T Dog’s Grab Bag

A lot of items in The Grab Bag today: – Warner Bros. and HBO has sold the sitcoms Entourage and Curb Your Enthauism to the Tribune station group for late-fringe time periods begining in 2010 on all-barter basis (meaning stations don’t have to pay a dime – just surrender half of their ad inventory to the syndicator.) Locally, you can […]

Bea Arthur dies

Emmy-winning and Tony-winning actress Beatrice Arthur (better known as Bea Arthur) died today at her Los Angeles home due to complications from cancer. She was 86. Ms. Arthur starred as the lead in two major influential TV series: Maude (CBS, 1972-78) and The Golden Girls (NBC, 1985-92.) She was also a stage actress, who had performed on Broadway. Before her […]

Paul Harvey dies

Just days after losing Norm Van Lier, Johnny Kerr, and James Ward, Chicago loses yet another longtime media personality – and this one was as big as they come. This person didn’t just work in radio- he was radio. Paul Harvey died Saturday in a Phoenix hospital (near his winter home) at the age of 90. Harvey began his long […]

James Ward dies

Thursday was a tough day in Chicago media, as it was announced another well-known personality had died. Retired WLS-TV restaurant critic James Ward died on Thursday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. He was 76 – the same age as Johnny “Red” Kerr, who died the same day. Also passing on Thursday was Chicago Bull legend Norm Van Lier, […]

Johnny "Red" Kerr dies

Former Bulls broadcaster John G. “Red” Kerr passed away at his home Thursday due to a long time battle with prostate cancer at the age of 76. Kerr died just hours after former Bulls player and analyst Norm Van Lier was found dead in his Chicago home. Kerr was the first Chicago Bulls coach (1966-68) and later had a 33-year […]

Norman Van Lier dies

Shocking news: Former Chicago Bull and broadcast personality Norm Van Lier died in his Chicago home today at the age of 61. He was found unresponsive at 1 p.m. in his South Loop home. The cause of death is not known at this time. Van Lier has been a long time in-studio analyst for Chicago Bulls broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet […]

News & Notes

The alternative title is being used to describe today’s News & Notes, as there is sad news to report: – Chicago Defender sports journalist Larry Gross passed away Wednesday at the age of 59 due to complications from lung cancer. Gross covered mostly local sports for the paper, including Chicago Public School Prep action. The wake will be held Feb. […]

Studs Terkel dies

A true Chicago treasure has passed away at 96. Louis “Studs” Terkel, the literary giant and Pulitzer Prize winner who had a radio show on WFMT for an amazing 45-year run, died Friday afternoon.Terkel was a well-known author, activist, and Chicago icon. His latest book, P.S. : Further Thoughts From A Lifetime of Listening, was due out this month. His […]

Nine-FM says goodbye

Since radio stations changing formats don’t say goodbye on the air anymore, the best way to do so is through an e-mail to your listeners. This was posted on Chicagoland Radio and Media’s website earlier today, as well as on Nine FM’s own website. I’ve said my piece on Nine-FM, so I’ll let the now-defunct station have the floor: This […]

Norman Ross dies

Former WLS-TV reporter Norman Ross died today from heart failure at his Chicago home. He was 86. Ross had been in broadcasting since the 1950’s, working at WFMT and WGN-AM, and was a reporter for ABC-owned WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) in the 1960’s. He left media shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the riots that followed. Ross went […]

WCIU plans Bernie Mac tribute (updated)

Independent WCIU-TV here in Chicago plans a tribute to the late Bernie Mac this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (second item.) The station airs a local tribute at 5 p.m., followed by two episodes of The Bernie Mac Show at 6 p.m., and his special appearance with Rich Koz on Stooge-a-Palooza in 2006 at 7 p.m. WCIU has […]

R.I.P. Bernie Brillstein

With the sudden deaths of Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac this weekend, I also want to mention the passing of another Bernie – Bernie Brillstein, a Hollywood manager, producer, and power broker who was behind numerous TV series including Hee Haw, The Muppet Show, ALF, and Saturday Night Live. Brillstein passed away on Thursday in Los Angeles from chronic pulmonary […]

Remembering Isaac Hayes

Though TV fans knew Isaac Hayes as the voice of Chef on South Park, he was much more than someone behind a cartoon character. Isaac Hayes was a Grammy-Award winning artist who composed the score in the movie Shaft, and his groundbreaking soul music paved the way for the “smooth era” in soul music, which helped launch the careers of […]

Remembering Bernie Mac

As you’ve heard by now, Chicago comedian Bernie Mac passed away early Saturday Morning at Northwestern Memorial Hospital due to complications of pneumonia. He was 50. He has had some health problems over the years, including a bout with sarcoidosis, which went into remission in 2005. Born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct 5, 1957, Bernie Mac broke into comedy in […]

Bernie Mac dies

R.I.P. 1957-2008 Chicago Tribune: Bernie Mac dies at 50 Chicago Sun-Times: Comedian, South Sider Bernie mac dies at 50 Broadcasting & Cable: Bernie Mac dies at 50 Television Week: Bernie Mac Dead at 50Updated at 7:30 p.m.