Published on Friday, 26 October 2012 13:06
This weekend's News & Notes features 15 local media news items, including: NextMedia preparing for a sale; Herb Kent throws a birthday party; WBBM-AM hiding its AM; WLIT-FM begins to jingle its bells; Michelle Damico & Charlie Meyerson together again; Chet Coppock makes a list; Matt Spiegel makes his TV pitch; Jenny Stephen moves on; WGN-TV gives out a Halloween treat; WGN-TV goes to court to make history; WFLD-TV goes to court for a less enjoyable reason; Lauren Cohn is moving on again; Michael Radutzky is moving up again; the Chicago Defender honors some Chicago media people; and Chicago loses Kimbriell Kelly. All of the details can be read here...
* * Lamar Advertising Company announced yesterday
that it will be acquiring NextMedia's entire outdoor advertising/billboard business. That leaves NextMedia with only its radio division and a small interactive division. Inside word is that NextMedia is now looking at selling off its entire radio company in the near future, as well. Could all NextMedia stations have a new owner in early 2013? Locally, NextMedia owns and/or operates the following suburban radio stations: WERV-FM, WRXQ-FM, WCCQ-FM, WSSR-FM, WJOL-AM, WKRS-AM, WXLC-FM, WIIL-FM, WLIP-AM, WZSR-FM, and WWYW-FM.
* * Radio Hall of Fame DJ and beloved local legend Herb Kent turned 84 years old earlier this month (October 4th). Tomorrow night, fans can attend a birthday party in his honor. The "Herb Kent Birthday Party" will take place at 8:00pm at The Venue, found inside Horseshoe Casino, located at 777 Casino Center Drive in Hammond, IN. In addition to enjoying time with "The Smooth Gent" himself, there will be live music by special guests The Dramatics, Fred Wesley and The JB's, The Emotions, and Marzette Griffith. There will also be DJ's spinning music, including: Maurice "Ice" Culpepper, Sam Chapmen, Mello Chris, Eric "E.T." Taylor, and Dial Tone the Producer. Additionally, there will be nearly a dozen "Steppers" dance groups on the floor. Tickets can be purchased at this link HERE
. Happy Birthday, "Herbie Baby."
* * WBBM-AM is running television spots on sister-station WBBM-TV for its radio station. What makes the ads interesting is that it almost completely ignores the fact it is an AM radio station. The ad mentions the WBBM call letters more than once, but leaves off the AM part. Visually, it shows radios tuning into 105.9 and ends with the WBBM Newsradio logo... with only 105.9 FM shown below it and enlarged. 780 AM is not shown on the logo at all. (For the past year, the logo has shown both the 780 frequency and the 105.9 simulcast frequency.) Will using the WBBM call letters for the WCFS-FM frequency cause confusion for WBBM-FM/B96 listeners? Is CBS Radio Chicago making a last ditch effort to bring listeners to the FM simulcast, since the 2011 experiment hasn't paid off yet?
* * And so it begins... WLIT-FM has started its annual tradition of teasing its listeners about when the station will flip to the "Holiday Lite" format in November. The first step happened this week, as the station placed a Christmas countdown clock on its front page with the "Holiday Lite" mascot Edison on it. Expect much more teasing over the next three weeks.
* * Former WXRT-FM news anchors Michelle Damico and Charlie Meyerson are back together once again... only this time, they are trading blog postings, not news headlines. The two write about the good & bad of Public Relations people. You can read Charlie Meyerson's thoughts HERE
and Michelle Damico's thoughts on the subject HERE
* * Chicago sportscasting legend Chet Coppock wrote a blog this week where he ranked the Top 30 Chicago sportscasters of all time, at least from his perspective. 37 names are actually mentioned, with a few bonus ones placed in there. The list is sure to get local sports fans talking. It can be read on the NoozeBox.com website at this direct link HERE
* * Is WSCR-AM/670 The Score midday Matt Spiegel looking to leave the station to become the new Chicago Cubs television announcer... and doing so with Program Director Mitch Rosen's blessing? On The Score's website, there is a news article that talks about the possibility of Matt Spiegel replacing Bob Brenly in the broadcast booth. That article can be read HERE
. Before anybody gets too excited, it should be noted that the article is written very much tongue-in-cheek.
* * Jenny Stephen, WGN-AM's Promotions & Public Relations Manager exited the radio station today. She had been in that role for three years and with the station for almost eight years. She has left so that she can begin her new role as Consumer Marketing Public Relations Manager for the Ace Hardware Corporation. WGN-AM is seeking a qualified replacement for her now. Stephen's exit is completely voluntary and not related to the other recent high profile exits from the radio station. Her husband is former WGN-AM producer and current host of Outside The Loop Radio, Mike Stephen.
* * With Halloween just days away, WGN-TV has posted a special clip on its website for fans. It is a classic opening sequence to their famous 1970s weekend night horror movie program, "Creature Features." The video clip can be seen HERE
* * On Tuesday this week, WGN-TV made history as being the first Chicagoland area newcast to provide live broadcasting of a trial -- something that had not been allowed in the State of Illinois before. The station showed live footage from the 21st circuit of Kankakee County, where a 20 year old man was on trial for two counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder, one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. With the Illinois Supreme Court recently overturning their decision to ban cameras in courtrooms, WGN-TV and sister-station CLTV plan on showing plenty of live footage of this particular trial, as well as future trials of interest.
* * WFLD-TV and FOX Television were hoping to have a defamation lawsuit against them tossed out of the courts this week. Unfortunately for them, an Illinois appeals court has ruled that the lawsuit can continue. Also named as defendants in this defamation lawsuit are former WFLD-TV News Director Carol Fowler, WFLD-TV reporters Larry Yellen & Dane Placko, former WFLD-TV reporter (currently with WGN-TV) Marsha Bartel, the Better Government Association (BGA), and BGA Executive Director Andy Shaw. The lawsuit stems from a May 2010 investigative report done by WFLD-TV and the BGA, focusing on four Chicago judges that the report claims were slacking in their jobs and leaving early. WFLD-TV specifically identified Judge James Ryan as being one of the judges who slipped out of his daily responsibilities early and showed video of what was said to be Ryan's house and car in his driveway during the time he should have been working. One problem: that wasn't his house, car or driveway. An on-air apology by news anchor Robin Robinson did not appease Ryan. He is seeking $28 million, alleging defamation, infliction of emotional distress, and other complaints. The complete complaint and recent judge's ruling can be read HERE
* * According to a report yesterday
from the Philadelphia Inquirer, former WFLD-TV reporter Lauren Cohn will soon be out of a job with WTXF-TV/FOX 29 in Philly, where she has worked since 2010, ever since leaving Chicago.
* * CBS-TV's Michael Radutzky was named as Executive Producer of Creative Development at CBS News. He will also retain his role as a senior producer for CBS-TV's "60 Minutes." Radutzky has been with "60 Minutes" since 1995. He will be remembered locally for his years at WBBM-TV (1980-1987), where he rose from research assistant to producer to executive producer, winning two local Emmy Awards while there. He began his media career as a reporter for the Chicago weekly newspaper, the West Side Times, followed by two years with the Chicago Sun-Times.
* * The Chicago Defender will be holding its 2012 Newsmaker's Awards & Scholarship Gala on Saturday, November 3rd at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Among the honorees that evening will be WLS-TV's Val Warner receiving a Media Award, NBC-TV/WVAZ-FM's Steve Harvey receiving an Entertainment Award, and retired Chicago Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster receiving their Lifetime Achievement Award.
* * Chicago's Kimbriell Kelly will be moving east and joining the Washington Post as an investigative reporter, as of November 12th. This means that she will very soon be stepping down from her local responsibilities as Editor and Publisher of the Chicago Reporter, co-host on WBEW-FM's "The Barbershop Show," and host of WPWR-TV's "Perspectives." Searches are going on to find replacements for her in all of those roles. Kimbriell Kelly had been with the Chicago Reporter for the last eight years. She previously spent over six years as a reporter with the Daily Herald.