PRSA Chicago Happy-Hour Panel: ‘Local Media and Their Specialized Beats’ | January 2014
The Chicago media landscape has a number of reporters who cover specialized beats and follow specific news and developments on a daily basis.
These reporters rely on numerous sources for their stories and background information. Hear how some of the most noted beat reporters approach their areas of coverage by joining us for our happy-hour Chicago media panel, Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Midday News Segment Coordinator, WGN-TV (@WGNTV)
Tom Barnas is a midday-news segment coordinator and producer at WGN-TV. In his role, he oversees on-air guest coordination for “WGN Midday News” on WGN 9 and WGN America. Past guests have included newsworthy authors, bands, chefs and “DIYers.” Prior to joining WGN-TV in 2008, Mr. Barnas had served as a producer, overseeing on-air talent at ABC and WGN Radio. He holds a bachelor’s in mass communications from Illinois State University.
Anchor and Reporter, Comcast SportsNet Chicago (@CSNChicago)
Chris Boden is an anchor and reporter at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, serving as host of “Bears Postgame Live.” Prior to his current role, he oversaw reporting on SportsNet Central, and hosted the network’s Chicago Blackhawks studio coverage (i.e., “Blackhawks Pregame Live,” “Blackhawks Postgame Live”). Covering the Chicago sports scene for more than 20 years, Mr. Boden came to Comcast SportsNet from WMVP-AM 1000 (ESPN Radio) where he was an anchor, fill-in host and reporter. He has also held local and national sports-casting positions at CLTV (Chicago), the NFL Network and WFLD-TV (Fox Chicago). Before that, he served as a sports anchor and reporter at WBBM-TV (CBS Chicago); sports anchor, director and reporter at WBBM-AM; and sportscaster at Illinois News Networks (previously Tribune Radio Networks). A Burbank, Ill. native, Mr. Boden holds bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago; and is a member of Luther South High School’s 1980 Class-A, state-basketball championship team.
Reporter, Northwest Indiana Bureau, WBEZ-FM 91.5, Chicago Public Media (@WBEZ)
Michael Puente is a Northwest Indiana bureau reporter at Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM 91.5. With more than 20 years of journalism experience, Mr. Puente has worked across print and radio-broadcasting mediums. He currently oversees WBEZ-FM’s news on Indiana state, with an emphasis on Northwest Indiana business, crime trends, environment and politics. Prior to joining WBEZ-FM in 2006, Mr. Puente had served as a reporter and writer with Cafe Bilingual Magazine, the Daily Herald, The Daily Southtown (Lansing, Ill.), the Post-Tribune (Gary, Ind.) and The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster, Ind.). He’s also worked as a co-host of the “Latino Lingo” WJOB-AM show, and production assistant with Gutierrez Productions. Mr. Puente holds a bachelor’s in communication and media studies from Calumet College of Saint Joseph in Whiting, Ind.; and remains active as a contributing writer at Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly Magazine and adjunct journalism professor at his alma mater.
Business and Finance Reporter, Chicago Tribune (@ChicagoTribune)
Becky Yerak is a business and finance reporter at the Chicago Tribune, specializing in banking, private equity and property-and-casualty insurance. She also writes on “movers and shakers” in those industries, as well as trends on borrowing, earning and spending. Prior to joining the Chicago Tribune in 2003, Ms. Yerak worked for the Detroit News, (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Orlando Business Journal and Palm Beach Post. Her team’s finance piece detailing the final days of former Chicago Bears player, Dave Duerson, was recognized by Associated Press Sports Editors as one of the five best explanatory stories by large newspapers in 2011. She remains active as a member of the Southport Cine-Club, a monthly film discussion group; volunteer at the Blind Services Association of Chicago; and acolyte and lector at St. Peter’s in the Loop. Ms. Yerak has a bachelor’s in journalism from Ohio State University; and is a fellow of the esteemed Kiplinger social-media program.
Host, WGN-AM 720, Tribune Broadcasting Company (@WGNRadio); President, Bill Moller Communications
Bill Moller is a multiple award-winning broadcast journalist and president at Bill Moller Communications, LLC. In his role, he provides executive-communications, media-training and speaking-engagement counsel to executives, project managers, recruits and sales teams. Mr. Moller also serves as a radio host with “WGN Weekend” at 9 a.m.–1 p.m. CT on Saturdays, covering a range of subjects, including food, movies, parenting and politics. Prior to Bill Moller Communications and WGN-AM, he worked as a host at CLTV and WLS-AM, and director of business development at TC Public Relations. For his writing, reporting and anchoring he has earned three Emmys; two Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists; and two first place Associated Press awards. Mr. Moller also has served an adjunct journalism professor at Columbia College Chicago; and was appointed the first Annenberg Scholar at Principia College in Elsah, Ill., where he taught broadcasting and communications. He holds a bachelor’s in journalism and communications from the University of Southern California; and remains active as an avid reader, cyclist, jazz pianist and tennis player.
Registration is now closed.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 22; 6-8 p.m. CST
Where: Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St., Chicago
Fee: Member: $37; Non-member: $45; Student: $37
Attire: Business Casual
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