Lisagors to salute Ahern, Mitchell for lifetime achievement

Robservations on the media beat:

  • NBC 5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell will receive the Chicago Headline Club’s Lifetime Achievement Awards May 4 at the 35th annual Peter Lisagor Awards ceremony. Steve Edwards, host of Afternoon Shift on Chicago Public Media WBEZ-FM (91.5), will emcee the event at the Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Boulevard. Lisagor was the longtime Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Daily News and a regular contributor to Washington Week in Review. In addition to presentation of Lisagor Awards for exemplary journalism and the Headline Club’s Watchdog Award, the event will inaugurate the Anne Keegan Award, named for the former Chicago Tribune reporter who died last May. The new award honors print journalists who tell extraordinary stories about ordinary people. This year’s Keegan finalists are Associated Press national writer Sharon Cohen and Tribune reporter Colleen Mastony. For a complete list of Lisagor finalists and ticket information, see

  • Cisco Cotto, the former Chicago radio personality who turned to the ministry, has joined Total Living Network as co-host of Marriage: For Better, For Worse. Returning from hiatus, the weekly call-in show airs at 9pm Mondays on Comcast Cable Channel 138 and streams live at Cotto, who succeeds retired co-host Eric AuCoin alongside Pastor Robert Moeller, said in a statement: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with TLN and Pastor Bob. I look forward to being a small part of helping to build strong marriages.” Cotto is best known for his years as a conservative talk show host on WLS-AM (890) and WIND-AM (560).

  • Ed Sherman, the former Chicago Tribune sports columnist and Crain’s Chicago Business blogger, this week launched, a sharp new website covering sports media and aggregating links to stories of interest. “I plan on covering all the latest developments and trends in sports media," he wrote in his welcoming post. “The site will have regular Q&A interviews with the top personalities in the business and with the key executives who call the shots. I also will have analysis of breaking stories and offer reviews and critiques of sports programming.” Sherman's site registered nearly 3,000 page views on its first day Monday.

  • Veteran Chicago journalist Rob Elder has been named managing editor of DNAinfo, where he will oversee the launch of a hyperlocal news operation here. Backed by Joe Ricketts, father of Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, New York-based DNAinfo will focus on coverage of Chicago neighborhoods, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. A former regional editor of and reporter for the Tribune, Elder also owns a website production company, Odd Hours Media.

  • Windy City LIVE, the ABC 7 weekday morning talk show, devotes its entire hour Wednesday to the topic of bullying. Hosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini interview 7-year-old Chicagoan LaNiyah Bailey, who wrote two books on bullying. Other segments include the personal story of Windy City LIVE senior producer Hank Mendheim, who tells of being bullied in grade school, and a conversation with Tim King of Urban Prep Academies. Also appearing will be four contributors from The Mash, a Tribune-owned high school newspaper, with insights about both cyber bullying and traditional bullying in high schools today. The show airs at 9am and repeats at 12:05am.

  • Geoffrey Baer, Chicago’s favorite tour guide, goes national next year when he hosts 10 Buildings That Changed America, a PBS special being produced in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians. Among the buildings Baer explores is Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House in Hyde Park. Many of Baer’s previous shows for WTTW have been picked up by public television stations, but this will be his first produced specifically for PBS.

  • Tornado chaser Ginger Zee, the former NBC 5 meteorologist who moved up to ABC’s Good Morning America last fall, returns to Chicago this weekend to host the Chicago Red Dress Party at the Joffrey Ballet Studios. She’ll deliver her GMA Weekend forecasts Sunday from the studios of ABC 7 at 190 North State Street.

  • It’s a big week for my colleagues at Time Out Chicago with the debut of a tablet app edition of the weekly magazine, custom-designed for use on iPads. “It includes all the stellar stories, reviews and photos you enjoy in print while serving up unlimited listings and lots of additional features (like extra photos of every Eat Out Awards nominee in the current issue) optimized for the new iPad’s Retina display,” Time Out Chicago editor-in-chief Frank Sennett said in an introductory message. There’s a free sample issue available from the Apple Online Store and a variety of subscription options. My page will include audio and video enhancements along with highlights of reader comments. (OK, end of commercial.)

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)