The Grab Bag: Bill Gamble out at CBS Radio

…and other local media items of note

– Chicago radio veteran Bill Gamble is out of  another radio job. He was canned as program director of CBS’ WCFS-FM (Fresh FM) and country WUSN-FM (US 99) on Tuesday, lasting a little over eight months. While US 99 continued to chug along nicely at the station, it was the troubles of Adult Contemporary WCFS that did him in. Among the moves he made – firing Roxanne Steele last week to be replaced by a voice-tracked person from Cleveland.

I guess what goes around – comes around.

– That wasn’t the only move made at the Church of Tisch this week.  On Monday, political reporter Mike Flannery exited WBBM-TV on Monday after a remarkable thirty years at the station to join Fox-owned WFLD-TV in the same capacity. He joined the station in June 1980 – at a time when Jimmy Carter was still president, the U.S. boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow (due to the Soviets invasion of Afghanistan a year earlier) and who shot J.R. on Dallas (it was Kristen.)

It marked the second departure at WBBM-TV in a week – on Friday, Anne State was let go from the station. She co-anchored the station’s 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts with Rob Johnson, but was dropped from the 10 p.m. a few months ago leaving Johnson the anchor the show solo. Now with Ms. State gone, the same can be said at 5 and 6 p.m.

– Meanwhile, reporter/anchor Byron Harlan has exited WFLD to become a financial adviser and reporter Antwan Lewis has decided to exit Tribune’s WGN-TV as well.

– But in the mist of all these exits, there is someone making a comeback: Diann Burns, who was dropped as anchor at WBBM in a round of cutbacks at the station two years ago, has been named host of Chicago Urban League’s NeXt TV show, which airs on both WFLD (8 a.m.) and sister station WPWR-TV (12:30 p.m.) on Sundays. She replaces Cheryle Jackson, who left the show (and the Chicago Urban League) to make an unsuccessful run at the U.S. Senate (yours truly followed Ms. Jackson on Twitter until a few weeks ago.)

– And look who else is making a comeback? Roger Ebert, whose thyroid problems forced him off his movie-review show in 2006, has plans to produce a new program with his wife in the wake of Disney-ABC’s decision to fold his old show after 24 seasons last week. Among the plans for the show include utilizing new media, such as Twitter and Facebook. No word yet on who will host the show (Ebert is expected to make some appearances), on what platform the proposed show will air (network, syndication, or cable) or when it will debut.

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