Published on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 21:48
In tonight's News & Notes, we look at Matt Abbatacola talkin' baseball, Tony Fitzpatrick talkin' plays, Ben Ponzio talkin' poker, Oprah Winfrey getting unwelcomed TV exposure, WGN Morning News is cruising, John Gallagher is out, Jack Silver is in, and so much more! It is all below...
* * Matt Abbatacola, the Executive Producer for the Boers & Bernstein Show and fill-in host on WSCR-AM will be making an appearance at the Lemont Public Library (50 E. Wend St., Lemont) on Wednesday night at 7:00pm. The library is holding a one hour meeting called "Baseball: It's America's Sport," which will feature Abbatacola as the speaker. He will be discussing the state of Chicago baseball and his experiences of working at The Score. There will also be a question & answer session for those in attendance. The event is free and open to all. To register in advance, click on this link HERE
* * Former WLUP personality Tony Fitzpatrick has been making the rounds, promoting the next leg of his well-received stage show "This Train" (featuring another former Looper, Buzz Kilman). He sat down with WBEZ's Steve Edwards this week to talk about the show and more. You can watch a video of some of the interview and/or listen to the audio of the whole discussion at this link HERE
* * Carbondale's WIDB-FM at Southern Illinois University held a reunion recently, celebrating its 40 years on the air. A few Chicago radio veterans who got their start at the station drove downstate to be there, including WXRT's Richard Milne and WSCR's Dan Manella (both pictured below). Mike Kessler gave a quick summary of it this week in the suburban local editions of the Chicago Tribune. You can read it at this link HERE
* * Speaking of newspaper articles to check out, here is one more... In the latest edition of the Pioneer Press' Elmwood Park Leaves, there is a whole article on WBBM-FM's General Sales Manager, Ben Ponzio. In the article, Ben talks about his life at WBBM, at home, and also as a champion poker player. The article can be found HERE
* * The turmoil at Chicago-based Johnson Publishing continues. The company's President and Chief Operating Officer has resigned. Anne Sempowski Ward, who has been President & COO since 2008, announced her resignation this week. She will be joining her husband's business consulting firm. Johnson Publishing, the publisher of Ebony and JET magazines, has had numerous management changes this summer. In early June, Linda Johnson Rice, the Chairman and CEO, named Amy DuBois Barnett as Ebony's new Editor and former White House social secretary and personal friend Desiree Rogers as a company consultant. The search for a new President & COO is now on.
* * The book that Chicago media megastar Oprah Winfrey wants to just go away, simply won't go away. "Oprah: A Biography," the controversial Kitty Kelley-written version of Oprah's life, which came out on April 13th, will soon become a made-for-TV movie. Producer Larry Thompson has bought the rights to the book for a six-figure sum. He plans on producing either a two-hour movie or a four-hour mini-series based on the reported information within the book, and hopes to air the TV movie around the time of Oprah's exit from her daily show: September 2011. No network has yet agreed to purchase the movie and no cast has been selected. Thompson has also done controversial biopics on Lucy & Desi, Sonny & Cher and the Duke & Duchess of Windsor.
* * Want to spend some quality time with the lovable lunatics from the WGN Morning News program? The team will be throwing a private party on Navy Pier on July 23rd, with a Spirit of Chicago cruise. Tickets are not being sold, though. They have to be won. To enter to win, click on this link HERE
and fill out the form. Winners will be picked on July 19th to hang out with morning television friends Larry, Robin, Paul, Pat, Dean, Ana and Val on the 23rd. Losers get to hang out in a dark bar with Wink Winkle.
* * One former Chicago radio executive has found himself out of a job this week. John Gallagher, who was the General Manager for ABC-owned WLS-AM & WRDZ-AM from 2004-2008, has been forced out from his current job of Market Manager for Detroit's Greater Media cluster of stations. Gallagher's contract was not renewed.
* * Another former Chicago radio executive received a brand new job this week. Jack Silver, the WLUP Program Director in the early 90's, was yesterday named as the Operations Manager & Program Director for Citadel-owned KABC-AM in Los Angeles. Since leaving Chicago, Silver has worked at many LA radio stations, in both programming and sales.