Walter Jacobson and Bill Kurtis at a Museum of Broadcast Communications event in 1994.
Nov. 12, 2009
Nov. 12, 2009
Oh, great. Just what we needed: Four hours of radio consisting of bloggers no one knows about yapping about blogs no one cares about. OK, maybe that's too harsh. But I know I'm not the only one who reacted that way when Tribune Co.-owned WGN-AM (720) announced a new weekly radio show based on the Tribune Co.-owned blog site ChicagoNow.com.
Nov. 11, 2009
They're some of Chicago's biggest television news personalities as you've never seen them before: Wearing white T-shirts and camisoles, showing off biceps and bra straps and bare shoulders, sporting sexy smiles and come-hither gazes.
The text accompanying these black-and-white images of Kathy Brock, Mark Suppelsa, Anne State, Anna Davlantes, Tera Williams, Anthony Ponce and Paula Faris lists their personal "obsessions," written in a style that evokes the "turn-ons" and "turnoffs" of Playboy centerfolds. All seven photographs ran in the October issue of Michigan Avenue magazine, under the subhead: "Chicago's small-screen stunners strip down their airtime appearances and reveal their own behind-the-scenes obsessions."
Nov. 10, 2009
The entire north wall of the Sun-Times editorial department consists of offices occupied by columnists, critics and section editors. When I worked there, my favorite part of giving tours to friends was walking the full length of the building and pointing out familiar bylines and faces, one after the other, through the windows of their individual little sanctums.
I guess I didn't appreciate it at the time, but looking back, that really was a Murderers' Row of Chicago newspaper talent. In my mind, I can still go down the line and picture Richard Roeper, Mark Brown, Carol Marin, Mary Mitchell, Neil Steinberg, Mary Frey, Bill Zwecker, Phil Rosenthal, Elliott Harris, Terry Savage, Dan Miller, Sue Ontiveros, Dan Jedlicka and other star writers all tapping away at their keyboards or talking on the phone.
Unlike the hodgepodge of offices we had at the old Sun-Times Building (which was torn down in 2005 to build the gleaming new Trump Tower),‚ our leased digs several blocks west in the Apparel Center were built out to precise specifications.‚ Every columnist's office was identically equipped and furnished, and every office was exactly the same size. Except for one -- Michael Sneed's.
Nov. 9, 2009
Tonight marks the start of Dick Biondi's fourth year as evening personality on WLS-FM (94.7), under terms of a new two-year contract he signed last week with the Citadel Broadcasting "True Oldies" station.
Photo by Fred Winston
That may not seem like big news until you consider that Biondi is 77 years old, he's been one of America's premier disc jockeys for more than half a century, and he still commands a remarkably large and loyal audience -- more than 300,000 listeners a week, according to the latest Arbitron figures.
Nov. 6, 2009
A little more than a year ago, in my grandiose farewell column for the Sun-Times, I decided to go out with a bang. So I gazed into the future and foretold what would happen on the local television and radio beat "in the coming months and beyond."
Maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all. Of the seven predictions I made in that column, only three turned out to be spot-on, two have yet to be determined, and two were dead wrong. Here's how my crystal ball fared:
Nov. 5, 2009
Nov. 5, 2009
If there were a Mount Rushmore of Chicago television news anchors, the first face I'd put up there is Bill Kurtis. OK, maybe he'd be the second -- after Floyd "The Big Tuna" Kalber. (Who else? You're welcome to suggest others in the comments section below.)
But the point I'm making is that as an anchorman in this town, Bill Kurtis will always be among the all-time greatest in my book. What he accomplished at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 -- most notably during his legendary run with Walter Jacobson from 1973 to 1982 -- can never be discounted or diminished.