Those clever folks who brought us "The U," "Me TV," "Me-Too," and "This" are about to unveil their next Chicago television enterprise. Weigel Broadcasting Co., the Chicago-based owner of WCIU-Channel 26 and assorted other stations and digital programming services, is expected to announce a new addition to its local format lineup today.
It's a blast from the past: Fifteen years after "Inside Politics" morphed into "Beyond the Beltway," veteran political talk show host Bruce DuMont has brought back his old show's original title and format.
Sunday night marked the return of "Inside Politics" as a weekly local political gabfest, airing on City Colleges of Chicago's WYCC-Channel 20 (at 10:30 p.m. Sundays) and on Comcast Cable systems (at 11 p.m. Mondays). Featuring one-on-one interviews with candidates and newsmakers as well as roundtable discussions with panels of journalists and political insiders, the show will air through the Chicago mayoral election next year. It's a smart move -- and a great showcase for DuMont's considerable skills as a political analyst and interviewer.
As every good host knows, when you're throwing a really big party, it's never too early to start planning for it.
Just around this time next year, Chicago will become the center of the radio universe when the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau bring their combined 2011 Fall Radio Show to Chicago.‚
Robservations on the media beat:
- Gee, was it something I said? Mark Edwards, the former program guru of Chicago's Lite FM, was ousted Thursday after 6‚½ years as director of programming at CBS Radio's KEZK-FM and KYKY-FM in St. Louis. Edwards, 50, had recently boosted KEZK to the top of the ratings in the Gateway City. The news came one day after he was praised here as the genius who turned WLIT-FM (93.9) into an adult-contemporary powerhouse in the '90s -- and one day after he'd returned from vacation.
Seriously now, how many people could successfully create and launch a national television network in this economy while simultaneously overseeing a top-rated and top-billing major market TV station?
Exactly one: Emily Barr, closing in on her 14th‚ year as president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, also is the impresario of Live Well Network, the HD lineup of original programming designed for local stations' digital-tier channels and for online and mobile apps.
For a good part of the '90s, a crown jewel of Chicago radio was WLIT-FM (93.9). The adult-contemporary station known as Lite FM not only dominated the ratings among adult listeners, but did so with quality, consistency and class.
It took a savvy program director named Mark Edwards seven years to turn the soft and sleepy station he inherited from a 14th‚ place also-ran in its target 25-to-54 demographic into the No. 1 music powerhouse in the market. Everything about the joint -- from its personalities to its playlist to its promotions -- sounded just right.
Robservations on the media beat:
- Tuesday is Kevin Gossett's last day as afternoon personality on Clear Channel Radio adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9) -- although he's really not going anywhere. He'll be staying in Phoenix, where he's been voice tracking the show since November 2008. Starting Wednesday, the new 2-to-7-p.m. weekday host on Lite FM is expected to be Chris Davis, who'll phone it in from WNCI-FM in Columbus, Ohio. Gossett, who previously hosted mornings here for five years on the former WNND, has been promoted to digital program director for Clear Channel's eight stations in Phoenix, where he hosts afternoons on KESZ-FM.
- Brian Paruch, whose Chicago radio nicknames over the years have ranged from "The Whipping Boy" to "King Paruch," could be ready for a new one. Starting Oct. 18, he'll succeed Mark Suppelsa as news anchor for Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart's top-rated morning show on Bonneville International hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9).
Four months after dropping its weekly column on local sports media, the Sun-Times brought it back this week under a familiar byline.
Dale Bowman, who ordinarily reports and blogs on fishing, hunting and other outdoor sports for the Sun-Times, made his debut Monday as an "on sports media" columnist. He said the current plan was for the column to run every Monday, adding: "It's something I had hoped to do for a while."