Robservations on the media beat:
- Luke Palermo, a faculty member in the television department of Columbia College Chicago for more than 25 years, has been elected president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He succeeds outgoing president Barbara Williams Perry, effective June 15. Palermo, who's been on the board of the local NATAS chapter for more than 15 years, said in a statement:
"It is indeed an honor to be elected president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Chicago, and I am humbled by the wonderful men and women that have preceded me in that position. I enjoy working and planning alongside industry professionals and bringing‚ that world into my classroom.‚ I am very lucky to have the best of all worlds, my students, my teaching and my connection with television colleagues."
- Emily Barr, president and general manager of top-rated WLS-Channel 7, is getting a new boss: She's Rebecca Campbell, who was named Wednesday to succeed the retiring Walter Liss as president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group. Campbell most recently has been president and general manager of WABC-TV in New York. She previously headed WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
- While other radio groups are still struggling with the vicissitudes of Arbitron's Portable People Meter system, the smart folks at Bonneville International seem to have it all figured out: In PPM ratings released Wednesday, Bonneville's classic hits WDRV-FM (97.1) tied with Univision regional Mexican WOJO-FM (105.1) for first place in the "money demo" among adults between the ages of 25 and 54. Right behind them was Bonneville's hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9). Pardon my boosterism, but it's also worth noting that Chicago Public Radio WBEZ-FM (91.5) tied for seventh place in the 25-to-54 demo with Clear Channel adult contemporary‚ WLIT-FM (93.9), Tribune Co. news/talk WGN-AM (720) and Emmis classic rock WLUP-FM (97.9). (WBEZ and this blog site are owned by Chicago Public Media.)
- For would-be sportscasters, it could be the opportunity of a lifetime: A chance to score a job as weekend host on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR-FM (670). Hopefuls can register online and schedule an audition at 670thescore.com. The winner will be announced in a live broadcast July 24. Last year's "Score Search" landed Connor McKnight a job as reporter for the station. Said Score program director Mitch Rosen:
"Last year, selecting Connor McKnight was a home run for the station. Connor has exceeded my expectations in terms of his on-air work, his demeanor at the station, and how he represents our brand. This competition should be fast and furious, and even more exciting than last year."
- Credit the Tribune's Phil Rosenthal with exposing the latest unsavory arrangement at Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9: Reporters are now shilling for L.L. Bean by wearing jackets provided by the apparel company and bearing the L.L. Bean logo. I don't care what Channel 9 news boss Greg Caputo says. Turning reporters into commercial billboards is unprofessional and unethical. (I just wish Phil hadn't underplayed his excellent scoop Wednesday beneath a column about Jimmy Kimmel and upfront advertising. It deserved a big headline.)
- Syndicated reruns of "Seinfeld," ranked by TV Guide as "the greatest television program of all time," are moving in March to Weigel Broadcasting's WCIU-Channel 26. No time period has been announced. The show currently airs at 6 and 9:30 p.m. weeknights on Fox-owned WPWR-Channel 50.
- Happy birthday: Saturday marks one year on the air for the smooth jazz format on Venture Technologies‚ Group and Malibu Broadcasting's WLFM-FM (87.7). Its switch came just hours after Clear Channel dropped smooth jazz on WNUA-FM (95.5) in favor of ‚ the Spanish-language hot adult-contemporary "Mega" format. Said Rick O'Dell, program director and midday personality at WLFM:
"Chicago deserves nothing less than a locally operated smooth jazz station, one that can respond to feedback from local listeners.‚ If I've learned anything from 23 years in the format, it's that smooth jazz listeners in Chicago are ultra passionate and eager to tell us what they want from a station that plays their favorite music.‚ As a result, so much of what we've done at 87.7 has been a real grass roots initiative:‚ listeners guiding us every step of the way.‚ We're not through yet, so we're counting on our listeners to keep giving us input."