Exec editor exits Pioneer Press after six months

Robservations on the media beat:

  • On the job barely six months, Jason Schaumburg resigned this week as executive editor of Pioneer Press. The move leaves the chain of 32 suburban weeklies, owned by Sun-Times Media, without a publisher or a top editor. Chris Krug, who’d been publisher since February, announced his resignation last month. Jim Kirk, editor-in-chief of Sun-Times Media, said Schaumburg cited personal reasons for quitting. “I wanted him to stay and asked him to stay,” Kirk said, adding: “I wish him well.” The chain has been plagued by production problems since it unveiled a costly and cumbersome redesign in August. Before joining Pioneer Press in June, Schaumburg was senior editor of Shaw Media’s suburban division, where he previously worked with Krug. With Sun-Times Media closing all of its suburban newsrooms, Kirk said Pioneer Press may be restructured without filling either vacant position.

  • In case WGN-AM (720) hadn’t done enough to anger its audience with the abrupt dismissal of living legend Milt Rosenberg after 39 years (and the loss of 15-year veteran John Williams), the Tribune Co.-owned news/talk station pulled another inexplicable stunt this week: It unveiled a new modular website that no longer allows listeners to download podcasts of popular programs. Most galling is that Rosenberg’s entire archive of Extension 720 programs is missing from WGN’s redesigned digital platform. Does anybody at that place have a clue?

  • Rick O’Dell will take smooth jazz fans down memory lane with 100 Hours of Christmas Favorites, starting at 6pm Friday on SmoothJazzChicago.net, his new 24/7 streaming digital station. O’Dell will feature selections from the original ’80s and ’90s playlists of Chicago’s former smooth jazz station, WNUA-FM (95.5), along with newer holiday recordings. It will air through the wee hours of Wednesday. “At WNUA, listeners told us our annual Christmas special was one of the best shows we did year after year,” O’Dell recalled. “In fact, for several years Channels 32 and 26 aired a slowly burning Yule log all day on Christmas, and they chose to feature WNUA’s holiday music special as the soundtrack. That’s how perfect our holiday music mix was back in the day.”

  • Joel Weisman hosts a special year-end edition of Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review with Mary Mitchell of the Sun-Times, Kristen McQueary of the Tribune, Tom Corfman of Crain’s Chicago Business, and Lester Munson of ESPN. It airs at 7pm Friday on Window to the World Communications’ WTTW-Channel 11.

  • The curtain just went up on dozens of Internet channels devoted solely to the music of Broadway, courtesy of AccuRadio.com, the Chicago-based webscaster. Billed as Broadway.fm, it’s being programmed by Linda Waldman, veteran radio consultant and former director of advertising and promotion at WLS-AM (890) and WLS-FM (94.7) under current AccuRadio chief operating officer John Gehron.

  • Remember Antonio Mora? The former top news anchor at CBS 2 is out after five years at WFOR-TV, the CBS-owned station in Miami. His contract was not renewed. Mora had been news anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America before beginning his five-year run here in 2002.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)