Let’s Go Brandon: Johnson wins mayoral race

Tightest margin of victory ever as election night coverage was OK, but WGN-TV bricks hard  In one of the closest mayoral races in the modern media era, Cook County Board member Brandon Johnson pulled off a shocking upset by beating former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas to become Chicago’s 57th mayor with a margin of around 12,000 votes (not […]

End of the line for Mayor Lightfoot

Incumbent ousted as she finished third in non-partisan race; had tension-filled relationship with media  Back in 2019, Lori Lightfoot stunned everyone by sweeping all fifty wards to become Chicago’s next mayor and the first Black woman and LGBTQ person to do so. But in the end, she was ineffective as a leader in City Hall and she was blown out […]

NBC 5, WVON partner for mayoral forum targeting Black community

Tired of all these mayoral forums yet? There are more to come. If you watch Survivor, then you know about Tribal Council, where the strategies and backstabbing come out in full play. The Chicago mayoral forums have been like Tribal Councils every single night with insults, personal attacks, and language that makes the last few Survivor seasons look peaceful by […]

The Media Notepad: WBBM Newsradio names Craig Schwalb news director

Also: Mayoral debates scheduled; CBS-owned stations to rebrand news properties Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM announced last week the hire of Craig Schwalb as brand manager and news director of the station effective January 23. He succeeds Ron Gleason, who retired last month.  Schwalb comes from Hubbard’s dominant all-news station WTOP in Washington, D.C., a station who typically leads the country in […]

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 […]

Chicago officials begin encrypting police scanners shutting public, media out

Collation of media organizations blast plan, saying public safety is threatened; New York City may follow  Chicago media organizations and community leaders are blasting a plan to encrypt police radio scanners, saying doing so would be a threat to public safety.  In a letter signed by three publications, five television station newsrooms, and WBEZ parent Chicago Public Media, the collation […]

The 2022 T Dog Media Turkey Awards

Welcome to the 17th annual T Dog Media Turkey Awards! This year, 22 unlucky recipients (with one shared) are honored for being awful people, terrible companies, and those who are jerks in every walk of life.  If there’s a theme, it’s the year of being a CEO or billionaire – or both as they’re throwing their power and influence around, […]

Local TV stations in the middle of campaign ad controversy

Ad featured a darkened Mayor Lightfoot and violent images, but is it enough to be rejected by local TV stations? For those hoping local TV stations would reject an obviously racist and violent campaign ad running for the past week, it may – or may not happen. In the last week, a Political Action Committee – or PAC, bought time […]

Chicago Police searching for suspect who pointed a gun at TV news crew

Comes after Chicago is obliterated on the national stage again for gun violence after Texas tragedy Chicago TV news crews have mostly avoided getting attacked during live shots, which has been the case in several cities – that is until now. During a live shot Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. at the intersection of Clark and Hubbard in the River […]

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, […]

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, […]

Poll: Chicago viewers split over media coverage of crime

Cook County State’s Attorney blasts Nexstar’s WGN-TV over poll A poll released by Nexstar-owned independent WGN-TV on Tuesday showed how Chicago-area residents felt about their local political leadership and pressing issues like crime. And let me tell you – it wasn’t pretty as people seem to have it in for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, […]

May sweeps sees declines for local news

Ratings are down for local news – but not out [Editor’s Note: This post was updated on June 1.]  If you’ve noticed, ratings are down across-the-board for just about everything on linear TV these days.  And yes, that includes local news. As reported by Robert Feder Friday, three Chicago news stations: ABC-owned WLS-TV, NBC-owned WMAQ-TV and Nexstar independent WGN-TV, all […]

The Think Tank: Lightfoot’s decision on journalists forces discussion on racial diversity

Lightfoot’s decision to exclude white journalists sets off firestorm. But it’s a conversation long overdue The latest dustup between the Chicago media and minority communities is unusual because the person behind it happens to be the Mayor of Chicago. On Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot – the first Black woman to be elected to the position in the city’s history, decided […]