Former Fox Chicago anchor lands ‘Boss’ reporting role

Robservations on the media beat:

  • In the two years since she left Fox Chicago, former weekend news anchor and reporter Nancy Pender has been thriving in her new career as a commercial voice-over talent (with clients including Chico's, Mario Tricoci salons, Walsh Construction and the U.S. Department of Labor). But she’ll soon be back in a familiar role as a TV newswoman. Pender, who still lives in Chicago, is playing reporter Lexi Hirsch in four episodes of Boss, the Starz original drama starring Kelsey Grammer. The second season of the series debuts August 17.

  • Speculation that CBS Radio might drop the K-Hits format on WJMK-FM (104.3) and switch to sports/talk drew an unequivocal denial Thursday from Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio in Chicago. “We have no plans to change the K-Hits format on 104.3,” Zimmerman told me. He also took issue with the assertion elsewhere that Chicago management has little say in the matter. “We as market managers are accountable for everything in our market,” he added.

  • Tom Skilling forecast: Chicago’s greatest weatherman, now in his 34th year as chief meteorologist at WGN, will meet and greet fans at noon August 18 at the new Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 North State Street. The event will help support what Skilling called “this amazing institution.” He’s been a longtime supporter of the museum. (Here is the link to buy tickets.)

  • Chicago media magnate Fred Eychaner tops the list of the nation’s biggest Democratic donors, with contributions totaling more than $3.7 million, according to He’s also one of President Barack Obama’s major bundlers for 2012, having raised more than $500,000, reported Chicago magazine blogger Carol Felsenthal. Eychanyer’s Newsweb Corp. owns progressing talk WCPT-AM (820), among other broadcast properties.

  • Chicago Tribune editor Gerry Kern will be among recipients of Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Indiana University School of Journalism on September 22. Kern, a 1971 graduate of the school, is being cited among “the most innovative, visionary and influential media professionals and scholars in the world," according to interim Journalism Dean Michael Evans. Also honored will be Tim Franklin, managing editor in the Washington bureau of Bloomberg News and former associate managing editor of the Tribune.



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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)