‘Animal Stories’ anchor team promotes pet project

Robservations on the media beat:

  • Chicago radio legends Larry Lujack and Tommy Edwards will make a rare personal appearance together in Springfield next week. Sponsored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association, the two will headline the annual conference of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Before more than 1,100 attendees September 5, Uncle Lar and Lil' Tommy will discuss their work with the IBA in reviving their Animal Stories partnership for a series of radio announcements promoting pet safety and emergency preparedness. (Their Animal Stories for IEMA announcements can be found at Ready.Illinois.Gov.) Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of Lujack’s retirement from WLS-AM (890). The now classic Animal Stories bit began in the early ’70s as an outgrowth of Lujack’s morning farm reports on WLS.

  • If Chicago’s most liberal and most conservative talk stations can get together, maybe there’s hope for all of us. With all eyes on the 8th District congressional race, Newsweb progressive talk WCPT-AM (820) and Salem conservative talk WIND-AM (560) will jointly sponsor and simulcast a debate October 9 between Republican Joe Walsh and Democrat Tammy Duckworth. Roosevelt University professor Paul Green will moderate the debate, with questions from WCPT’s Dick Kay and WIND’s Steve Cochran. Starting at 7pm, the event will be at the Meadows Clubs in northwest suburban Rolling Meadows. (WCPT also airs on 92.7 FM in the north, 92.5 FM in the west and 99.9 FM in the south.)

  • Archivists from the Museum of Broadcast Communications Monday removed the final 8,000 program tapes and a massive collection of broadcast memorabilia and artifacts from the basement of the Chicago Cultural Center, which had been the museum’s home from 1992 to 2003. The complete collection of 85,000 hours of programming is now under one roof at 360 North State Street, according to Bruce DuMont, founder and president of the museum. Daily screenings of classic television shows are expected to start after Labor Day in the museum’s Comcast-NBC Universal Center.

  • Sun-Times Media announced a three-year deal with the CTA Monday to provide Chicago Public School students free rides on CTA buses and trains on the first day of school. This year it’s September 4. The sponsorship deal includes promotional trade elements, encompassing print, online and transit advertising.

  • Recommended listening: It was a pleasure to come across TheJazzGroove.com, a commercial-free Internet radio station that plays straight ahead jazz. “When you listen to The Jazz Groove you’re bathed in a transcendental and hypnotic blend of music unlike anything you’ve ever experienced,” it boasts. The listener-supported enterprise is the dream station of radio veteran Paul Goldstein, former vice president of programming at the late smooth jazz WNUA-FM (95.5). (He most recently programmed The Wave, the seminal Los Angeles station he co-founded in 1986.) Calling his new venture “a huge success,” Goldstein says The Jazz Groove has exceeded 70,000 listeners in less than a year.

  • Recommended reading: In case you missed the original hardcover edition, now is your chance to catch up with the just-released paperback of The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Street Plundered Great American Newspapers. It’s former Tribune managing editor Jim O’Shea’s riveting, insider account of the doomed merger with the Los Angeles Times and the collapse of Tribune Co. under Sam Zell. As the once-great media company finally emerges from one of the longest bankruptcies on record, O’Shea’s cautionary tale is more timely than ever.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)