio; WGN-AM's Orion Samuelson becomes an alternative type of Alternative Rocker; WTMX-FM gives away Lolla tix; Roe & Roeper go to Zanies; Adam Sobel gets hitched; Geoff Neuhoff passes away; and a benefit fundraiser for Jill Egan's Uncle. All of the details are below...
* * As expected, Tribune Company attorneys made the changes requested by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey earlier this month
, and yesterday, Judge Carey officially signed off on the corporate reorganization plan. With the plan confirmed, the company's new creditor owners now await FCC approval to be able to continue to have grandfathered status to the broadcast properties that the company has been able to hold on to despite being over the legal limit of media properties owned in some markets (including Chicago). The company can now look to exit its over 3.5 year bankruptcy. Also as expected, the junior creditors, led by New York investment fund Aurelius Capital Management are appealing the decision. So far, three separate appeals have been filed. Although Tribune Company may only be a just a few months away from fully exiting its long bankruptcy nightmare, junior creditor appeals and expected lawsuits could keep the Tribune bankruptcy soap opera continuing on for years to come.
* * Even though the Chicago Tribune has suspended use
of Journatic for numerous journalistic ethics violations, they are still far from done with the company. Since Tribune Company invested heavily into Journatic this past April, and laid off numerous employees to instead use Journatic's cheaper services for the TribLocal newspapers, they want to find a way to make this work for them so they can lift the "indefinite" suspension. At the end of last week, Chicago Tribune Media Group President Vince Casanova hired Randall "Randy" Weissman to be a consultant to Journatic and to oversee positive changes within the company. Weissman is a former news administration editor with the Chicago Tribune and a 44 year veteran of the company. Assuming Weismann can make the proper changes fast enough, Journatic's suspension could be lifted sooner than later. Journatic is headquartered within Tribune Towers.
* * Comcast Sportsnet Chicago is sending Bears reporters Kip Lewis and John "Moon" Mullin down to the Chicago Bears' Training Camp in Bourbonnais, IL this week. Both men will be delivering on-air reports on the daily goings on with the 2012 Chicago Bears on the CSN Chicago news programs "SportsNet Central" and "Chicago Tribune Live." In addition, the station's website, CSNChicago.com
, will produce a daily online talk show covering the Chicago Bears pre-season with Lewis & Mullin, as well as offering features from former Bears quarterback/CSN "Bears Post Game Live" analyst Jim Miller and "Bowen's Breakdown" featuring former NFL safety Matt Bowen.
* * WIND-AM and WYLL-AM can now be heard via Clear Channel's iHeartRadio streaming app. Salem Radio announced today that it will now allow all 97 of its owned/operated radio stations nationwide -- including its two Chicago properties -- to be part of the iHeartRadio collection of streams. However, the new contract is a non-exclusive one, as this past April, Salem entered into an agreement
to allow the TuneIn radio app to also stream its stations.
* * An unlikely radio station will be giving away Lollapalooza three-day passes next week, even though the radio station does not ever play Lolla artists and does not truly program toward Lolla's typical audience. That station is WGN-AM. Starting on July 31st and running through August 3rd, WGN-AM's John Williams will be giving away a pair of three-day passes to Lollapalooza. At 12:10pm and 2:37pm on each of those days (except August 1st, when the Cubs broadcast will not allow for a 2:37pm contest), Williams will play an audio clip of soft, classical music, with WGN-AM's veteran farm reporter Orion Samuelson reciting lyrics from a song by a 2012 Lollapalooza artist over it. The first caller that gets through to 312-591-7000 after the clip plays, who can correctly name the artist and song name, will win the pair of passes. WGN-AM will also be having a text-to-win contest for Lolla tickets next week, details of which will be printed in the Chicago Tribune.
* * Another unlikely station heavily promoting Lollapalooza, while not playing Lollapalooza artists on the air is WTMX-FM/101.9 The Mix. All this week, The Mix is giving away three-day passes to Lolla four times each day. Passes are being given out at 7:20am, 11:20am, 1:20pm, and 4:20pm. One of the winners of the three-day passes will also win the grand prize of a pair of three-day Lollapalooza V.I.P. wristbands.
* * WLS-AM's Roe Conn and Richard Roeper will be doing their show this coming Friday live from the new Zanies in Rosemont (5437 Park Place), starting at 2:00pm. The Canarble Wagon and plenty of special guests will be on hand, as well.
* * Speaking of Roe Conn, congratulations to Adam Sobel, WLS-AM producer, and specifically Roe Conn's digital media producer. Sobel and his girlfriend Anne Peterson are now husband and wife.
* * Neuhoff Communications, Inc. President/CEO, Geoff Neuhoff, passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack on Sunday. He was only 59 years old. Neuhoff's family-owned-and-operated media company owned such Illinois properties as WSOY-AM, WSOY-FM, WDZ-AM and WDZQ-FM in Decatur; WDAN-AM, WDNL-FM and WRHK-FM in Danville; WCZQ-FM in Champaign; and WFMB-AM, WFMB-FM, WCVS-FM, WXAJ-FM in Springfield. In 2010, the Illinois Broadcasters Association named Geoff Neuhoff as "Illinois Broadcaster of the Year."
* * Brian Egan was busy supporting his 28 year old daughter Bridget's battle with cancer in the nasal/throat area last summer when he himself was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer. Bridget is doing better now, but Brian's cancer, once thought to be gone, has returned and is inoperable. Since he is self-employed, Brian Egan and his family are devastated by the medical bills their home has had to endure to battle back-to-back cancer treatments. To help support the family, a fundraising benefit is being held this Sunday from 1:00pm-6:00pm at 115 Bourbon Street (3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park). Tickets are $40 at the door and include food, drinks, live music by Weber Band, and more. Brian Egan is the Uncle of WTMX-FM/WBEZ-FM's Jill Egan, who will be in attendance. More information on the event, the Egan family, and ways one can donate, can be found HERE