Hugo Balta, news director of WTTW Chicago (PBS) and executive producer of the nightly newscast Chicago Tonight, has been sidelined by his bosses for apparently sharing too much on social media.
Reese Marcusson has been named acting chief executive officer of Window to the World Communications, parent company of public television WTTW Chicago and classical music WFMT-FM.
Dan Schmidt, the controversial president and CEO of the parent company of PBS station WTTW and classical radio WFMT-FM, will retire at the end of the year, Window to the World Communications announced Thursday.
Chicago’s two leading public broadcasters announced a news partnership Monday that could lead to joint reporting of stories and online collaborations. Via a newly installed robotic camera, reporters from Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM will appear on Chicago Tonight, the nightly news program on PBS station WTTW. In turn, a new high-speed fiber line will allow WTTW hosts and correspondents to appear live on WBEZ news and talk shows.
Three top executives at Chicago’s noncommercial WTTW have been laid off due to budget cutbacks at the station, according to a spokesperson. Julia Maish confirmed that the positions of Parke Richeson, SVP of national productions; Mark Jahnke, VP-chief technology officer; and V.J. McAleer, SVP of community partnerships, have been eliminated.
With the launch of a new national series next week, Chicago’s PBS outlet WTTW is living up to its branding as a “Window to the World.” Local, USA is billed as a 13-part documentary series showcasing segments from public television stations across the country along with the work of independent producers and other content creators. Each half-hour episode will explore a particular theme.
The Chicago PBS station has signed on as a founding member of the Digital Convergence Alliance, the multi-station master control centralcast facility led by WJCT Jacksonville, Fla.
Claiming it will create “a more cohesive and efficient unit,” Chicago’s leading public television station is putting all its production eggs in one basket. WTTW National Productions, which brought the world Soundstage, Sneak Previews, The Frugal Gourmet, The New Explorers and The McLaughlin Group, is being combined with WTTW11 Local Productions, the station’s local programming department.