Robservations on the media beat:
- Watching the debut of WBBM-Channel 2's latest morning newscast Monday, I wondered why news anchor Steve Bartelstein kept making references to his mother. After the third time he mentioned her, I realized it had to be because she was the only other person watching the show. I can't imagine why anyone else would choose to sit through "CBS 2 Morning News," an utterly generic 2 ‚½-hour time-filler without one iota of creativity or a single new idea. Honestly, did anybody put any thought into it at all? News anchor Susan Carlson sounded desperate as she implored viewers to accept Bartelstein and fellow WCBS-TV New York import, weathercaster Megan Glaros, a former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader who's all smiles all the time. Calling them "both delightful people," Carlson said: "You guys are gonna love them! They're fabulous! And they're Chicago natives!" Noting that the show would be going back to visit their respective hometowns, Carlson added: "So you have to watch us at least next week, too."
- It's official: Lauren Cohn, former news anchor and reporter at WFLD-Channel 32, has been hired at WTXF-TV in Philadelphia, starting Sept. 7. Both are Fox-owned stations. The move confirms a report here earlier this month. Cohn, a veteran of three Chicago stations, previously worked in Philadelphia at NBC-owned WCAU-TV. "I am looking forward to getting back to work full-time and doing what I love to do, tell great stories and bring valuable information to the public," Cohn wrote on her blog Monday. "Chicago I will miss you."
- And they wonder why people hate Clear Channel Radio? A press release announcing the hiring of Ryan Gorman the other day as afternoon host at Top 40 WKSC-FM (103.5) was cringe-inducing for two reasons. First, because it never used his actual name. (It referred to him only as "Jordan," the one-word moniker he uses on the air. Then again, this is the station of Drex, Special K, Candi, Summer and other DJs whose names all sound like strippers.) Second, because it quoted Gorman -- excuse me, Jordan -- as saying: "Chitown is going to be insane." Chitown? Sorry, but I have to side with Tribune uber-blogger Eric Zorn and 85 percent of his readers who insist that real Chicagoans never use the term "Chi-town." Said one: "The very phrase induces gags, and bad images of Frank Sinatra stage patter in Las Vegas."
- Steve Carver, the former vice president and general manager of Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720) and CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (780), is on the move for the third time this year. On Monday he was named senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio in Los Angeles. He'll oversee the company's seven stations in L.A. Carver rejoined CBS Radio last January as market manager in Cleveland and was reassigned to West Palm Beach, Fla., just last month.
- A budget squeeze prompted by a 30 percent drop in sales at NextMedia Group's northwest suburban outlets cost Jim Shea his job Friday after five years as morning personality at oldies WWYW-FM (103.9). Afternoon host Jeff James is expected to shift to mornings, with syndicated programming filling in the blanks. "It has been an amazing run here," Shea said. "We built something out of nothing in the greatest radio city in the world."
- Robert Mulholland, Dennis Swanson and others who went on to hold top jobs in the television industry will be among illustrious alums of Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9's newsroom from the 1960s who'll be attending a reunion Sept. 26. The main event will be a dinner at Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont. For additional information, contact Chuck Shriver at: email@example.com
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