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Bloggin' From the News Desk

Hi. You may remember me from my sporadic blog posts over the past few months. According to our records, I've hit up the blog ten times since May - seven (7) of those posts coming in June of 2008. Well folks, a lot has happened since last May. For starters, Summer. And then Fall. Then Winter, and then almost Spring again, or so I'm told. Another thing that went down was a deep re-organization among the ranks of WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. The powers that be have decided that our precious News Desk will start working more closely with the bums, er, our fine colleagues, on the web team. Meetings were held. Memos were sent. But since I get here at 5 AM to produce the morning drive, things get a bit blurry by the time the normal folks arrive to cook up these bright ideas. Anyway, I'm pretty sure industry terms (don't call them cliches) like "going forward", "changing media landscape", "synergy", "cross-platform", "integration", and "bench-mark targets" were used. In fact, I probably got an email that read "Going forward, to best address the changing media landscape, we need to employ a strategy of cross-platform synergy and integration to reach our bench-mark targets." Translation: "Get to bloggin' son, or you're gonna be out on your ass." Well, if the so-called experts are right, and this "internet" thingy is here to stay, I guess it's time for me to get on-board.
‚ ‚ Cross-Platform Synergy? ‚  My goal is to give you guys a better idea of what goes on during the day. And also to not lose my job. To that end, I'll start with a run-down of what our team is working on, since one of my daily tasks is assigning our crack reporters interesting stories to follow. You know what they say, " If you can't do, assign". At least that's what my mom says. So here's what's on the docket for today. Keep in mind, these stories might not always materialize, so please don't leave nasty comments if they don't, because my girlfriend might read them. Haven't met her? Don't worry about it. She lives in Canada. And is always busy. Really busy. And in Montana. Moving right along... Gabriel Spitzer is doing some more digging into where the Illinois stimulus bucks are heading. Yesterday, we made calls to various state agencies and got answers ranging from, "Um, let me check on that and get back to you," to "That's not our agency's responsibility." I ensured Gabe to not sweat it, and that our fine Illinois politicians would be fair, honest, and transparent when dealing with those billions of tax-payer dollars, but he instead insisted on doing "reporting" and "research". I countered with a "You think the Huffington Post is doing that? Huh, buddy," which he apparently didn't hear, because he just walked away from me without answering. I'm telling you, guys like Spitzer with their fancy-schmancy "journalism" might just ruin us all, but c'est la vie, I guess. Apparently he didn't get the memo. EDIT: New ironic link. Tony Arnold has a scoop on the 5th District Congressional race. That's the seat once held by Rahm Emannuel and before him, Rod Blagojevich. Nationally, all eyes are on the seat, but according to our sources, early voting has been pretty dismal. In fact, the number of voters who had cast ballots in suburban Cook County was in single-digits as of last night! Linda Lutton is out at the Chicago Public Schools Board meeting, where honchos are debating shutting down several public schools. Parents, activists, and teachers camped outside CPS HQ last night to protest, because nothing says "I love my school" like s'mores and ghost stories on a weeknight. {EDITOR'S NOTE: No confirmation on presence of s'mores or the telling of ghost stories.} Robert Wildeboer is seeing what Mayor Daley has to say today. Yesterday, the mayor ranted about the feds wasting their time and money on prosecuting sports stars like Mike Vick and Barry Bonds. Full disclosure: I am a huge Bonds fan. The first baseball game I ever went to, Barry hit a home run. I also am among the few people on planet earth that feels bad for Vick, and thinks he got a raw deal. That makes me evil in the eyes of many folks, but frequent 'BEZ contributor Lester Munson has a pretty good article on it for ESPN. Granted, issues like "lying to a grand jury" and "gambling" might weaken the Mayor's case, but I think the guy kind of has a point. Nonetheless, Daley is always good for a rant or two and some fun sound bytes. Ace intern Mekea Williamson is digging into the latest Illinois home sales numbers. I haven't seen the figures yet, but I'm guessing they're pretty grim. Just a hunch. I could be wrong. As for me? Well this blog post pretty much blew out my morning. Hope you think it was worth it. Drop a line to if you think there's something newsworthy for us to look into. I'll be happy to assign it to someone else. Plenty more stuff in the pipe as well, but you'll have to tune in for that or check the website. My fingers hurt. Please don't fire me.

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