Robservations on the media beat:
- Joe Ahern, the former Chicago television executive who landed a job in the restaurant business, has scored a media coup for his new employer: As president of Alex Dana’s Rosebud Restaurants, Ahern is bringing “The Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch” to the chain’s eatery in the Loop. A signature program of former smooth jazz station WNUA-FM (95.5), it’s being revived by Venture Technologies Group’s smooth jazz WLFM-FM (87.7). Starting April 25, the show will air live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays from Rosebud Prime, 1 S. Dearborn. (A big fan of the original show, Ahern was president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 from 1985 to 1997, and CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 from 2002 to 2008.) Rick O’Dell, program director and midday personality at WLFM, will host the program, as he did for 13 years at WNUA. Said O’Dell:
“We couldn’t have come up with a better scenario for the return of ‘The Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch.’ The quality and tradition of the Rosebud Restaurants combined with the music of our show — it’ll be a unique Sunday morning experience, whether you’re dining at Rosebud Prime or listening at home.”
- Alberto Mier y Teran has been named vice president and general manager of Univision WGBO-Channel 66 and TeleFutura WXFT-Channel 60, effective April 26. He most recently held the same position at Entravision Communications’ Spanish-language KBNT-TV and KDTF-TV in San Diego. At the Chicago combo, he succeeds Vincent Cordero, who resigned after five years last January.
- When Antwan Lewis signed off last month after three years as a reporter at Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9, he refused to divulge his new employer. Now it can be told: He’s landed at Fox-owned WNYW-TV in New York, where he debuts on the air Monday.
- Fresh from her trip this week to Haiti, Katie Couric will anchor “The CBS Evening News” from the studios of WBBM-Channel 2 Friday. She’ll be in town to headline a Business Newsmakers lunch in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, sponsored by CBS-owned all-news WBBM-AM (780). Moderating the event will be Felicia Middlebrooks, morning news anchor at Newsradio 780.
- Family and friends of Wally Phillips gathered Tuesday to remember the life and legacy of the late Chicago radio personality as an unparalleled broadcaster and a warm-hearted and generous spirit. The longtime king of morning drive died in 2008 after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Hosted by Phillips’ son-in-law, Nick Tzitzon, the benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter featured touching tributes from Bill Kurtis, Michael Sneed, John McDonough and Ald. Ed Burke. Among colleagues on hand at the Metropolitan Club luncheon were Roy Leonard, Max Armstrong, Bruce DuMont and Tom Langmyer.
- Bonneville International hot adult-contemporary WTMX-FM (101.9) was the only Chicago recipient of a Crystal Radio Award among 10 winner announced Tuesday. Presented by the National Association of Broadcasters, the awards honor outstanding commitment to community service. Bonneville stations took home four of the 10 awards nationwide.
- Mary Field, executive producer of WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” and Phil Kadner, veteran columnist for the SouthtownStar, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Chicago Headline Club. They’ll be presented at the 33rd‚ annual Peter Lisagor Awards dinner April 23 at the Union League Club of Chicago. (Here is the link for ticket information.)
- Paul Beavers, who was an award-winning news director at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 from 1978 to 1984, died Saturday at his home in Reno, Nev., after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He joined Channel 5 as executive producer in 1975 after seven years with NBC in Los Angeles. Mr. Beavers was 70.