NBC 5 adds busy Ivy Leaguer to sports lineup

Robservations on the media beat:

  • It didn’t take long for viewers to notice Rebecca Haarlow, who signed on last weekend as free-lance sports reporter at NBC 5. The west suburban native and former captain of the Princeton University track and field team now divides her time as a host and reporter for NFL Network, Fox Sports Net and Big Ten Network. Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, said Haarlow will be “working for us periodically as we have needs — and as her schedule allows.” She joins Eric Collins and Laurence Holmes on the station’s per-diem sports roster.

  • Robert K. Elder, who most recently was managing editor of DNAInfo.com Chicago, has been hired as editor for the Lake County region of Sun-Times Media. He'll oversee the Lake County News-Sun and work on digital enhancements to Pioneer Press and other suburban properties. A veteran of the Chicago Tribune and AOL Huffington Media Group’s Patch.com, Elder played an integral role in the development of the many of the suburban Patch sites. Last October he left DNAInfo.com — just weeks before the launch of the hyperlocal digital news service — to work on television projects. Calling his new arrangement "a happy marriage," Elder said he will be able to keep his TV deals.

  • Sunday night’s eagerly anticipated third-season premiere of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey drew the biggest audience in 10 years for WTTW-Channel 11. The Window to the World Communications public television station scored a 6.2 Nielsen rating (or about 215,000 households), watching live or the same night on DVR. It was the station's highest rating since the January 2003 American Experience broadcast of Chicago — City of the Century.

  • Along with veteran newsman Charlie Meyerson, four newcomers also have been added to the lineup of bloggers at Chicago Public Media's wbez.org. Britt Julious, senior editor of the literary website This Recording, and Leah Pickett, film critic for the music webzine Pop’stache, will blog about popular culture; Nico Lang, co-creator of the blog network In Our Words, will blog about lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer life in Chicago; and Chris Bentley, a scholar of climate change, sustainability and energy, will blog about the environment. “We are thrilled to add this new crop of bloggers to our existing roster,” Tim Akimoff, digital content editor, said in a statement. “WBEZ is committed to showcasing diverse voices on the air and online, and I think our audience will see that reflected in this group of contributors.”

  • Chicago native Ken Kurson, the veteran journalist and political consultant who’s been a contributing editor and columnist for Esquire, has been named editor in chief of The New York Observer and editorial director of the Observer Media Group. Kurson, who also worked closely with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on his 2008 presidential campaign, graduated from Glenbrook North High School and attended the University of Chicago. He’s the younger brother of Robert Kurson, the bestselling author and former Sun-Times reporter.

  • It’s over and out for Brad Moore after more than four years as vice president of targeted media and business development for Chicago Tribune Media Group. His position was eliminated last week. While Moore helped launch a variety of products including RedEye, he was largely responsible for the black eye the company sustained by its scandalous dalliance with Journatic, which outsourced hyperlocal content for TribLocal. He joined Tribune Co. in 1997.

  • Five Chicago children’s choirs will sing together this weekend in a memorial concert for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The one-hour concert will be taped for airing on classical WFMT-FM (98.7) and the WFMT Radio Network, and offered for broadcast nationwide. Free and open to the public, Healing the Broken-Hearted will start at 5pm Sunday at St. James Cathedral, 5 East Huron Street. Participants will include Soul Children of Chicago, Chicago Children’s Choir, Anima Young Singers of Chicago, Pro Music Youth Chorus, and Red Rose Children’s Chorus. The program will air two hours later, starting at 7pm on WFMT. Among many others carrying it will be WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Connecticut, which has radio stations throughout the state.



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