Add Anne Kavanagh to the growing list of WFLD-Channel 32 news veterans engaged in major career makeovers: After almost 23 years as a general assignment reporter at the Fox-owned station, she's launching a full-service Chicago-based media consulting company.
Officially opening Monday, MediaPros 24/7 will offer media training, crisis management, publicity and event planning, video production, website renovations and social media. The company's slogan: "We know news. We have the contacts. We make it happen."
Kavanagh's partners in the venture are Maria Dugandzic, a former CNN international producer who previously managed the network's Chicago-based Midwest bureau, and David Viggiano, former entertainment reporter and producer at Channel 32. Working with them will be a team of current and former journalists from CNN, Fox, NBC and elsewhere.
While she remains a special contributor to Fox Chicago, Kavanagh said the startup of her own business fulfills a longtime ambition, adding:
"The media is changing and we have to change with it. Journalists have to find new ways to market their work. But the encouraging news is the need for good content is greater than ever because of the Internet. Our company is working on several projects including two documentaries that give us a chance to tell great Chicago stories."
A Chicago native and graduate of Lane Tech High School, DePaul University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism (I'm proud to say I was her newswriting instructor at Medill), Kavanagh was among the first reporters hired to launch Channel 32's news operation in 1987. She shifted to part-time status last summer.‚ She's also teaching an investigative reporting class at DePaul's College of Communications. Robservations on the media beat:
"The mood not just here in Los Angeles, but all over ABC News is dark. Friends are disappearing and few people know whether they will have a job or what their job might be at the end of this. Just as an observer, aside from my personal interest, I have never seen a corporate reorganization as drastic and immediate as this. It will have unintended consequences. They will and already have lost people they want to keep. But the amazing thing -- I just love journalists -- these people will do their jobs until they are told to leave the building."