Robservations on the media beat:
- Journalism jobs were scarce in 1978 -- especially after the Chicago Daily News folded, putting scores of seasoned writers and editors out of work. So the startup of a slick new magazine catering to the North Shore elite later that year came as welcome news to us Medill grads just hitting the job market. While I didn't accept the offer from founding publisher Asher Birnbaum to work for North Shore magazine, I've been a faithful subscriber and reader ever since. Birnbaum, who'd made a fortune selling his first magazine, Tennis, to The New York Times Company, wound up selling North Shore to the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997. Monday's news that Sun-Times Media had sold North Shore for an undisclosed price to Susan Noyes' MakeItBetter.net reminded me of how much better the magazine used to be -- before it was stripped of the resources, staff and commitment to compete in the big leagues editorially. The latest issue took about two minutes to peruse.
- This weekend's celebration of Dick Biondi's 50th‚ anniversary on the air in Chicago just got 50,000 watts bigger: The live special from 7 p.m. to midnight Sunday will air not only on Citadel Broadcasting oldies WLS-FM (94.7), where Biondi still holds forth every weeknight, but also on news/talk sister station WLS-AM (890). Biondi was among the stars who launched the Top 40 format on WLS-AM on May 2, 1960.