Robservations on the media beat:
- Bruce Wolf, the veteran Chicago broadcaster and erstwhile contributor to this humble blog, has been filling in on stations all over town while seeking a regular gig. Now it looks like he has one: Starting this weekend, he’ll be spewing his right-wing venom — excuse me, discussing issues — with co-host Dan Proft from noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays on Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890). Also new to the station’s lineup will be CNBC’s Lawrence Kudlow, who replaces Bob Brinker’s “Money Talk” from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturdays. (Brinker continues from 3 to 6 p.m. Sundays.) Never at a loss for words, Wolf said of his new role:
“I hope to make enough money from this weekend gig to buy the stations of my alma mater, Emmis Communications, which I recently read on Vocalo.org are for sale. This market needs‚ FM sports talk and‚ news talk. So‚ I would then do my own sports talk show on the Loop and political talk show‚ on WKQX at the same time (with some imaginative editing and staggering of commercials). Why would I do it? Because I can.”
- One of the all-time greatest pieces of Chicago comedy business has just been posted on YouTube. It’s the famous “Chicago Language Tape,” a politically incorrect but hilarious recitation of local street names, performed by humorist and radio dramatist Yuri Rasovsky. It first aired in 1972 on “The Midnight Special” over fine arts/classical station WFMT-FM (98.7). Now it’s also been set to video. (Here is the link.)
- Dean Richards, the tireless entertainment reporter and critic for WGN-Channel 9, Sunday morning host for news/talk WGN-AM (720) and online show-biz news maven, is still living up to his title (once bestowed by the New York Times) as the “Tribune Company’s Man of Many Hats.” Starting this weekend, he’s adding another hat: Richards will be writing a weekly column for the Sunday Tribune.
- Chicago Current, which bills itself as “Chicago’s Place for Politics,” just added a new opinion section. For openers, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, and State Senator Kirk Dillard, a Republican, debated the impact of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s trial on Illinois politics. (Here is the link.) The Current appears online and in a monthly print edition. Editor Geoff Dougherty said of the new addition:
“Most opinion sections offer very little in terms of revealing and valuable observations. Our readers are entrenched in the daily grind of politics, and by inviting elected officials to contribute, we offer readers unique points of view they won’t find anywhere else.”
- Drew Hayes spent Tuesday in Washington, D.C., settling into his second job and meeting his new staff. Just four months after he joined WLS as operations director, he’s been given additional duties overseeing programming at Citadel news/talk sister station WMAL-AM. Hayes said he expects to spend several days each month in D.C. “It’s a great town to do talk radio in,” he added.
- Believe it or not, a 47-year-old movie about a flock of feathered fiends — hosted by a man in a top hat and heavy eye makeup — turned out to be the top-rated program in prime time on a recent Saturday night. OK, the movie happened to be an HD presentation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “The Birds,” and the man in the makeup was Chicago’s beloved “Svengoolie,” Rich Koz. (The May 1 airing from 7 to 10 p.m. was No. 1 among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.) Hoping to clean up in the ratings again, Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26 will rerun “The Birds” on “Svengoolie” at 9 p.m. this Saturday.