WOW! exits Chicago area, sells cable systems to rival RCN

Expands footprint in Chicago area In news that would’ve been a big deal fifteen years ago, WOW! – or Wide Open West, has sold its cable and broadband services to RCN parent Astound Broadband for $661 million. The deals were one of two separate transactions WOW! made last Wednesday: the other was a sale of its Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: Sun-Times fires entire photography staff

– In a stunning move, the Chicago Sun-Times fired almost all of its photography staff on Thursday, which left 28 people out of work. The Wrapports -owned paper instead plans to train reports to take pictures with smartphones. Yes, smartphones. Among those who were laid off include 35-year veteran Pulitzer-prize winning photographer John H. White, one of the first African-American […]

Talk about your conflict of interest….

An interesting item from TV Barn: Sunflower Broadband (or Cable, or whatever they want to be called), which serves northeastern Kansas, dropped two Hearst-Argyle owned Kansas City stations from its channel lineup because they were asking too much money from them to be carried on Sunflower’s cable system. So Sunflower Broadband COO Patrick Knorr replaced departed ABC affiliate KMBC-TV from […]

Say goodbye to Nick GAS, Court TV

The new year brings changes to cable lineups as Court TV becomes TruTV on Tuesday and Nick GAS (which ran out of gas long ago – couldn’t no longer afford to fill up the tank, perhaps?) becomes teen-oriented channel The N, split off from pre-school/tot channel Noggin. Effective today, both become 24/7 services. Both Nick GAS and Court TV join […]

One good thing about 2007: It’s almost over

And that phrase is not just coming from Chicago sports fans. Expenditures were down across the board for traditional media for the first nine months of 2007 (with the exception of cable) according to TNS. Not a good year for ad spending on TV, particularly with Spot sales and syndication (thank you, Macy’s.)

Cable says no to Big Ten, NFL networks

It looks like the nation’s cable channels are getting fed up with sports leagues taking them for a ride – Comcast and Time Warner – two of the nation’s largest cable companies – are taking a stand. Comcast has pushed the NFL Network into a pay-tier with other sports channels -like CSTV and NBA TV for example, while Time Warner […]

"High School Musical 2" socks competition

To the tune of 17.2 million viewers for the Disney Channel last night, according to Nielsen, topping the 7.8 million viewers the original had. Not only that, it broke ratings records in kids 6-11 and the highest Friday viewership for any show – broadcast and cable – in the last five years. One word to describe this: Phenomenon.

Congress sponsors a la carte cable bill

This bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.). But don’t be fooled by the “D” – he represents one of the most conservative districts in Cook County, and his dad, who he replaced, wasn’t exactly a big fan of the late former mayor Harold Washington. Interesting to note that he’s not sponsoring legislation along with the other Chicago Democrats […]

Screw you

That’s what Sorpranos creator David Chase basically said to its fans last night’s series finale as the screen went to black – in the middle of the final scene. Well, at least no one went to jail (Seinfeld), it wasn’t a figment of someone’s imagination (St. Elsewhere), and nobody woke up next to Suzanne Pleshette (Newhart – still the best […]

Cable ratings down too in May

Cable, like broadcast, is in a slump too – but hey, isn’t everything nowadays? You know- sitcoms, ratings for the NBA playoffs, the economy, government, the Cubs, the White Sox, etc…

CSTV comin’ to town

Comcast is adding college sports network CSTV to its digital sports tier on its Chicago and South Bend systems, beginning on June 27. Meanwhile, for those of you who live on Chicago’s South Side, you better get your digital box by June 5 – that’s when Comcast is converting its systems to digital.