Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate, NY Times adapt 1619 Project

Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Join Forces With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times to Adapt the Acclaimed 1619 Project Into a Portfolio of Films, Television Programming & Other Content Across All Studio Platforms Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times have chosen global content leader Lionsgate to be the home for … Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate, NY Times adapt 1619 Project”

MPG’s Keith Walker helps Oprah win Emmy

Cinematographer filmed ’60 Minutes’ segment about the National Memorial for Peace and Justice dedicated to nation’s lynching victims   Media Process Group cofounder Keith Walker helped Oprah Winfrey and 60 Minutes win an Emmy by commemorating a brutal chapter of American history. In a segment titled The Legacy of Lynching, the Chicago cinematographer filmed Winfrey’s … Continue reading “MPG’s Keith Walker helps Oprah win Emmy”

‘Oprah’ vets form New Chapter Entertainment

When The Oprah Winfrey Show ended its 20-year run last year, senior producer Candi Carter says she knew she wanted to continue working with fellow Oprah producer Rick Segall.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Carter says. “Even when I was a senior producer at the Oprah show, I founded my own company, It’s Hip-Hop, Baby!, a DVD series for kids that used fun, child-friendly hip-hop music to educate toddlers and preschoolers. So when the show ended in 2011, it was a natural for me to want to start my own company.”

Ch. 7’s ‘WCL’ ratings not far behind Oprah’s numbers

A little more than a year after its launch, WLS-Channel 7’s “Windy City Live” is hitting its stride.

There was plenty to be skeptical about when former Channel 7 general manager Emily Barr announced some two years ago that she intended to replace “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” airing at 9 a.m., with a new local live daily talk show with an in-studio audience.

Always up for a challenge, Barr wasn’t interested in merely picking from one of a host of syndicated shows to fill the huge void that would be left after Winfrey exited the daily talk show business.

Oprah’s OWN problems start with ho-hum programming

For the talk diva who reigned in regal fashion on television for more than a quarter century, it was a stunning admission of near total failure.

In a lay-bare-your-problems interview with the Associated Press several days ago, the once-Chicago-based Oprah Winfrey conceded her year-old Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is in serious trouble.  Perhaps, as Winfrey suggested in that interview with Lynn Elber, the problems could ultimately prove too big for her to fix.

Ch. 7’s “WCL” wins ratings of Oprah’s former 9 a.m. slot

Is Emily Barr a ratings prophet or what? Several months ago, Barr, the WLS-Ch. 7 general manager, indicated she would be pleased if her new, locally-produced morning talk show “Windy City Live” managed to pull in just half the audience talk diva Oprah Winfrey attracted to “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

The Winfrey show, which ended a 25-year run last spring, filled the 9 a.m. time slot “WCL” now occupies.

Ratings will tell if Cooper can fill Oprah’s shoes

On Monday, Chicagoans got their first taste of what has been pegged as a different Anderson Cooper.  This is supposed to be the Cooper who hopes to fill — at least partially — the big shoes left empty when Oprah Winfrey departed the talk show circuit in May after an impressive 25-year run.

Let’s put it this way:  Cooper will be very lucky indeed if he comes remotely close to matching Winfrey’s track record in this department.

Oprah to receive the Oscars’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Nov. 12

OPRAH SAYS SHE’S CONSUMED with management and programming problems for her OWN cable network, but there’s a lovely honor ahead to take her mind off her business concerns.  Oprah will receive an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nov. 12 – the Gene Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The honor and an Oscar statuette is annually presented to an individual “whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” 

Ch. 7’s ‘Windy City Live’ in Oprah’s slot finds its groove

It’s rare that a brand new, built-from-scratch TV show springs to life in perfect shape.  It’s even rarer when the show happens to be a live, local telecast such as top-rated ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7’s new Windy City Live, which launched in late May immediately following the final farewell from Chicago’s former reigning talk diva Oprah Winfrey.

Windy City Live, as we know by now, is the hour-long show conceived by fearless WLS general manager Emily Barr and her production team to fill the 9 a.m. weekday slot that Winfrey dominated for a quarter century.

What’s going to replace Oprah at Ch 7 next year?

When Oprah packs up and moves to L.A. next year, her talk show replacement won’t be another syndicated show.

Instead, it will be a brand new, live, local morning show with a studio audience, tentatively titled “Morning Rush,” to originate from WLS-Ch. 7’s studios at 190 N. State St., according to broadcast reporter Robert Feder’s vocalo.org.

That’s the word from Emily Barr, president/general manager of the top-rated ABC-owned station, which has served as Oprah’s flagship outlet at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday for a quarter-century.

Oprah bio heading for TV movie or miniseries

Kitty Kelly’s unauthorized biography of Oprah will be turned into a TV movie biopic or miniseries to air in September, 2011, coinciding with Oprah’s departure from her daytime talk show of 25 years.

TV movie producer Larry A. Thompson, who called the story “certainly a challenge,” acquired the rights to “Oprah: A Biography,” according to Deadline Hollywood’s Nikke Finke.

“I happen to be from Mississippi where she is from, and I know her career very well,” Thompson told Finke. “I think it’s a fabulous story ?

MPG unaffected by Oprah’s departure

Media Process Group moved into its West Loop facility in 2005 in part to be closer to Harpo Studios, which is just a few blocks east of MPG on Washington Boulevard.

But even with Oprah Winfrey’s announcement that she’d end her talk show on Sept. 9, 2011 after 25 years on the air, co-owner Bob Hercules was confident about prospects for his company.

“One thing I’ve learned in 24 years [at MPG] is that clients change all the time,” Hercules says. “This has been a great run on ?Oprah’ for many years, but all good things come to an end.

Oprah to end syndicated show in 2011

All good things must come to an end and Oprah’s extraordinary 25 year TV run in Chicago will end on Sept. 9, 2011, according to ABC.

Oprah’s announcement on her Friday show put an end to weeks of speculation that she may leave daytime syndication and possibly move her show to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Winfrey’s joint venture with Discovery Communications.

“We have the greatest respect for Oprah and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors,” the show’s distributor, CBS TV Distribution, said in a statement.

Will Oprah throw us over for L.A. in 2011?

Over the 25 years Oprah has broadcast her daily talk show from Chicago, it was inevitable that one day she would move the show to Los Angeles.

Apparently that day will arrive in 2011 when her CBS syndication contract ends and she will transition to her own Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on cable in a joint venture with Discovery Communications.

The world will await the announcement of her future plans by the end of the year. In the past, Oprah either announced her retirement or a move to L.A. and she always cheerily and thankfully stayed right here.

Oprah Foundation gives $250,000 to MBC for digital tranfer, online access to civil rights shows

The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) has received a $250,000 grant from The Oprah Winfrey Foundation for the innovative education program, DocuFest.

The grant will support the digital transfer of 150 programs from the museum’s civil rights collection and create free online access to streamed television programs and lesson plans for students and teachers.

The collection highlights specific stories and events related to the earlier struggle for equality. Many programs showcase the influence and accomplishments of America’s civil rights leaders.

Oprah’s contract to be extended?

It looks like Oprah may not leave her show in 2006 after all. It’s been reported she could renew through the 2007-08 season with distributor King World and the seven ABC-owned stations that carry the show to an average audience of about 26 million viewers a week.

New Yawker Rosie’s show leaves a lot to be desired

Rosie O’Donnell, the VERY New Yawky talk show host unveiled her new talk-and-whatever fest, “The Rosie Show,” on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, this week. “The Rosie Show” is housed at Harpo Studios, formerly home to “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

The first installment of “The Rosie Show,” which we watched in its entirety, left much to be desired.  And we presume the producers already are hard at work trying to rework what was, at its inception, a very odd and ultimately unsatisfying mix of stuff.

Harpo Studios starts staff downsizing

Nothing lasts forever, as Harpo Studios’ loyal employees are finding out, as layoffs have started in earnest following the end of Oprah’s 25-year Chicago show last month.

Last December, 50 staffers left the Chicago company to join the new Oprah Winfrey Network in L.A., leaving about 400 full and part-time employees.  The recent layoffs that began May 27 will put the retained staff at around 130.

The question is, how many of the employees will remain at to work on Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show, which start taping for airing on Oprah’s new OWN network on Discover.

Harpo Studios’ future: “A content factory”

After Oprah wraps her 25-year-old daytime show in May, the two studios at Harpo Inc. may simply go dark. While the company hinted a new program might replace “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” behind-the-scenes production work is all that’s slated now.

“This is going to be a content factory, for many platforms and distribution outlets, from digital to video-on-demand to cable,” said Harpo co-president Erik Logan.

High-end colorist Fred Keller of New York heads Filmworkers Club’s ambitious telecine expansion

WHO HE IS: Bronx native Fred Keller was hired by Filmworkers’ Reid Brody in April of last year as fresh new talent to match a new facility upgrade.

WHAT HE DOES: Operates one of its three $1 million Spirit telecines, including a new 2K DataCine, and one of three DaVinci upgrades to 2K-Plus.

He color corrected Oprah Winfrey’s 2007 Oscar special and spots for McDonald’s, Hallmark, Capital One, Allstate and Blue Cross Blue Shield and KFC.

Media Process Group celebrates 20 years?First
Run brings its “Mengele” feature doc to theaters

When Oprah Winfrey toured the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for her special coverage of the disaster, Keith Walker was behind the camera.

“Oprah told Keith it was one of the best pieces she’d ever done,” said Bob Hercules, Walker’s partner in Media Process Group. “They shot New Orleans a couple days after it happened. They went to the Astrodome. They did some very moving pieces.”

Among a host of other projects, MPG regularly operates as a field crew for Winfrey, and edited parts of Winfrey’s 20th Anniversary DVD boxed set, due out for the holidays.

Fear and Hustling: “Hustle & Flow’s” Terrence Howard: The performance that made him a star

Chicago native Terrence Howard’s 17-year film and TV career underwent a seismic shift with his star turn in “Hustle & Flow,” the Memphis hip-hop drama that sold to MTV and Paramount Classics for a record $9 million at Sundance.

This year alone Howard appears five films.

They are “Crash,” “Lackawanna Blues,” “Four Brothers,” “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” and the Oprah Winfrey-produced made-for-TV “Their Eyes were Watching God.”

Howard will be the honoree of the Chicago International Film Festival’s Black Perspectives Program this October.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THE ONLY U.S. MEDIA LION awarded at Cannes this year went to Oprah for the much talked-about giveaway of more than 200 Pontiac G6 cars to Oprah Winfrey’s studio audience, engineered by GM’s media-planning agency, Publicis Groupe’s GM Planworks, Detroit. It was the only U.S. entry among more than 1,000 in the category to win a Lion.

ROGER EBERT’S STAR DEDICATION on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood Thursday was studded with stars, fellow movie columnists and friends of the critical icon.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 08/13/04

WHEW, OPRAH STAYS PUT. The tension’s over as to whether she would or wouldn’t opt out of TV and Chicago at the end of her current contract. But we can relax. Oprah is not going to hang it up after all. Her newly-signed contract will keep her on TV through 2011 ? and assure continuing jobs for the nearly 300 people who work on the show.

By 2011, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will have been on a full 25 seasons. And they say there’s no indication that the 25th season will be the last.

American Egg Board: Issues TikTok challenge

As the nation emerges from pandemic shutdowns and capacity limits, local restaurants around the country are getting an eggstra boost from a popular menu mainstay — the incredible egg — and a healthy dose of hometown competition. Igniting America’s pashttp://tiktok.comsion for eating out, the American Egg Board (AEB) has partnered with celebrity chef Connie Lovely … Continue reading “American Egg Board: Issues TikTok challenge”

Chicago-based films fare well in Oscar noms

Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas and singer, songwriter and actor Nick Jonas announced the 93rd Oscars nominations today (March 15), live from London, via a global live stream on Oscar.com, Oscars.org, the Academy’s digital platforms, an international satellite feed and broadcast media. Films that are either based in Chicago, or featured Chicago talent, fared very well when the nominations settled. In this very … Continue reading “Chicago-based films fare well in Oscar noms”

OKRP names Elena Robinson Head of Production

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has hired highly regarded production leader Elena Robinson as its Head of Production with the goal of redefining, expanding, and growing its production capabilities. Robinson takes over leadership of both the agency’s production work for clients and its independent production capability from long-time agency exec Scott Mitchell. Mitchell will refocus on … Continue reading “OKRP names Elena Robinson Head of Production”

Year in Review: Dan Fisher of Bottle Rocket Media

Editor’s Note: In 2020, the world changed right before our very eyes. Ad agencies, production companies and post houses were forced to adapt and begin a “new normal” working, living, exercising and entertaining out of home. Now that we have just entered 2021, we asked around our industry friends to reflect back on the year and … Continue reading “Year in Review: Dan Fisher of Bottle Rocket Media”

Unashamed Media releases poignant short “Otis’ Dream”

Otis Moss, Sr.’s journey to vote in 1946 Georgia is one of heartbreak and enduring hope, and it is as relevant today as it was back then. Especially as people of color across the U.S. remain determined to cast their Constitutionally protected right to vote despite long lines, lawsuits, phony ballot boxes and voter purges.  … Continue reading “Unashamed Media releases poignant short “Otis’ Dream””

WLS news legend Joel Daly passes away at 86

2020 has taken so many legends from us. Reel Chicago is sad to report that iconic newsman Joel Daly, who spent nearly 40 years at ABC affiliate WLS, died today at around 5:30 a.m. at his home in LaGrange. He was 86. “He died peacefully,” his daughter Kelly told the Chicago Tribune referring to her father who … Continue reading “WLS news legend Joel Daly passes away at 86”

Cubs and White Sox read for CPL ‘Live From the Library’

Chicago Public Library announced that the upcoming group of celebrity readers for the popular “Live From the Library” program will celebrate the beginning of Major League Baseball. “Live From the Library” which features a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, will highlight notable representatives of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations, … Continue reading “Cubs and White Sox read for CPL ‘Live From the Library’”

Chicago area celebs join CPL’s “Live From the Library”

Chicago Public Library announced this week’s group of celebrity readers for the Live From the Library program, featuring a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, reading stories to children and families daily at 10 a.m. CST. Actor Joe Mantegna (7/13), actress Denise Richards (7/14), and Inside Edition Chief Investigative Reporter Lisa Guerrero (7/15) will be the latest Chicago notables … Continue reading “Chicago area celebs join CPL’s “Live From the Library””

Chicago’s Jane Lynch to host ‘Weakest Link’ on NBC

NBC is bringing back hit British import and international game show phenomenon Weakest Link, co-produced by BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm and Universal Television Alternative Studio. The network has greenlit 13 episodes of the rapid-fire quiz show and Chicago’s own, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning host and actress Jane Lynch, (Hollywood Game Night, The … Continue reading “Chicago’s Jane Lynch to host ‘Weakest Link’ on NBC”

‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the lineup of Chicago and national celebrities who have come together to celebrate and pay tribute to the over 35,000 graduating high school seniors across Chicago. “Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago.” is a live, commercial-free 60-minute ceremony hosted and co-created by the City of Chicago and Citadel to … Continue reading “‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup”

FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’

The Obamas and Oprah are among the Chicago celebrities reading children’s books across the Chicago Public Library social channels. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Library (CPL), one of the largest libraries in the US with over 385 professional librarians, and the CPL Foundation have partnered to host ‘Live from the Library,’ a daily story … Continue reading “FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’”

REEL WOMEN: Siobhan Summers, Bottle Rocket Media

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Siobhan Summers is supervising producer at Bottle Rocket Media, … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Siobhan Summers, Bottle Rocket Media”

Lizette Williams, Sr. Director, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing

Lizette Williams, Senior Director, Brand & Content Strategy, U.S. Marketing, is the third honoree to be featured in the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. She joins an esteemed group of artists, entrepreneurs and innovators that includes ‘The Chi’ cast member LaDonna Tittle, … Continue reading “Lizette Williams, Sr. Director, McDonald’s U.S. Marketing”

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ wins Spoken Word Grammy

Former First Lady, native South-Side Chicagoan, and all-around modern-day Renaissance Woman Michelle Obama won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word for her 2018 memoir, Becoming, at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards yesterday. Scoring a stellar 4.6-out-of-5 on Goodreads (369,210 ratings), Becoming is described as, “a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling” that chronicles the … Continue reading “Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ wins Spoken Word Grammy”

Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media

Award-winning Chicago-based video content agency wields a startling variety of depth and expertise Chicago video content agency Bottle Rocket Media fuels traditional expertise with DIY spirit. Guided by a pair of visionaries who met while working at the Oprah Winfrey Show, the company has become one of the industry’s most unique production and post operations … Continue reading “Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media”

Siskel presents ‘Toni Morrision: The Pieces I Am’

The Film Center will screen the “generous and intelligent doc” Friday, August 23 through Thursday, August 29 As a venue that celebrates all art forms and a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Gene Siskel Film Center mourns the loss of the celebrated Black author and Nobel laureate Toni … Continue reading “Siskel presents ‘Toni Morrision: The Pieces I Am’”

Valerie Gobos, film & entertainment pro

Meet the woman who has gone “full circle” — actress, singer, dancer, model, producer, and film entrepreneur Valerie Gobos heads Gobos Film & Entertainment, working with a wide variety of directors, producers, animators, visual effects artists, editors, photographers musicians, authors and screenplay writers around the world, for advertising, television, film, and entertainment. Gobos has handled … Continue reading “Valerie Gobos, film & entertainment pro”

Reel Black List: Anre’ Brownlee, fashion designer

Self-taught fashion designer enjoys notable success across the continent, but prefers to work in Chicago Anre’ Brownlee is a self-taught fashion and costume designer with a background in makeup artistry and photography. For over 25 years, the Chicago native has been engulfed in the world of fashion and design. Brownlee also knows how to sew, … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Anre’ Brownlee, fashion designer”

Remembering Marc Hauser

Sando Miller, Tony D’Orio, and Tony Fitzpatrick pay tribute to their friend, the legendary Chicago artist Marc Hauser created memories that will last forever. From the start of his career in the mid-1970s until his passing in late 2018, the Chicago-based photographer built a genre of portraiture and editorial that will inspire generations. According to … Continue reading “Remembering Marc Hauser”

Esther Franklin named Ad Woman of the Year

  Franklin will be honored at a ceremony held in the fall     (Chicago — 28 June 2018) The Chicago Advertising Federation is proud to announce that Esther “E.T.” Franklin, Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Strategy and Cultural Fluency, Spark Foundry, has been selected as its 2018 Advertising Woman of the Year. This … Continue reading “Esther Franklin named Ad Woman of the Year”

Remembering John Crededio, 1946-2018

A pioneer of the Chicago film industry, the former gaffer built an impressive legacy of achievement but always made time for his family Chicago Studio City founder John Crededio, Sr. passed away earlier this week. A pioneer of the city’s film industry, Crededio spearheaded an era of activity that put Chicago on the national production … Continue reading “Remembering John Crededio, 1946-2018”

Evolving talent agreements after Weinstein and #MeToo

If your cookware company was about to release a print campaign with Mario Batali’s face plastered all over it, the day after he issued his infamous cinnamon roll apology for sexual misconduct, there could be a big problem. Companies may have substantial funds and resources invested in projects or campaigns that must be shelved and/or … Continue reading “Evolving talent agreements after Weinstein and #MeToo”

Reel Women: Sheila Brown — Media Entrepreneur

Sheila Brown is a Chicago native who is Executive Director of the CineCares Foundation at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Sheila developed a desire for professional success early in life. She obtained her first job at age 15. Seven years later, Sheila began her career in broadcast television where she was fortunate enough to work alongside … Continue reading “Reel Women: Sheila Brown — Media Entrepreneur”

The Reel Black List: Okema Gunn, Film Critic and Writer

Okema “Seven” Gunn has been an educator for several years in New York City and the Chicagoland area. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Masters in Secondary Education in Social Studies. She has written articles for Empire Radio Magazine, Scene Chicago, Exposure Magazine, Chicago Now, and N’digo Magapaper. Currently, she works as a … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Okema Gunn, Film Critic and Writer”

Chicagoans shine at Golden Globes

Chicago-born Frances McDormand, Highland Park’s Rachel Brosnahan and Oprah Winfrey stood out in a sea of black dresses which symbolized the #Metoo #Timesup movements by women in Hollywood during the 75th Golden Globes. McDormand was named “Best Actress in a Drama” for her portrayal of a woman who demands justice in the excellent Three Billboards … Continue reading “Chicagoans shine at Golden Globes”

LSG Partner Jerry Glover to retire in 2018

In January, entertainment lawyer Jerry Glover will enter the next phase of a career that began with a dream role in the Christmas Opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, when he was a nine-year-old kid in Arkansas. “They restaged it for an actual stage production and cast me as the lead,” he recalls. “It was … Continue reading “LSG Partner Jerry Glover to retire in 2018”

Was there a rogue phallus in “Maya the Bee”?

Last month, Netflix was forced to remove an episode of the popular animated children’s series Maya the Bee after a viewing mom posted a screen grab on Facebook that allegedly depicted a crude phallic drawing on the inside of a log during a scene in the show. Consumer opinions seem mixed about how offensive and … Continue reading “Was there a rogue phallus in “Maya the Bee”?”

Travis Life appointed partner at LSG

National entertainment law firm Leavens, Strand & Glover announced today that Travis Life has been named a partner in the Chicago office. Life represents artists and arts-related businesses in drafting and negotiating entertainment agreements, managing intellectual property, and in litigating complex matters. He handles the formation of a variety of multimedia entities, including music marketing … Continue reading “Travis Life appointed partner at LSG”

“Let’s pull a still from online to add in post”

Welcome to Reel Legal — a new column about the legal matters that affect ad agencies, filmmakers, television shows and more — written by attorneys from Leavens Strand & Glover, a Chicago-based entertainment, media & IP law firm.

Mobile technology has blown up the IP and content creation universe. These days, anyone with a mobile phone can, and likely does, routinely publish photos and video across the globe in an instant.

Former Steve Harvey lawyer joins Leavens, Strand & Glover

National entertainment law firm Leavens, Strand & Glover announced today that Jed Enlow, former lawyer for the Steve Harvey daytime television show, is now a partner in its Chicago office.

Enlow had served as production attorney for Steve Harvey, a role he vacated earlier this year, since 2012. Prior to that, he spent four years as Senior Attorney with Harpo Productions.

Memorial scheduled for Butch Stewart June 23-25

(Editor’s note: Chicago music giant Butch Stewart passed away in May. There will be a memorial held for him June 23, 24 and 25 at 1900 Greenwood Street in Evanston, Illinois. Emma Young wrote this moving tribute about Stewart and his company in 2014.)

Good Stewart Productions sits on an industrial street in Evanston. From the outside it looks quiet, but inside — there’ a whole lot going on!

Vince Lawrence honored for contribution to house music

Composer and musician Vince Lawrence was officially recognized by the City of Chicago for his role in creating House Music during a ceremony at Millennium Park over the Memorial Day weekend.

An estimated crowd of 40,000 — on hand for the city’s annual Chicago House Party event — cheered as Lawrence took the stage to accept the award with his wife Tara, his mother Jean, his son London and his daughter Yasmine.

“Looking at where we started and where house music stands today,” he said afterwards. “It’s amazing.”

In memory of Morris “Butch” Stewart, a Chicago legend

Chicago musician, entrepreneur, father, husband and founder of JoyArtMusic Morris “Butch” Stewart passed away last week after a bout with cancer. He was 64.

Born in Evanston, IL, Stewart’s professional career began when he joined Ramsey Lewis as a backing vocalist in 1975. Other artists working with Lewis at the time included Brenda Mitchell, who would later become Stewart’s his wife.

That same year, Stewart also began a fruitful relationship with the multi-platinum, multi-genre band Earth Wind & Fire, which was formed in Chicago in 1970.

Barbara Roche takes over as publisher of ReelChicago

Barbara Roche officially became publisher of ReelChicago on April 1. Wielding decades of production and pre-production experience, Roche is the former cofounder and partner in Holzer Roche Casting, which supplied talent for such legendary Chicago films as Home Alone, Backdraft and Groundhog Day.

She has also been a close friend and confidante of ReelChicago founder Ruth Ratny for nearly four decades.

Chicago Film Society screens classic 16 & 35mm films

THE CHICAGO FILM SOCIETY, which changed its name from the Northwest Film Society, starts a new season of 15 vintage films Wednesday, Jan. 11, with the 1947 thriller “Nightmare Alley,” at the Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University, one of the series’ screening venues, along with the Music Box Theatre, the Logan Center for the Arts and the University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center.

McDonald’s new Loop HQ builds on historic film site

What was once a sprawling 88,000-sq. ft. building, with a storied film history at 1058 W. Washington, will become McDonald’s massive 608,000-sq. ft. Chicago headquarters, when the new construction is completed by spring 2018 at an estimated cost of $250 million.

The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved the developers’ request to increase the site’s density. The City Council’s stamp of approval is required to finalize the deal, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Actress Margulies here promoting her children’s book

ACTRESS JULIANNA MARGULIES, whose 7-season series “The Good Wife” ended last Sunday, is on the book promotion route with her picture book, landing at Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson in Naperville on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m.

Margulies’ book is “Three Magic Balloons,” a children’s story based on one written by her father, Paul Margulies, an advertising executive who was also a prolific writer.

Four Antelis enterprises assemble under one roof

Composer and music producer Ira Antelis has managed to assemble under one roof all four of the enterprises in which he’s a partner.

Antelis was preparing to move his Jira Productions, the music and audio company he runs with sound designer Jim Hoffman, out of its space in Leo Burnett headquarters, where Antelis had been music director for 10 years. “It was time to move on,” he says.

Ch. 7 still late night news leader, but a point down

With one day to go in the Nielsen March TV ratings book, the results in the local late news ratings competition show ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 continues to hold on the No. 1 spot in the rankings.

But as was the case in February, the station’s 10 p.m. rating of 8.2 Monday through Friday is down more than a full rating point from where it was a year ago at 9.5.  (Each local ratings point represents 35,000 households.)

No surprise: Rosie show returns to New Yawk

So five months after it all began, the ill-fated “The Rosie Show” looks to be near its end — at least as a Chicago-based production.

Rumors first surfaced late Tuesday on the Huffington Post that  Rosie O’Donnell is set to move herself and what’s left of her show (which is not much) to New York City.

A “Rosie Show” spokesperson hasn’t refuted the rumor. That surely means O’Donnell’s bags are already packed and her ticket punched back to the Big Apple. Which is where the show should have been done in the first place, if it was to have had any chance of success.

New “Rosie” show hyped as different – and now worse

Step right up ladies and gents and get your front row seats!  You too can see what promises to be one of the greatest and saddest spectacles in recent television history.  Yes, gather round for the “The Rosie Show” and witness its amazing feats of  self-destruction.

If Chicago-based “The Rosie Show” had its problems at the get-go last fall — and it had plenty of them — the talk show is far worse off now having, in essence, re-debuted in recent days as something entirely different, and infinitely worse, than it initially was.

Ch. 7 still rules as all 10 p.m. news ratings slip

Whoever said we humans are creatures of habit was right. For years, however, that truism has been a source of more than a little frustration to more than a few general managers and news directors at Chicago television stations.

Over time they have done just about everything thinkable short of handing each and every viewer in the city and suburbs a cool million dollars in cash to get them to change their late news viewing habits.

Win some, lose some: DPC up for Walgreens review

In a stunner that is sure to have major ramifications for Downtown Partners/Chicago, sources say Walgreens is launching an ad agency review.  That could mean big problems for Downtown Partners/Chicago, which has been the drugstore behemoth’s agency of record since the shop was founded by creative partners Jim Schmidt and Joe Stuart in 2004.  But Downtown Partners is expected to participate in the review.

Oddball hosts don’t yet mesh on new CBS morning show

What is it about CBS and round tables?  When it comes to conceptualizing talk shows, somebody there must be hooked big time on seating people in a circle. 

On Wednesday, that thought sprang to mind as we were watching  “CBS This Morning,” the CBS network’s latest stab at getting a morning show right.  For years CBS has been a perennial third-place finisher behind NBC and ABC in the network morning show competition.

Director Scott Smith wins IFO’s Shortcuts film contest

MULTI AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR SCOTT SMITH won the Illinois Film Office’s 4th annual Shortcuts short film contest with his 12-minute short, “A Certain Breed,” an humorous improv look at a pair of overzealous volunteers at an animal shelter.  \

Former Second City mainstage actors Emily Wilson and Brad Morris are the stars, who also appear in Smith’s earlier “Special Needs” short.  Rhea Bozzacci edited. 

Michael Mann to direct biopic about Outfit head

DIRECTOR MICHAEL MANN (“Public Enemies”) signed screenwriter Sheldon Turner (“Up in the Air”) to script his next big project, “Big Tuna” ? a movie about Chicago Outfit boss Tony Accardo, aka “Big Tuna” and his relationship with his mobster prot?g? Sam Giancana.

The movie could be filmed here, given Chicago native Mann’s penchant for realism — remember how he had Lincoln Ave. repaved with cobblestones for the scene in “Public Enemies” outside the Biograph Theatre? Accardo had a big house in River Forest and Giancana lived in Oak Park.

Big sigh of relief as Harpo stays put

The announcement that Oprah’s Harpo Production would remain in Chicago after Oprah’s syndicated show ends in September, 2011, was the best Christmas gift Harpo employees and the company’s many local suppliers could receive this year.

But Tim Bennett, Harpo, Inc.’s president, is not remaining. He will retire from the company at the end of May and plans to move to Santa Barbara.

Two Harpo executives have replaced Bennett, who has been the man behind the scenes for 15 years. Oprah brought him aboard from Ch.

mr. moqo enters the design scene

A new design studio, mr. moqo, headed by graphic designer Robert von Bjal, has opened in shared space with Hootenanny and fxphd, where he will become part of the collaboration among the creative media companies.

Von Bjal will provide entertainment and advertising clients with his brand of designimation, a unique blend of animated typography, mnemonics, branding and identity systems.

“I am not mr.

Tosh, Colangelo demonstrate 4th World Love

When Misty Tosh completes her reality show assignment in mid-March, the globe-trotting producer will spend a month of humanitarian work in the slim volcanic Indonesian island of Lombok.

There, in the tiny village of Sembalun, Tosh and her production partner, Lisa Colangelo, will resume their mission of providing English education and self-help programs to the island villagers.

The traveling filmmakers first went to Indonesia two years ago after working on back-to-back production projects, one of which had a profound effect on Tosh.

Colorist Tom Rovak’s Highly Defined, Inc. will open as Chicago’s only independent DI/color room

Tom Rovak, S2/Swell’s ace colorist for a dozen years, has been freelancing under the banner of his new company, Highly Defined, Inc., until he opens Chicago’s only independent color room outside of a post house.

A $400,000 da Vinci Resolve? v3.4 digital mastering suite will be the heart of the facility.

The new company probably will be located in 4-5,000-sq. ft. space in a River West building he’s currently negotiating for, Rovak said.

“Most color correction rooms in town are traditional linear rooms.

Third Wave shoots Webcast of rock concert

A MAJOR ROCK SHOW was captured for webcasting at the Aragon Ballroom by Third Wave Productions for client Network Live.

“It will be a simulcast broadcast later on AOL and XM Satellite Radio later this month,” said Hank Neuberger, a producer-partner with Terry Fryer and Stephen Warner in Third Wave.

A Jam Productions’ show, the two rock groups were Franz Ferdinand and The Cribs, in concert before an SR0 live audiences. The seven-camera HD shoot was provided by the HD Roadie Truck.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

AN ENVIABLE PROJECT. A post job for Leo Burnett and client Philips Sonicare dental hygiene that Machete editors started in May and kept growing and growing finally ended two weeks ago.

“Philips is an international player,” notes Machete partner Luis Landgraf, “and the number of spots kept growing and they were sent back and forth to Germany, Holland and Japan.” Everybody edited, he says, meaning: Marty Bernstein, Scott Cohen, new addition Kenan Legg and Mary Roland.