Point of no return: Dahl tees off on reports of radio comeback

Robservations on the media beat:

  • Reports of Steve Dahl’s return to radio have been greatly exaggerated. Despite headlines this week trumpeting a comeback, the Chicago radio veteran said he’s simply using WJJG-AM (1530), the west suburban daytime station, to promote his $9.95-a-month subscription podcast venture. A three-minute segment culled from his archives will be edited for airing once an hour each day. The confusion began with a WJJG press release — “Steve Dahl RETURNS” — that stated he was joining the station’s “growing lineup of super-talkers” (including syndicated hosts Mancow Muller and Michael Savage). But the release didn’t mention that Dahl would merely be recycling material for an unpaid ad. “All these guys from the newspapers are bugging me while I’m trying to golf yesterday,” Dahl complained on his podcast Tuesday. “They kept asking me irritating questions like: ‘How do you feel about coming back to radio and being on a 750-watt station?’ You guys don’t get it. This is like an infomercial. It costs me nothing though. It’s a free infomercial for me.  And then you see headlines like: ‘Steve Dahl back on daily radio.’ I’m not back on daily radio. That’s not true.”

  • Are Chicago’s CBS stations planning to launch a local news digital channel? Nothing is definite, but officials of WBBM-Channel 2 confirmed that they’re talking about the possibility with their counterparts at all-news WBBM-AM (780) and WCFS-FM (105.9) and sports/talk WSCR-AM (670). The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that CBS is about to unveil CBS New York Plus, a digital channel combining the newsgathering resources of WCBS-TV and the company’s news and sports radio stations there. A Chicago version likely would compete with NBC Chicago Nonstop and Tribune Co.-owned CLTV. “We’re not ready to discuss specifics yet,” said Bruno Cohen, president and general manager of CBS 2.

  • Carla Carpenter, former assistant news director at WLS-Channel 7, has been promoted to senior vice president of digital media for the ABC-Owned Television Stations Group. In her new role, she will oversee development of strategies and initiatives involving the Internet, digital channels and mobile platforms for all eight ABC-owned stations. Since 1997, Carpenter has been vice president and news director of WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

  • Jerry Springer, Bill Kurtis, sportscaster Jon Miller, country singer Rex Allen Jr. and National Public Radio’s Susan Stamberg will be among presenters November 5 at the Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Larry King will host the black-tie event at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Inductees for 2011 are former President Ronald Reagan, sportscaster Graham McNamee, commentator H.V. Kaltenborn, Gangbusters, The Great Gildersleeve, National Barn Dance and Suspense. With the opening of the Radio Hall of Fame Gallery, museum founder and president Bruce DuMont said, “America will finally have a place to honor the great radio broadcasters who have defined the medium — a shining beacon in the heartland that recognizes the significant role radio has played in our society.”

  • A 1977 interview with legendary Chicago sportscaster Jack Brickhouse is among the latest additions to Speaking of Radio, Chuck Schaden’s wonderful website dedicated to the Golden Age of Radio. Brickhouse, who was 61 at the time of the interview, recalls the start of his broadcast career in his native Peoria that led to his 33-year run at WGN. Schaden includes a link to a 1947 broadcast of Sports Memory Lane from WMAQ featuring Brickhouse. It’s not to be missed.

  • Speaking of Brickhouse, the Hall of Fame broadcaster will be remembered along with the late pizza king Rudy Malnati Sr., a pioneer of Pizzeria Uno, at a celebrity fund-raiser next week. The third annual Jack Brickhouse and Rudy Malnati Sr. Benefit will be from 5 to 10pm Monday at Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta, 1808 North Waukegan Road, Glenview. Celebrity bar tenders will include Bob Avellini, Elliott Harris, John Lattner, Bob Love, Wayne Messmer, Fred Mitchell, Kevin Moore and Bill Zwecker. Proceeds benefit Children’s Memorial Hospital.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)