THE REEL THING: News & Notes

GRANT/JACOBY CLOSES. Mid-size, independent Grant/Jacoby has ridden into the sunset after 62 years on Michigan Ave. The agency employed 25. Inability to lasso new business was its biggest problem. But possibly the most serious blow to the agency was the loss of creatives Bernie Pitzel and Denny Hebson to form their Romani Bros. agency.

Andrea Murphy (an Ad Woman of the Year) had been president since 1997. Fred Smith was a majority owner. He is a one-time spot producer at Leo Burnett and DDB and later cashed in on the now-defunct Leap Partner’s IPO.

THEATRE LEAGUE LOSS. CEO Marj Halperin will leave the League of Chicago Theatres after eight years to explore new opportunities. The League’s achievements under her direction have been impressive, such as getting the city to rewrite permits and licenses to help non-profit neighborhood theatres become more workable and practical.

Mike Weaver

MOVING AROUND. Mike Weaver joined Midwest Media Group as director of engineering operations and services. He was with Sony Electronics for four of his 15-plus years in the industry… Marketing Support added CDs Tracy Rodgers, from Design Kitchen, and Miki Shim, a Draft ACD, and former freelance copywriter Michael-Mary Conlon.

SORRY TO LEARN of the death of Marty Feldman, studio Paragon owner/engineer and producer for 30 years. His death reportedly occurred after those of music colleagues Shelly Elias and Steve Shafer. Details surrounding his death are unknown. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and son Eli.

SARA KRUEGER, Steve Ford Music producer/marketing, will attend the first gallery exhibition of her amazing mixed media paintings at SoHo’s Agora Gallery, Feb. 25-March 19. Agora has represented Krueger’s work online for the past year with no sales as yet, but the exhibit should change all that. Krueger will be on hand for the March 3 reception accompanied by 20 of her family and friends.

RAMPING UPfor its 2006 opening, the Museum of Broadcast Communications hired Wally Podrazik, a Chicago author, media critic and a leading pop culture historian, to head creating the massive museum exhibits, along with Chuck Stepner, former VP/special projects for NBC. When completed, the exhibits will display on 60 screens.

FCB ADDS FOUR. Senior production business managers Bobbi Noffke and Elana Werts move from the same positions at DDB; talent business manager Lisa Ginsberg comes from DDBO and junior art director Alex Zamiar was with Uglytown & Friends.

ROYAL SCREWING is what Jam Productions’ Jerry Mickelson got when the sorely disturbed Park District “appropriated” his plan?in the works for two years?and gave it a competitor to execute.

Mickelson tells us: “I went to the Park District in order to find a site to compete with Clear Channel in the summer since they own the area’s only outdoor venue in Tinley Park. Since so many performers tour in the summer we needed a place to present events and concerts.

“I find it pretty amazing that they would take my dream away and give it to the one company that has a conflict of interest since Clear Channel has a competing venue. The Park District could earn more money from our proposal. I have never been more depressed in my 33 years of business than I was when the Park District awarded the contract to Clear Channel.”

Carlson charges media shortchanges local talent

Award-winning filmmaker D.P. Carlson was obviously chagrined when he ripped off a letter to the Sun-Times in response to an editorial congratulating ex-Chicagoan Oscar nominees for their “skill and dedication.”

Not that they don’t deserve it. But wait a minute.

“It takes a ton of skill and true dedication for local filmmakers who are committed to the challenge of living, working and remaining in Chicago,” Carlson protested.

“It’s ironic that the Chicago media always prefer to name drop the accomplishments of people who have left the Windy City and ignore the ongoing efforts by local artists who stay in Chicago to raise families, pay taxes and actually leave their sweat on the sidewalks.”

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.?Ruth L Ratny

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