Legendary Chicago broadcast exec dies

A pillar of Chicago broadcasting has died.

Sheldon Cooper (not to be confused with “The Big Bang Theory” character of the same name), died Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, reports Robert Feder.


Cooper was a longtime general manager at WGN and also the founding president of the Tribune Entertainment division.

That division produced “Soul Train,” “At The Movies with Siskel and Ebert,” “Geraldo Rivera,” and “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault.”

He retired from Tribune in 1993 to start his own consulting and development business.

His death comes in the midst of a sea of change for WGN and Tribune.

Tribune Broadcasting no longer exists, with Nexstar Media Group acquiring its assets in late 2019.


Its parent Tribune Media no longer exists, though Tribune Publishing, its print division, lives on (after taking on the name Tronc from 2016 to 2018).

Nexstar, meanwhile, shuttered CLTV, the 24 hour cable news network run by WGN — but then announced plans to launch a three hour national newscast on WGN America

Industry watchers also say Nexstar may explore the sale of WGN Radio, though after local publication Crain’s Chicago Business published a story suggesting that, Nexstar severed its partnership with the publication.

Cooper was proceeded in death by his wife Mary, which, interestingly, was also the name of the “Big Bang” character’s mother.