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Chicago

Former WFLD Anchor Anna Davlantes Returns, on the Radio

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 9.52.36 AMAnna Davlantes, who left Fox-owned WFLD in Chicago last October, is joining the radio news team at Chicago’s WGN AM. As the Chicago Tribune reports, the station is beefing up its staff to compete with rival news station WBBM:

Davlantes talked about the new role with Chicago media reporter Robert Feder:

“They understand that I have contacts and sources in the community, and I’m going to use those to try to uncover the stories that people aren’t covering,” Davlantes says. “They’re playing to my strengths.”

After leaving Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 in October 2013, Davlantes fielded offers for television jobs, but all were out of town. “I made the decision to stay in Chicago,” she says.

Horrors! Could Local Emmy Awards Really Be ‘Little More Than a Moneymaking Enterprise’?

Jeff-Hoover-2006-1024x677Sure, those statues are lovely to look at, and the phrase “Emmy Award winning…” does roll off the tongue, doesn’t it? But Jeff Hoover, producer at Chicago CW affiliate WGN, has had enough. “I’m done. No more. That’s it,” he writes on Facebook.

Hoover, an Emmy winner, concluded the categories are bizarre, the costs are high, and the significance of the award is questionable. And Chicago media writer Robert Feder clearly agrees, giving the illustrious “Academy” one of the strongest body checks in recent memory:

Local Emmy Awards have always been an exercise in self-congratulations, to be sure, but somewhere along the way they lost their luster — and their relevance.

Today they’re little more than a moneymaking enterprise for the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which rakes in thousands in membership fees, entry fees, dinner ticket fees, program book fees and additional statuette fees under the dubious claim of recognizing “excellence in our industry.”

It’s nice to win one, I suppose, but don’t forget that Larry Mendte won 27 during just four years in Chicago. (Altogether he claims to have 90 regional Emmys.)

Zing! Do you still enter the Emmypalooza every year? Is it truly all about honoring excellence, or more of a wine-soaked and high-priced back-slapping party?

After 66 Years, Could the Chicago Cubs Break Up With WGN?

Picture 2Few relationships in local television have been as enduring as that of the Chicago Cubs and WGN, Chicago’s CW affiliate. WGN aired its first regular season Cubs game back in 1948, and the two iconic Chicago brands have been together ever since. But now, there’s talk this weekend’s games on WGN could be the last, as the Chicago Tribune reports:

With one week left in the season, and its expiring agreement with WGN-Ch. 9, the team has yet to announce broadcast plans for 2015 and beyond. Sources say the Cubs are exploring everything from a private equity partnership to a new regional sports network, but a long-term deal may not be imminent.

History aside, the finances had not been happy for the partnership of WGN and the Cubs, with TV viewership way down–the station losing an estimated $200,000 per game, according to the Tribune.

‘Trailblazer’ Theresa Gutierrez to Retire at WLS

Theresa-GutierrezABC-owned WLS in Chicago announced Tuesday reporter Theresa Gutierrez will retire after 42 years. Gutierrez joined the station as a production assistant in 1972, and became a general assignment reporter in 1986, earning respect and honors in the years since:

Gutierrez was one of the first Hispanic women to break into television journalism. Gutierrez along with Barbara Walters, Connie Chung, Christiane Amanpour, and Jane Pauley were featured on the cover of the educational book, Women Who Broke Barriers: The New Face of TV News. The book was distributed to schools throughout the world. She was also featured in a book produced by the Museum of Broadcast Communications entitled Chicago Television.

According to John Idler, President and General Manager, “The word trailblazer defines Theresa Gutierrez. She broke ground in Chicago television as one of the first Hispanic woman to serve in both a producer and on-air role. She brought a tremendous amount of passion to her work and a commitment to the community that has never wavered in more than four decades. We thank Theresa for her countless contributions and wish her nothing but the best.”

‘Nobody f#@king Likes You,’ WGN Tries the Anti-News Promo

After celebrating “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” on Friday, Chicago CW affiliate WGN seems to be attempting to launch “International Talk Like a Sailor Day.”

After this morning’s “Viewer Feedback” segment, where viewers continued to vent on facebook about about Paul Konrad calling dolphins “a-holes,” the anchor team tossed to a promo they made seemingly without the help of the station’s creative services team.

Saying his anchor team “sucks the happy out of happy talk,” anchor Larry Potash read some thoughts from WGN viewers. “F#@k you,” wrote viewer Anish Kapoor. “You guys suck in the morning. Nobody watches WGN.”

[FTVLive]

WGN’s Robert Jordan Named ‘Journalist in Residence’ at University of Chicago

Robert-JordanRobert Jordan, the veteran news anchor and reporter at Chicago CW affilate WGN, has been named the first journalist-in-residence at the University of Chicago’s Careers in Journalism, Arts, and Media program, reports Chicago media reporter Robert Feder:

While continuing his full-time anchoring and reporting duties for the Tribune Media station, Jordan will spend much of the fall quarter on campus, where he’ll conduct a series of workshops, lead panels with other Chicago producers, editors and news directors, and meet with students who hope to pursue journalism and media careers. He also plans to work with staffers on the Chicago Maroon, the university’s student newspaper.

WGN Celebrates ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’ Just Like it Always Does

We turn our spyglass this morning to Chicago CW affiliate WGN. Every year the Tribune owned station celebrates September 19 with a visit from Long John Johnny Johnson. For those landlubbers among us, September 19 is also known as “International Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

This morning’s pun filled segment featured, who we’ve been told is, morning producer Jeff Hoover doing his best pirate schtick. After a nod to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Hoover left because, as he said, “There’s a big sale at the farmer’s market. All the corn is a buck an ear.”

In case you want to see how far the bit has come, click here to see Hoover in 2012.

Katie Kim Leaving KRQE for Chicago’s WMAQ

Picture 4Reporter Katie Kim will join NBC-owned WMAQ in Chicago next month, reports Chicago media reporter Robert Feder.

Kim heads to Chicago from CBS affiliate KRQE in Albuquerque, where she’s been a “special assignment” and investigative reporter since 2010:

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to live and work in such an amazing city!” Kim posted on Facebook, as she moves up from the No. 47 market to No. 3. On Twitter, she wrote: “After 4 incredible yrs in NM, I’m leaving humbled & grateful for a new job in Chicago. I’ll cherish my time here. Thank you for your trust.”

WFLD’s Alexa Helms Reportedly Pulled Off Anchor Desk After Three Months

Alexa-HelmsAnchor Alexa Helms has been moved off the anchor desk at Chicago Fox-owned station WFLD after just three months, reports media writer Robert Feder, citing station insiders.

Until a permanent replacement is named, Lisa Chavarria, Melody Mendez and Tisha Lewis will rotate filling in on Fox 32’s Saturday and Sunday newscasts alongside Larry Yellen.

It would be unconscionably cruel to recount the multitude of mistakes Helms made during her brief tenure as anchor. She clearly lacked the performance skills, journalistic experience or knowledge of current events to handle the job when Fox 32 news director Tom Doerr brought on the Dallas native and 2009 graduate of the University of Oklahoma.

Helms, a former intern at the station, arrived from Fox affiliate WSVN in Miami.

The Start of a Trend? WFLD Said to Be Launching Fast-Paced News Show at 4:00 p.m.

wfld32Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports FOX owned station WFLD is launching a new style news show at 4:00 p.m.

Tipsters tell TVSpy, the show, will be called Chicago Rush Hour and will be anchored by Jeff Herndon and Dawn Hasbrouck. We hear it will be a fast-paced news show with conversational elements. A debut date has not been set.

This comes on the heels of Scripps owned stations launching shows with a similar description based around the title the NOW. 

the Now has launched or will soon launch in Denver (KMGH), Cincinnati (WCPO), Detroit (WXYZ), Kansas City (KSHB), Phoenix (KNXV), Tampa (WFTS), West Palm Beach (WPTV) and Cleveland (WEWS). Scripps says the NOW’s “upbeat, fast-paced style brings viewers nonstop weather coverage and the very latest on developing stories from the studio and in the streets.”

San Francisco CBS owned station KPIX recently launched a similar show on its CW affiliate KBCW. That show is aimed at a younger audience and features traditional news and reports on what’s trending in social media.

There’s no word if FOX is planning on rolling the new format on its other owned stations.

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