I've had a serious thing for Belgian beers the past couple of years. Part of it is due to exposure - The Map Room and the Hopleaf have been fertile training grounds with informed servers and bartenders, helping to guide me. Another part of the reason is flavor: after you've sipped some of these unique brews - tart cherry lambics, intense Trappists - you're never going to be satisfied with a mass market beer again. But the final part of the equation is availability. Thanks to aggressive, passionate importers, we now have more Belgian beer choices than ever. Just stroll the aisle at Binny's in the South Loop to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Wendy Littlefield and her husband started Vanberg & DeWulf more than 25 years ago, and have continued to bring intriguing labels into the U.S. ever since. They recently moved their headquarters from Cooperstown, NY to Chicago.
Apr. 15, 2010
At a time when the city's troubled broadcast industry could use a shot in the arm, a galaxy of Chicago television's brightest stars will be honored June 11 at a benefit for the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
In what's billed as "the first-ever reunion of three generations of Chicago television icons," a who's who of local luminaries will fill the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan. In announcing the names of those already confirmed to attend "A Salute to Chicago Television," Bruce DuMont, founder and president of the museum, said:
Apr. 14, 2010
Robservations on the media beat:
- Joe Ahern, the former Chicago television executive who landed a job in the restaurant business, has scored a media coup for his new employer: As president of Alex Dana's Rosebud Restaurants, Ahern is bringing "The Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch" to the chain's eatery in the Loop. A signature program of former smooth jazz station WNUA-FM (95.5), it's being revived by Venture Technologies Group's smooth jazz WLFM-FM (87.7). Starting April 25, the show will air live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays from Rosebud Prime, 1 S. Dearborn. (A big fan of the original show, Ahern was president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 from 1985 to 1997, and CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 from 2002 to 2008.) Rick O'Dell, program director and midday personality at WLFM, will host the program, as he did for 13 years at WNUA. Said O'Dell:
"We couldn't have come up with a better scenario for the return of 'The Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch.' The quality and tradition of the Rosebud Restaurants combined with the music of our show -- it'll be a unique Sunday morning experience, whether you're dining at Rosebud Prime or listening at home."
Apr. 14, 2010
It's Wednesday so that means...
Today's song, "You Are My Joy" by The Reindeer Section (same band I used in the CARTWHEEL video for this week's mission).
And please please PLEASE, seize the day, seize the spring, and take a picture (or film clip) of yourself doing a cartwheel. Email it to me at email@example.com. I will be assembling all cartwheels into a final video for your viewing pleasure!
Great Cartwheel Stella!
Apr. 14, 2010
Apr. 14, 2010
To hear Rod Zimmerman tell it, he's just hired "The Michael Jordan of Adult Contemporary Radio" as program director of WCFS-FM (105.9), the struggling CBS Radio station known as "Fresh 105.9."‚ Hyperbole aside, he's not far off the mark.
Of the seven CBS Radio stations Zimmerman oversees in Chicago, none could use a superstar programmer more than "Fresh 105.9," which has been something of a stinker ever since it replaced ill-fated FM talker WCKG in November 2007. It's currently languishing in 24th‚ place overall and in seventh place among women between the ages of 25 and 54 (the station's target audience), according to Arbitron's Portable People Meters. In other words, it's out of the money.
Taking on what could be the challenge of the year is Jim Ryan, who Monday was named program director of WCFS as well as New York "Fresh" sister station WFFS. (To sweeten the deal, Ryan also was named vice president of adult contemporary programming for all 14 CBS Radio stations in the format nationwide.) Though based in New York, Ryan will spend one or two days of every week in Chicago with hands-on control over the station's programming.