Robberies in the media:
Recall Amy Freeze? From 2007 to 2011, the aptly named weather forecast gained a large following on Fox’s own WFLD Channel 32, where she was the first female chief meteorologist on Chicago TV. She has just been hired to host Fox Weather, a new 24/7 advertiser-assisted video-on-demand streaming weather service due to launch on October 25th. (Here’s the link.) Freeze signed off on Sunday after 10 years as a weekend meteorologist at WABC, the ABC-owned station in New York. Prior to joining Fox 32, Freeze worked in Philadelphia, Denver and Portland, Oregon. A native of Provo, Utah, is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Another chief meteorologist is on the way Albert Ramon, who is exiting NewsNation, Nexstar Media’s Chicago-based cable news broadcaster. After the newsreader left Rob Nelson, Ramon is the second of four original on-air employees to step down in the past few weeks. Prior to joining NewsNation in 2020, the native Texan worked at KVUE, the CBS subsidiary in Austin, and KZTV, the CBS subsidiary in Corpus Christi. At the time of his hiring, Ramon was billed as “the only Latino chief meteorologist on national television”. NewsNation officials declined to comment on Ramon’s departure. Not a word yet about a successor.
actor David Arquette acquired ownership of the character of Bozo the Clown from Larry Harmon Pictures. Harmon, who died in 2008, bought the licensing rights from Capitol Records in 1956. Arquette plans to open an Empire Circus festival in New York, which will feature a self-voting experience with Bozo. “Bozo stands for a world of love, light and laughter. Something we can all use more of now, ”Arquette said in a statement. “There’s a bozo in each of us, and when we let our bozo out, the world becomes a brighter place.” In Chicago, the popular “Bozo’s Circus” ran on WGN Channel 9 (now owned by Nexstar Media) for 40 years, where it became the most popular and successful locally produced children’s show in television history, according to WGN Dean Richards. The show was canceled in 2001, but the station continues to show Bozo as a goodwill ambassador at parades and special events.
Regional Emmy Award nominations were announced online this week by the Chicago / Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. (Here’s the link.) One notable candidate is Countdown Chicago 2021, the New Year’s Eve show on ABC’s WLS Channel 7 in the special event coverage category. Perennial hosts Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco were cut from ABC 7 earlier this year. The virtual 63rd annual Chicago / Midwest Emmy Awards ceremony is tentatively scheduled for November 20th.
In addition to high school football and basketball, Weigel Broadcasting is now expanding its partnership with the Chicago Public Schools to include football coverage. The city’s championship soccer game will be broadcast live from Lane Tech College Prep High School on WMEU channel 48.1 and WCIU channel 26.2 this coming Thursday at 7 p.m. Also on Weigel’s “game of the week” look for the former Chicago Bear Emery Moorehead show up with Jim Blaney, Jack McInerney and Kenny McReynolds at the booth for the public soccer game Simeon vs. Morgan Park on Saturday at 1 p.m. executive producer Fred Weintraub Moorehead says “the kind of expert analysis of what high school students need to do to be successful in the field and what to focus on in college”.
Mark Caro, Former Chicago Tribune entertainment reporter just launched Caropop, a new podcast and website with in-depth conversations with creatives. (Here’s the link.) The opener is an interview with Caro’s favorite guitarist, singer-songwriter, Richard Thomson. Future topics published every Thursday include: Bruce Thomas, estranged bassist from Elvis Costello and the attractions; Kathy Valentin, Bass player of the go-gos; Lonnie Jordan, Singer-songwriter-keyboardist for War; and Riccardo Muti, Conductor and Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. “The site also has articles in the form of columns, featured plays, reflections on the music I love, blog articles, and all sorts of things,” added Caro.
Former sports writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune Fred Mitchell was among the speakers on Monday at a celebration of life for Gale Sayers, the former Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back in Nappanee, Indiana. Sayers died on September 23, 2020 after battling dementia, but service was delayed by COVID-19 restrictions. Mitchell, who wrote the 2007 biography Gale Sayers: My life and my times now teaches journalism as an associate professor at DePaul University. “I was humble when his widow Ardie asked me to speak,” he wrote on social media. Condolences were also read out from the Mayor of Chicago Lori Leichtfuß and director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame David Baker.
Mike Kasper, former afternoon personality at Audacy Country WUSN 99.5-FM, has landed as program director and afternoon presenter at WPGB, the iHeartMedia country broadcaster in Pittsburgh. Kasper was among dozens of employees laid off in April in a mass layoff at Audacy Chicago wards (then branded Entercom Chicago). Kasper, who bears his last name on the show, began his career in his home in Youngstown, Ohio. He joined US 99 from Richmond, Virginia in 2016, where he was the afternoon host, assistant program director, and music director at WRVQ.
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