The Media Notepad: Paris Schutz exits WTTW

Also: Chicago Blackhawks add animated alternative broadcast; FCC fine won’t affect WADL sale; Caps/Wizards move to Virginia scuttled In another blow to the long-running Chicago Tonight, anchor and co-host Paris Schutz announced Tuesday he is leaving the WTTW show after a twenty-year run, departing on April 12. Some personal news: Nearly 20 years ago, I walked into WTTW as a […]

Rewinding media in 2023

A year dominated by labor strife, awful Chicago sports teams, and – oh yeah, Elon  If you watched the WWE, you remember Vince McMahon playing himself as an arrogant CEO and billionaire, ruling over anything and everything – the ultimate heel. It’s a real-life trend we’re seeing as we close 2023. Led by billionaire Elon Musk, CEOs – whether they’re […]

“Chicago Tonight” reduced to twice a week

The decline of linear TV claims another victim as WTTW pairs back public affairs show With the news Nexstar is looking to buy ABC and its owned stations – which could eliminate a local newsroom in Chicago in a possible merger of WLS-TV and WGN-TV, comes this bit of unwelcome news: WTTW is reducing the number of episodes of its […]

Former FCC Chairman Newton Minow dies at 97

A distinguished Chicagoan, he helped create public television and was known for famous speech declaring TV a “vast wasteland” One of the most prominent figures in early years of television as a government official has died.  Newton Minow passed away Saturday at the age of 97, surrounded by family at his Chicago home. As many of you know, he’s best […]

WTTW shifts ‘Chicago Tonight” to 10 p.m.

Public television station goes head-to-head with late local news as it returns to late-night It’s back to the future as Chicago Tonight returns to late-night as the public affairs/news analysis show known for its deep-dive into issues facing the city and suburbs, exits primetime to compete directly with four 10 p.m. local newscasts, beginning January 23.  “There is a need […]

The Media Notepad: Steve and Johnnie return to WGN Radio for Saturday nights

Plus:  MeTV expands Svengoolie; MLS and Apple makes linear broadcasting deals; PBS stations to stream on LocalNow. One of the top-rated overnight voices in Chicago radio is coming back for an encore.  The husband-and-wife team of Steve King and Johnnie Putnam will be returning to WGN Radio on Saturday nights starting January 7, where they’ll have a weekly show airing […]

WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” gets set makeover

Only third set redesign in 20 years Chicago PBS station WTTW revamped its signature 7 p.m. news show Chicago Tonight on October 3 debuting not only a newly remodeled set, but also new music and graphics.  “We are excited to debut this new and immersive viewing experience, which will enhance our news coverage and advance our mission to provide independent, […]

WTTW technician strike ends

Agreement reached Wednesday night after three weeks on the picket line A strike called by IBEW 1220 against Chicago public television station WTTW has come to an end.  As first reported by Robert Feder Wednesday evening, the union came to terms with the PBS station on a new deal lasting until July 2025 containing “fair economic gains”, covering camera operators, […]

The Media Notepad: WTTW technicians’ strike continues

Also: WBEZ ties for 1st in PPMs; WTMX has a new afternoon show; Black News Channel update It looks like the technician strike at Chicago’s WTTW isn’t going to end anytime soon. IBEW 1220, who represents technicians and electricians at the North Side public television station, went on strike on March 16 demanding better pay, working conditions, and against shifting […]

Rewinding media in 2021: You just can’t explain it

  Popularity isn’t exactly overrated as 2021 ends a wild year in media Like mystery of the sphinx or crop circles, you just can’t explain the continued popularity of certain things despite questionable changes. After the firing of Mark Giangreco and seemingly public disdain for one of her former co-anchors, ABC 7 remains on top of local Chicago news ratings, […]

ABC 7’s Mark Giangreco in trouble – again

On-air comment has top sports anchor off-air  It looks like we’re going to need not one but two new hosts for annual New Year’s Eve special Countdown Chicago.  Viewers of ABC 7 (WLS-TV) have noticed top sports anchor Mark Giangreco’s absence for the last few weeks and now we know why he’s been off the air – and it isn’t […]

“Chicago Tonight” in turmoil: Executive Producer out after social media post violations

              Now-departed exec producer threatened show’s journalistic legacy  If the decision to sell the Chicago Tribune – a local institution dating back to 1847 to out-of-town hedge fund interests who are known as newsroom gutters weren’t enough, now another headache as emerged at another of the city’s top news organizations.  WTTW’s Chicago Tonight – […]

Media outlets underachieve on a terrible, no-good day

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)   Most drop the ball on coverage on a day democracy nearly died  Wednesday’s attempted coup by President Trump and his allies brought out the worst and when everything was said and done, four people were dead and there were calls for him to resign, be impeached, or invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him. Perhaps the […]

Chicago media criticized for looting, vandalism coverage

Chicago’s news media under fire for coverage of African-American communities Even though a Tribune article published Friday fell short in describing the tense relationship between the local news media and the Black community, it did bring up valid points needing to be addressed.  In a sub-headline titled “Black Chicagoans, white media at odds”, writer Christen Johnson reported on the frail […]

“Man” overboard: WGN-TV sinks “Man Of The People”

Elements of series may continue on “non-linear platforms” Back in January 2018, I wrote a review of Man Of The People urging Chicagoans to “tune in and enjoy the show while they can before Captain Chesapeake fires the man, in reference to the former Baltimore kids’ TV host, who appeared on a Sinclair station whom at the time was in […]