Published on Sunday, 22 July 2012 14:36
This weekend's News & Notes looks at eleven local media stories, including: Abdon Pallasch exits the Sun-Times; Tamara Bell is fired from the Pioneer Press; Paul McGrath passes away; Richard Steele celebrates an anniversary; Start 105.5 adds Frank Monroe and promotes Molly J; Hubbard Radio's three Chicago stations join TuneIn; Harvey Wittenberg re-writes the book on the Blackhawks; Ken Zurski/Grant Parke writes a new historical book; WBBM-AM holds another Newsmaker conference; Herb Kent talks at an AARP event; and Acid Flashback Radio flashes back even more. Read more about it all just below...
* * In addition to Stella Foster announcing her retirement
on Friday, another prominent Sun-Times staffer also announced his exit from the newspaper on Friday. Abdon Pallasch, the Sun-Times' award-winning political reporter, was asked by IL Governor Quinn to become the state's new Assistant Budget Director. After two dozen years as a journalist, Pallasch will now spend his time looking for ways to trim fat and waste from the Illinois state budget. He had been a political reporter with the Sun-Times since 1999.
* * Another Sun-Times staffer exited last week, only not voluntarily. Photographer Tamara Bell was released last week from her job with Sun-Times Media's Pioneer Press newspapers after it was found that she been using false names and quotes in the Pioneer Press' "Question of the Week" photo essays. After a reader complained and questioned the authenticity, Bell supposedly admitted to many of the fake quotes and the names attached to them. The falsified photo essays appeared in at least eight suburban weeklies over the course of this year. Bell had been with the company since 2000.
* * Paul McGrath -- the former photographer/reporter/investigative reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the City News Bureau of Chicago, and Chicago Magazine -- passed away at the age of 75 from an aortic aneurysm last week. McGrath may be best remembered for his second career within Chicago politics, that of Mayor Jane Byrne's Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor from 1979-1983. For his third career, Paul McGrath became a professor, teaching journalism -- specifically writing and reporting -- for Northwestern University and Columbia College. He later left that career to focus solely on his his first love, photography.
* * Chicago Public Media celebrated Richard Steele's 25th anniversary with the station this past Wednesday night with a party in his honor at their Navy Pier radio studios. However, "The Real Steele" has been working in radio & television for 45 years, with 42 of those years here in Chicago. This includes stops at such stations as WVAZ-FM, WGCI-FM, WGCI-AM, WBMX-FM, WVON-AM, WGRT-AM, and WJPC-AM. On television, he has been a frequent contributor to both WTTW-TV and WCIU-TV. Steele is heard regularly now on WBEW-FM/Vocalo's "The Barber Shop Show" as co-host, and as a regular contributor to WBEZ-FM programming, including "Eight Forty-Eight."
* * WZSR-FM/Star 105.5 in the far northwest suburbs has been searching for a new weekday radio host since last April, when Lisa Allen accepted a full-time position
with WILV-FM. As of this month, they found their person in Frank Monroe. Instead of taking Lisa Allen's afternoon shift, Monroe moved into the station's midday shift, while longtime midday host Molly J has moved into the afternoon drive spot. In addition to being a midday DJ, Frank Monroe has also taken over as Production Director for WZSR-FM and sister-station WWYW-FM/Y103.9. Monroe comes to the Crystal Lake radio station from Des Moines, IA, where he worked at one of the Clear Channel-owned radio stations there, the same cluster of stations that current WZSR-FM/WWYW-FM Operations Manager/Program Director Ryan Wild came from back in 2009.
* * Hubbard Radio announced this past week that it has entered into an agreement with TuneIn to allow the service to stream all 21 of its radio stations, including Chicago's WDRV-FM, WTMX-FM and WILV-FM. TuneIn is a free radio app that offers over 60,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio station streams, as well as over two million on-demand programs. The TuneIn mobile app is among the most popular radio apps on the planet, ranked in the top five in the App Store's Music category, across 82 countries and territories. The app reaches 30 million monthly active listeners in over 230 countries worldwide.
* * Harvey Wittenberg was the public address announcer for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1961-2002. As a sports journalist, Wittenberg has been covering the Blackhawks since 1959. He currently is senior account manager for Hubbard Radio's WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM, working with the Chicago Blackhawks and more. This summer, Wittenberg released his newest book, "Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks Locker Room: A Collection of the Greatest Blackhawks Stories Ever Told
." The book looks at some of the greatest moments in Blackhawks history from an insider's perspective. This release is a vastly updated version of his 2003 book, "Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks: A Collection of the Greatest Blackhawks Stories Ever Told
," now including stories from the team's 2010 Stanley Cup run. The new & improved 224 page hardback book retails for $19.95 and also features a forward by WLS-AM host and longtime Chicago sports talker, Bruce Wolf.
* * Ken Zurski, the former WMAQ-AM, WBBM-AM, and WLS-AM news & traffic reporter has also written a new book. (Zurski may be best remembered for his years on WLS-AM, where he went by the radio name of "Grant Parke.") His new book is entitled "The Wreck of the Columbia
" and subtitled "A Broken Boat, a Town's Sorrow & the End of the Steamboat Era on the Illinois River." Zurski's book tells the true story of the steamboat Columbia, which sank in the Illinois River in July 1918, killing 87 people and becoming the worst maritime accident in the river's history. The 436 page book is published by Chicagoland-based Amika Press
and retails for $16.95.
* * WBBM-AM/Newsradio 780 (simulcast on WCFS-FM) is sponsoring another of its "Newsmakers Series" conferences this coming Tuesday. This latest one is entitled "The Business of Entertainment." Featured speakers will be actor Jeffrey Tambor, "Boss" Executive Producer/Showrunner Dee Johnson, Managing Director of the Illinois Film Office Betsy Steinberg, and Director of the Chicago Film Office Rich Moskal. The event begins at 5:30pm Tuesday at the House of Blues (329 North Dearborn, Chicago). Tickets to attend are $25 and available online HERE
* * WVAZ-FM's Herb Kent will be speaking at an AARP event, discussing the latest news about the future of Social Security and Medicare. The event will be taking place this Wednesday, July 25th from 2:00pm-3:00pm, and held at Chicago State University's Cordell Reed Student Union (9501 S. King Dr., Chicago). To reserve one of the very limited seats to this event, call 877-926-8300.
* * Acid Flashback Radio
, the Chicago-based streaming Internet-only radio station heard on SRN Broadcasting's Internet.FM, is now airing two long form programs on Fridays. At 6:00pm, "Psychedelic Time Warp," a two-hour show produced by SRN's Steve Leventhal and now hosted by WBBM-AM's Bart Shore airs, followed at 8:00pm by "Air Candy," produced and hosted by former WCBR-FM personality Tom Wilson. Both shows can also be heard on Zecom Radio's The Choice