When we last checked in with Jen Lada at the beginning of the year, the former sports reporter on WITI-TV Fox 6 made a career change. She took a job as a free-lance contributor for Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.
Just this week, the cable-based sports channel that’s the TV home of the Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox, brought Lada on full time.
"My role has been increasing … I’ve been working a full-time slate for 3 to 4 months," Lada said. "When they came to me, I told them that I’d love to be a member of the team as long as we were able to work around my family responsibilities."
Lada said that working for the outlet, she’s had to be a jack of all trades, being able to anchor, do field reporting and contribute to the station’s web site. On some nights she will anchor "SportsNet Central" at 6:30 p.m., lead the hour-long 10 p.m. show and then end the day anchoring at midnight.
"In a regular nightly newscast, you’d get 3 minutes max," Lada said of how much time was allocated to sports in a traditional newscast.
"Now I have an enormous amount of time to expand on things. Games are wrapping up for our local teams and we have the news of the day (to cover) with the big stories. It’s been exciting."
For this fall, Lada has been placed on the daily beat of covering the Chicago Bears. She’s there covering practices and will be the reporter working at all home and away games this season.
"I’m on the Bears beat and will be a reporter for the full season. It’s a nice feather in my cap," Lada said.
We talked about her time covering the Packers while at WITI, and how that experience has led to her being one of the few female beat reporters covering the NFL. One of the nice things with starting this season is that the entire press corps is getting used to the program under new coach Marc Trestman.
"Football is football and sports is sports," she said about covering a new team. "It is good to challenge yourself. I can’t rest on my laurels. This forces me to continue learning, improving."
Comcast SportsNet reported that Lada would also occasionally host viewer interactive segments on post-game shows, and will work on a number of digital initiatives on CSNChicago.com.
"Since we brought her on board earlier this year, Jen has done an excellent job for us as a free-lancer and we couldn’t be happier now to welcome her experience and local sports enthusiasm to our network on a full-time basis," said Kevin Cross, the news director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
"She will no doubt be a terrific full-time addition to our already solid on-air team."
CONCERT: Fox News Channel’s "Fox & Friends" caps off its All-American Summer Concert Series with American Country Award-nominated artist Justin Moore on Friday. Best known for hits like "Til My Last Day," and "Bait a Hook," he will discuss his summer tour schedule and perform some of his songs around 7 a.m.
ACTING LESSON: Sir Patrick Stewart is a Shakespearian actor, who has won accolades for his work in drama, science fiction, action and comedic films and television appearances. Going viral is his latest work, giving his fiancée acting lessons. Welcome to the quadruple take:
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.