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Chicago Public Media Board Approves Sun-Times Merger

Last October, the two parties entered into a non-binding letter of intent to have the Sun-Times become a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media once they finalized the deal. 

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The Chicago Public Media Board of Directors, the parent company of news/talk WBEZ (91.5), gave the green light to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Last October, the two parties entered into a non-binding letter of intent to have the Sun-Times become a subsidiary of Chicago Public Media once they finalized the deal. 

“I’m deeply grateful to the Chicago Public Media Board of Directors for their work in leading us to this milestone,” Chicago Public Media Board Chair Piyush Chaudhari said in a release

“This new venture will be on its best path forward as we bring together two of Chicago’s most respected news organizations in our city and our region.” 

With the two forms of media coming together, it will create one of the nation’s largest local nonprofit news organizations and operate as a national example for the future of local journalism.

“This is an important step to grow and strengthen local journalism in Chicago,” Chicago Public Media CEO Matt Moog added. “A vibrant local news ecosystem is fundamental to a healthy democracy, informed citizens, and engaged communities.”

“Together, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times aim to tell the stories that matter, serve more Chicagoans with our unbiased, fact-based journalism, and connect Chicagoans more deeply to each other and to their communities.”

The merger is expected to be completed by January 31.

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NPR Appoints Sal LoCurto as Senior Director for Program Strategy

LoCurto has spent the past five years heading KPCC’s programming.

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NPR has found its newest Senior Director For Broadcast Programming Strategy as the company has hired 89.3 KPCC Pasadena/Los Angeles Program Director Sal LoCurto.

LoCurto has spent the past five years heading KPCC’s programming. In his new position, he will supervise the strategic focus of NPR’s non-newsmagazine broadcast programming and manage relationships with outer program producers.

“Among the valuable skills and experience Sal brings to NPR are a deep knowledge of broadcast best practices and the needs of our member stations,” the statement said relayed by Radio Insight.

“Under his leadership, KPCC experienced its highest-rated nine months in the station’s history. Sal also managed and coached key on-air talent, including A Martinez – who has since joined NPR – during his tenure at the station.”

The soon-to-be-former program director will join NPR on June 6th and is more than excited at the chance to work for the public radio station. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work with our exceptional programming colleagues around the country and NPR’s production partners as we seek new ways to best serve audiences and fulfill our shared mission. I’m truly honored to join NPR’s team,” LoCurto said. 

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WGN Radio Launches Documentary to Celebrate its 100th Anniversary

The 45-minute documentary produced by WGN Radio tells how the station launched 100 years ago on Thursday.

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WGN Radio is ready to kick off the celebrations for the radio station’s 100th anniversary as it will debut a feature, “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective,” Thursday, May 19 at 7 pm on WGN-TV.

The 45-minute documentary produced by WGN Radio tells how the station launched 100 years ago on Thursday. The story started in 1922 when Chicagoans Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins founded it as WDAP and highlighted moments throughout its century of history up to the present day.

“Celebrate WGN Radio’s 100th anniversary with a deep dive into the station’s origins and its journey to 2022. Experience the unforgettable events and emotional moments alongside familiar faces, both past, and present,” WGN said. 

Viewers will see the faces of familiar voices during the documentary, such as Bob Sirott, John Williams, Lou Manfredini, Steve King, Johnnie Putman, Dave Eanet, Mary Van De Velde, Dave Plier, and others. 

They will all be reflecting on their ventures at the station and sharing memorable moments. Furthermore, there will be a rebroadcast of the documentary for those who miss the initial airing on Sunday, May 22, at 2 pm CT.

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Report Says AM-FM Listening Is Up Over the Last 6 Months

According to the study, the greatest increase is among adults ages 25-44. The research also finds some people are cutting back on subscription audio or video services.

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A new study published Monday indicates that AM-FM radio listening has increased considerably over the last six months.

In a release obtained by Barrett News Media, communications researcher FMR Associates and audience engagement company Eastlan, said weekly AM-FM listening is up 31% as the pandemic comes to an end and many of the restrictions that kept people working from home have been lifted.

According to the study, the greatest increase is among adults ages 25-44. The research also finds some people are cutting back on subscription audio or video services.

Current weekly AM-FM Radio Listening is at 86% in the 25 to 64 age group. Cume listening, is classified as the estimated number of different people who listened to a station for a minimum of five minutes in a quarter-hour within a reported daypart,. is strong and consistent regardless of age, sex, or market rank. 

The study concludes that the pandemic took a bite out of the radio audience, but researchers said they are encouraged with the numbers that they are seeing as radio remains the predominant audio medium. 

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