Robservations: Hulu will preview ABC 7’s “Being Blago” docuseries; Colin McMahon joins the journalism project; Jim Baumann launches book tour


Rod Blagojevich

Observations on the media beat:

Disgraced former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich has been away for over 12 years, but there is still no relaxation in the media’s fascination with him. On Friday, Hulu will premiere “Being Blago,” a four-part documentary series produced for ABC-owned TV stations by WLS-Channel 7. (Here is the link to the trailer.) Streaming docuseries highlight two decades of coverage by ABC 7 chief investigative reporter Chuck goudie and producer Barb markoff – from the coming to power of Blagojevich to his release from prison after his 14-year sentence was commuted by the former president Donald trump in 2020. He includes unlimited access to his current daily life at home. Matt Knutson, director of content innovation at ABC 7 and co-executive producer and director of “Being Blago” (with Justin allen), called the series “a very raw look at a man trying to change his past and forge a meaningful, untarnished new legacy,” adding: “‘Being Blago’ reminds viewers what happened through a visual timeline of events while simultaneously following Rod in his next chapter.

Colin McMahon

Colin McMahon, who resigned from his post as editor of the Chicago Tribune in August, joined the Facebook Journalism Project’s acceleration program to help news publishers build sustainable businesses. “Although this is only a part-time job, I am delighted to work with dynamic news organizations across Tim griggs and its Blue Engine Collaborative, ”McMahon told me. “The Facebook Accelerator program has already helped many publishers improve their subscription business, and I look forward to working with teams in the Middle East and South Africa to meet this challenge. It’s so interesting to see the approaches taken by other news media and the challenges they face in other countries and cultures. I had no intention of getting back into the fray so quickly, but when Tim presented this opportunity I couldn’t pass it up. I’m glad I didn’t.

Jim Baumann

Jim Baumann, editor-in-chief of the Daily Herald, launches the media tour of his new book, Grammar Moses: A humorous look at grammar and usage, with two interviews on Wednesday. Published by Chicago-based Eckhartz Press, the book is a collection of Baumann’s Sunday Columns from the Daily Herald. (Here is the link.) He will join Steve cochran on his podcast “Live From My Office” and the editors Eckhartz Press Rick kaempfer and Dave stern on their “Minutia Men” podcast. Baumann’s first book signing will take place Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. A 36-year veteran of the Daily Herald, Baumann was promoted to editor-in-chief on Tuesday when the editor retired. John lampinen in December.

JA Adande

JA Adande, director of sports journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and longtime panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn”, has been chosen to become editor-in-chief of The best sports writing of the year 2022, scheduled for release by Chicago-based Triumph Books in October 2022. “Having one of my stories featured for the original Best American Sports Writing series was a career highlight,” said Adande, former columnist and sports journalist. “Be invited to modify The best sports writing of the year is an even greater honor. There is an abundance of talented writers in the sports world right now and I can’t wait to immerse myself in their work.

Monroe Anderson

Famous Chicago Journalist Monroe Anderson was among the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards at Indiana University on October 22. After graduating from IU Media School in 1971, Anderson worked for the National Observer, Ebony, Newsweek, and the Chicago Tribune. He was then the Chicago mayor’s press secretary Eugene Sawyer and director of station services and community affairs at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where he hosted the public affairs program “Common Ground”. “It was a big celebration,” Anderson wrote of her honor on Facebook. “The Indiana University campus is even more beautiful than it was when I was a student there for the past millennium.”

Block the Chicago club

More well-deserved honors this week for Block Club Chicago, the not-for-profit, reader-funded newsroom that covers city neighborhoods like nobody’s business. On Monday, the site was named best online-only news source in the annual international competition sponsored by Editor and Publisher. “The Block Club Chicago epitomizes what online media should be – packed with valuable local information and presented in an easy-to-consume format,” the judges said. Block Club also won the award for the best overall website design among publishers with a million or more unique visitors and for the best redesign / relaunch of its website. “We do it for our readers, not for rewards” tweeted co-founder and editor-in-chief Stephanie Lulay. “But it’s an honor to be recognized.”

Monday’s commentary for the day: Charlie Meyerson: I can personally attest to the integrity, professionalism and kindness of John Lampinen. Thank you for your service, sir.


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