Robservations on the media beat:
- ambassador to the dog and cat world, Steve Dale, just signed on for five more years as nationally syndicated pet columnist with Tribune Media Services. In addition, Dale's weekly radio show, which ran for 12 years on Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720), moved last June to Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890). "Steve Dale's Pet World" now airs at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays. He's also a certified animal behavior consultant and a blogger for ChicagoNow.com. In an updated‚ Chicago Radio Spotlight profile, Dale told Rick Kaempfer:
"My favorite moments are always when a listener calls and says, 'You helped me and made my day. That's why I didn't give up the dog or cat to the shelter.' Those are always my favorite moments."
- Another sign that all's right with the world is when Rick O'Dell is playing smooth jazz. Since January, the Chicago radio veteran has been back in his familiar midday slot -- from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- on Venture Technologies Group's WLFM-FM (87.7). "Those who know I'm here have made it a wonderfully soft landing back on the midday show," he said. "Now it's up to us to give them what they expect musically while throwing them a few surprises along the way." In his additional role as program director, O'Dell announced the debut of "Paul Wertico's Wild World of Jazz," a locally produced traditional jazz show hosted by the Grammy-winning drummer and Chicago native. It'll air at 9 p.m. Sundays, starting this weekend.
- Jeff Reisman, director of sales at news/talk WIND-AM (560) and Christian talk WYLL-AM (1160), officially was promoted Monday to general manager of the two Salem Communications stations. He succeeds Dave Santrella, who moved up to president of Salem's radio division on Dec. 15. One of Reisman's first tasks is to name a replacement for Cisco Cotto as co-host of Big John Howell's morning show on WIND. Cotto left to join WLS as Roe Conn's afternoon partner at the end of last year.
- Mark Bieganski, who created a popular blog on Oprah Winfrey when he was a Web editor at the Sun-Times, has joined Time Out Chicago as a senior online producer. Among his duties will be tracking Oprah's final season in Chicago for the magazine's website. He most recently was an online producer for Fox Chicago News. Of Bieganski's new Oprah blog, Time Out editor in chief Frank Sennett said:
"As her Super Bowl spot with Dave and Jay showed, it only takes Oprah 15 seconds to spark a national conversation, so we think it'll be fun to help readers follow her closely as she winds up her tenure in Chicago."
- Tony Arnold, who's been a temporary reporter and producer on the news desk at Chicago Public Radio WBEZ-FM (91.5) since 2008, has been hired as a full-time general assignment reporter. He previously was a reporter for Northern Illinois University's WNIJ-FM (89.5).
- The late, great Richard Pegue will be remembered at a Dusty Record Convention celebrating "The Best Music of Your Life" March 6 at St. Elizabeth Church, 50 E. 41st‚ St. Doors open at 7 p.m. The dance will be hosted by his widow, Savina Pegue. The legendary Chicago radio personality, producer, songwriter and musician died of heart failure last March at 64.