Robservations on the media beat:
John Records Landecker
- After seeing a funny comment from him‚ on this blog the other day, it was great to catch up with John Records Landecker, the Chicago radio legend and the man credited with inspiring more American teenagers to become disc jockeys than anyone else in the business. Nearly 40 years after he debuted as a Top 40 radio star here, Landecker, 62, is still at it -- hosting a daily talk show with partner Paula Griffin from 9 a.m. to noon on WIMS-AM (1420) in Michigan City, Ind. (and online at wimsradio.com). His syndicated music show, "Into the 70s," airs from 7 p.m. to midnight Sundays on Citadel Broadcasting oldies WLS-FM (94.7). But he's most proud of the success of his youngest daughter, Amy, who starred in the Coen Brothers' movie "A Serious Man" and appears in the season's first two episodes of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."‚ She also just shot a comedy pilot with Adam Corolla for NBC. "She is no longer the daughter of John Records Landecker," he quipped. "I am Amy Landecker's father!" Boogie Check, anyone?
- WBBM-AM (780) suburban bureau chief Julie Mann was promoted Wednesday to managing editor of the CBS Radio all-news station. But that doesn't mean we won't hear her anymore. Ron Gleason, director of news and programming, said Mann will continue to do some air work, although she won't be reporting on a daily basis.‚ A 13-year veteran of Newsradio 780, Mann fills the vacancy left by operations director Drew Hayes, who exited in January for the same position at Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890).
- In other news at Newsradio 780, Bears football broadcasts on the station drew more listeners last season than any other NFL team on radio. According to a study released Wednesday by Arbitron Sports, the Bears had an average game audience of 626,600 listeners, followed by the New York Giants with 457,000, and the Philadelphia Eagles with 422,400. The report covered play-by-play estimates for 25 teams in 23 markets where Arbitron's Portable People Meter service has kicked in.
- Now it's really official: Amy Jacobson starts March 24 as Big John Howell's morning co-host at Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560). Of his new partner, Howell said, "her perspective as a strong, opinionated woman will bring our show to a whole new level." In a statement announcing the debut of "The Big John & Amy Show," general manager Jeff Reisman wrote:
"We're excited to welcome Amy to WIND. We believe that she possesses an immense amount of unrealized potential as a talk show host that we fully anticipate will be realized as she joins John Howell in morning drive. Any preconceived notions anyone has about Amy will be completely changed once they hear her on the air with John."
- Another familiar voice from the smooth jazz era of WNUA-FM (95.5) is the latest alum to join his former colleagues at Venture Technologies Group's WLFM-FM (87.7). Bill Cochran debuted last weekend as host of "Dinner Party," airing from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturdays. Billed as "Saturday night oldies for grownup tastes," the show features familiar contemporary jazz classics. "I think the show has the potential to do for Saturday nights what the 'Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch' did for Sunday mornings -- be a perfect lifestyle complement to what our listeners are doing at the time," said program director Rick O'Dell.
- Comcast SportsNet will offer live online streaming of Chicago Bulls basketball, starting with the March 19 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But here's the catch: It will be available only to viewers who already receive Comcast SportsNet from a participating TV service. Registration is required at csnchicago.com. It's a free experiment that will run for six games through April 14 (and possibly during the first round of playoffs). "This represents the next logical step forward in the inevitable convergence of TV and the Internet," said Steve Schanwald, executive vice president of business operations for the Bulls.