West Bucktown is taking its own sweet time gentrifying, but within the past month, two new bakeries have opened on the same block (2200 W. North Ave.).‚ One of them is the Oak Mill Bakery, which features European pastries, tortes and cakes, but with a emphasis on Polish sweets; the other is Bake - a concept from a husband-and-wife team, both of whom are pastry chefs.‚ I spoke with Jennifer Kane about her new, sweet venture. Bake
Jan. 7, 2010
It's a good thing Bill Zwecker likes "American Idol." As the new entertainment contributor to WFLD-Channel 32, he'll be the designated point man for the prime-time franchise that all Fox-owned stations are required by law to flog endlessly on their newscasts.
The veteran celebrity columnist and show business reporter debuted Wednesday on Channel 32's 9 p.m. newscast with a piece about Elvis Presley, pegged to what would have been his 75th‚ birthday tomorrow. But if there were any doubt that "Idol" will be Zwecker's bread and butter, his new bosses couldn't have been more explicit. In a statement announcing the hiring, Mike Renda, vice president and general manager of Channel 32, said:
"We're thrilled to have Bill as part of the Fox Chicago News team. He will be an asset as we head in to a new season of shows, such as "ËœAmerican Idol,' providing viewers with an inside look at the latest news, information and behind the scenes action."
Zwecker is expected to deliver entertainment reports three or four times a week on Channel 32's 9 p.m. newscast, but he also will appear occasionally on its "Good Day Chicago" morning show.
Jan. 6, 2010
The chest pains that sent Rush Limbaugh to the hospital last week turned out to be nothing serious. But for a while, they were enough to give an already ailing radio industry a heart attack.
Limbaugh is expected to return to his show today -- one week after his health scare in Honolulu made worldwide headlines. The prospect of losing the 58-year-old talk radio titan -- in same calendar year that saw the passing of the legendary Paul Harvey -- sent shock waves through the broadcast business. Among the most worried had to be executives at Premiere Radio Networks and parent company Clear Channel Radio, which had just signed Limbaugh last July to a $400 million deal renewing him through 2016.
Jan. 5, 2010
Big John Howell acknowledged Monday that he was blindsided by the defection of his radio partner, and he promised listeners that he would not eliminate "true-blue, right-wing conservative thought" from his morning show on Salem Communications news/talk WIND-AM (560).
It marked Howell's first public comment since news broke here Dec. 18 that Cisco Cotto had quit after three years at the station to return to Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890) and join Roe Conn's afternoon show as co-host.
Howell told listeners he learned of Cotto's move in a call from WIND program director Marcus Brown late Dec. 17. Although Salem believed it had reached agreement on a renewal with Cotto, the contract had not yet been signed, Howell said. That opened the door for WLS, which offered Cotto a more lucrative two-year deal.
Jan. 4, 2010
The headline on Tom Taylor's end-of-the-year piece for Radio-Info.com said it all: "2010 has to be better, right?" All in all, it would be hard to imagine a year worse than the one of firings, frauds, flameouts and funerals we've just endured.
Personally, I'd consider the next 12 months a success if I came away feeling less insulted by the irrelevant drivel of television news and less assaulted by the angry ranting of talk radio. But even that might be too much to ask for. Here are 10 previews and predictions of Chicago media stories to watch for in the coming year:
Eddie and Jobo
- Look for Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon to make yet another Chicago radio comeback (though for decidedly less than the combined $3 million a year they'd been earning). Until they were bounced in November 2008, Eddie & Jobo hosted mornings on CBS Radio rhythmic Top 40 WBBM-FM (96.3) during two stints over a 20-year run.
Dec. 31, 2009
Every year, shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve, I tune in to the local countdown specials on TV with genuine excitement and anticipation. And every year, I'm sorry to say, I come away disappointed.
Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco
ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, which has had a lock on local New Year's Eve programming for quite a while, tonight will present "Countdown Chicago 2010," hosted by Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco, starting at 11:08 p.m. Over the years, others have aired versions of the hats-and-horns routine, but few produced noteworthy (or ratings-worthy) results.
Dec. 30, 2009
(Ed. note - We have asked guest blogger and former Sun-Times Architecture Critic Lee Bey to tell us about the high and low points in architecture from 2000-2009. Lee can be found at leebey.com)
Chicago was enjoying a building boom in 2000. Residential towers sprung up along the outskirts of downtown; townhouses and two flats did likewise, particularly on the North Side and South and West sides.
But there was this persistent buzz behind rumbling of construction equipment: from the graceless concrete residential slab towers in River North to neighborhood housing rendered with Ye Olde Tyme architectural detailing, much of what was being built looked pretty schlocky. And compared to the architectural razzle-dazzle happening in Europe and Asia, our new buildings looked tentative, staid and unremarkable. Chicago had lost its nerve.
Luckily, the city's architectural fortunes improved during the decade. Trump Tower swaggered onto the urban stage at 401 N. Wabash in 2007, becoming the tallest new building in North America since the Willis (nee Sears) Tower. Once the city finally remembered its heritage of making good-looking tall buildings, we got the noteworthy 62-story One Museum Park, designed by Pappageorge Haymes (on Roosevelt east of Michigan); Helmut Jahn's 41-story 660 N.
Dec. 30, 2009
He may be Chicago's most literate and thoughtful broadcast journalist, but there's no room anymore for Rich Samuels. After more than 35 years on local television news -- including the last 18 on Window to the World Communications' WTTW-Channel 11 -- he's out as a correspondent for "Chicago Tonight," the public station's flagship news program.
It's another significant loss for Channel 11, which suffered setbacks earlier in the year with the death of longtime host and revered elder statesman John Callaway and the resignation of "Chicago Tonight" correspondent Christian Farr. Neither has been replaced.