Robservations on the media beat:
- It didn’t have quite the impact of Conan O’Brien’s farewell, but with strains of Jim Morrison’s “This Is the End, My Only Friend” playing them out, Roseanne Tellez and Ed Curran signed off Friday from WBBM-Channel 2’s little-watched‚ morning show.
Don Schwenneker and Roseanne Tellez
The CBS-owned station stalwarts graciously plugged Monday’s debut of “Monsters and Money in the Morning,” the new gabfest starring Mike North, Dan Jiggetts, Terry Savage and Mike Hegedus, from 5 to 7 a.m. weekdays. Already gone before Friday’s low-key finale was Don Schwenneker, the weatherman-turned-anchorman, who tweeted earlier in the week that he’s “thankful for his time on the CBS2 morning show and for working alongside one of the best anchors in the country. Now back to weather …" He returns to weekend weather duties Sunday.
- Eric Ferguson, top-rated morning personality at Bonneville International hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9), was back on the Mix Friday morning — and mixing it up with partner Kathy Hart and newsman Mark Suppelsa — after three days in the hospital for treatment of an irregular heart rhythm. All’s well now, he cheerfully reports: “No worries — they fixed it and I feel better!”
- Michael LaCrosse, program director of oldies WLS-FM (94.7), was promoted Friday to operations director of the Citadel Broadcasting station. In his new role, he’ll work closely with Drew Hayes, incoming operations director of news/talk sister station WLS-AM (890). LaCrosse, who previously was assistant program director/music director at Clear Channel Radio’s former smooth jazz WNUA, has headed programming at the “True Oldies” station since December 2006.
- No baloney: Mancow Muller, once a prime target of FCC indecency enforcement, credits tough economic times for inspiring shock jocks to clean up their acts. “I think I’ve moved on,” the WLS-AM midday host told Inside Radio. “With an economy that’s tanked, I just think people throwing baloney on naked women is not that fun right now.”
- It’s hardly a surprise, but the all-Christmas music format tripled the ratings in December for Clear Channel Radio adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9). Arbitron figures released this week show “The Holiday Lite” jumping from a tie for 11th‚ place with a 3.2 percent share to first place with a 10.1 share during the four-week period from Dec. 10 to Jan. 6.
- Did anyone else notice something oddly coincidental in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court ruling Wednesday on the $45.6 million in bonuses for Tribune Co. managers? The number of designated recipients is 720 — which matches the frequency of Tribune radio flagship WGN-AM (720). How’s that for symmetry?
- Jim Tyree, the Mesirow CEO who rode to the rescue of the Chicago Sun-Times and saved it from liquidation, will kick off the 2010 “Breakfast with the Experts” series Wednesday at Saint Xavier University. He’ll talk business and take questions for an hour. Sponsored by the university and the Beverly Area Planning Association, the event starts at 8 a.m. in the Warde Academic Center, 3700 W. 103rd St. Tickets are available at BAPA.org or by calling (773) 233-3100.
- “Newer, hotter gospel artists” are in as Clear Channel Radio unveils a revamped format for WGRB-AM (1390). But it’ll still take a miracle to boost the ratings: The “Music of Power and Praise” station is languishing in 33rd‚ place with an unholy 0.7 share.
- Lacy J. Banks, the veteran Sun-Times sportswriter who’s been chronicling his courageous battle with three life-threatening illnesses, is the subject of a Black History Month special on Comcast SportsNet’s “SportsNite.” The update on Banks’ condition and progress will air at 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 8.
- A note to readers: With the launch this week of these occasional “Robservations” updates — and with news liable to break out at any time on this site — it’s a good idea to sign up for free email alerts. Just click on the “Email Updates” link at the right and follow the simple directions. You’ll be notified whenever there’s a new post here.