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Naming Rights Deals Sweep Chicago Media

"Phil Ponce isn't just the host of WTTW-Channel 11's Chicago Tonight anymore," Robert Feder reports.

"From now on, he's The Alexandra and John Nichols Chief Correspondent and Host for the public television station's nightly news program.

"Marking a first in Channel 11's 60-year history, Window to the World Communications has named an on-air host's position in honor of a couple of major financial backers."

While the move is unusual, the Beachwood has learned that several other "naming rights" deals are in the works for local media members.

* Michael Sneed is close to being named the George and Lura Lynn Ryan Chief Correspondent of the Sun-Times. Unfortunately for the paper, no money is involved because Sneed has been doing the job for free for years.

* John Kass's column will now be endowed by Rush Limbaugh and renamed Dittohead. They will also write a cookbook together.

* Jim Kirk was quietly named the Rauner Family Foundation Editor at the Sun-Times last October.

* Mark Konkol's "My Chicago" column for DNAinfo Chicago will now be named "Rahm's Chicago" and funded by Robert Redford and CNN. Konkol will continue to write the column and readers shouldn't notice any difference.

* Dave Savini is pursuing a deal with Spencer's.

* Amy Jacobson is pursing a deal with Intex, but may have to settle for TMZ.

* Steve Dahl and Garry Meier have inked separate deals with Trib.

* Hawk Harrelson will now be sponsored by a Del Monte can of corn.

* Bill Kurtis will sponsor himself.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on January 15, 2015


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