Election night webcast to bring Tribune newsroom alive

Robservations on the media beat:

  • Ever wonder what journalists talk about when they’re watching other journalists covering a presidential election night? On Tuesday night, we’ll find out: Four Chicago Tribune luminaries — Rick Kogan, Phil Rosenthal, Jenniffer Weigel and Kristen McQueary — will host Election Watch 2012: Lively Coverage of the Live Coverage from the Tribune Newsroom, streaming online from 7 to 11pm. In addition to discussing the night’s events together, they’ll split off to moderate panels on such topics as local television news (with former anchors Joel Daly, Linda MacLennan and Joan Esposito), radio (with Clifford Kelley, Bill Leff and Robert Channick), and politics as theater (with Chris Jones, Michael Phillips and Nina Metz). Eric Zorn will weigh in after 10pm. “We’re not trying to pull people away from the networks,” said Jim Wiser, executive producer of video programming for chicagotribune.com. “We want to be in their laps — on their laptop or on their tablet. So they’ll be looking down at us while they’re watching the big cats fight it out.” On Wednesday, Kogan, Rosenthal, Weigel and McQueary will return for an election recap, streaming online from 10 to 11am. They’ll be joined by documentary producer Ken Burns.

  • Another election-night first will originate from Public House Tavern, 400 North State Street, and stream live on nbcchicago.com. In partnership with Google and Capitol Fax, the webcast will be hosted by NBC 5’s Marcus Riley and Capitol Fax editor and publisher Rich Miller. Participants will include Mick Dumke from the Reader, Jen Sabella from DNAInfo.com, and Brad Spirrison from Appolicious.com. The panel will take questions from the nbcchicago.com social media audience.

  • It could be down to the wire for midday personality Trish Biondo after more than 25 years at CBS Radio country WUSN-FM (99.5). Talks are continuing, but sources say the station has chosen not to pick up Biondo’s contract option. If a new agreement isn’t reached, she could be out before the end of the year. At issue is program director Jeff Kapugi’s insistence that Biondo broadcast from US99’s studios each day. (She has been broadcasting from home three days a week.) In the latest Arbitron Portable People Meter survey, Biondo’s midday show ranks eighth among adults between 25 and 54 with a 3.5 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 300,500.

  • Next March 28th will be a red-letter day for fans of John Records Landecker. It will mark not only the Chicago radio legend’s 66th birthday but the publication of his new memoir, Records Truly Is My Middle Name. Written by Landecker with longtime producer Rick Kaempfer, it’ll be published by Kampfer’s Eckhartz Press. “I worked with the guy every single day for 10 years, and never heard some of these stories he tells in this book,” Kaempfer says. Among colleagues and pals who contributed additional stories about the great man are Bob Sirott, Jonathon Brandmeier, John Gehron, Joey Reynolds, Jan Jeffries, Catherine Johns, Eric Ferguson, Bill Zehme, Kevin Matthews and Don Wade. Forty years after he first conquered nighttime radio in Chicago, Landecker is still going strong — from 6 to 11pm weekdays on Cumulus Media classic hits WLS-FM (94.7).

  • Veteran Chicago media and public relations executive Joanie Bayhack has been named director of communications and development for CASA Lake County, a nonprofit volunteer organization that advocates for abused and neglected children. Bayhack most recently was senior vice president for communications and corporate partnerships at Window to the World Communications, parent company of WTTW-Channel 11 and classical WFMT-FM (98.7). At CASA (which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates) she had been a volunteer for two children. “As part of the staff, I am totally committed to using my skills and experience to increase our number of volunteers and raising the necessary funds to sustain these valuable services in protecting our children,” she said in a statement. Before joining WTTW in 1996, Bayhack worked for Hyatt Hotels Corp., Aaron D. Cushman & Associates, CBS 2 and Playboy Enterprises.

  • In a piece recapping the latest management changes at Chicago television stations, Lynne Marek of Crain’s Chicago Business reports that WFLD-Channel 32 is abandoning its “Fox Chicago” moniker and rebranding itself “Fox 32” — the name it used 20 years ago. Considering the irrelevance of the station’s UHF channel position in today’s digital world, it seems like a backward move. No doubt the reason for the change is to bring Chicago’s branding in line with the other Fox-owned outlets. “We’ve constantly got to change, and maybe our industry has been a little slow on that,” general manager Mike Renda told Marek. You think?

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)