T Dog’s Think Tank: Chicago Tribune still feeling effects of Hurricane Zell

Last week’s opinion piece shows the insensitivity of the Zell and Michaels era still abound at the Trib As you know by now, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board member Kristen McQueary caused a huge stir last Friday writing a column “wishing” a Hurricane Katrina storm would wipe out Chicago, giving it a “reboot” as the city struggles with crime, financial problems, and […]

Blackhawks roll into Stanley Cup Final

Third time the charm; to face Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night Ratings thru roof For the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup Final. This time however, instead of playing teams with established fan bases (the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins), they get to play the Tampa Bay Lightning – a Sunbelt expansion team […]

Garry Meier’s move to Internet radio won’t revolutionize it

If one thought positively about Garry Meier’s move from WGN-AM to WGN’s Internet feed, one could think he would do for Internet Radio what Howard Stern has done for satellite radio. It could be “revolutionary”. Um, no. WGN’s decision to move Meier from its AM terristial station to WGN.FM could rank as one of the biggest blunders in Chicago radio […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: “Heroes” returns. Oh God, why?

Just when you think the idiots who run broadcast network television couldn’t get any stupider, here comes this piece of news: NBC aired a promo Saturday night – yes, Saturday night during the Winter Olympics for the debut next year of a hot new series… Heroes. What the what? And here’s the kicker: the person helming this revival of Heroes: […]

Cumulus takes over Merlin Media’s remaining stations

The reign and terror of Randy “Court Jester” Michaels in radio has finally come to an end. In a blockbuster move, Cumulus announced Friday morning it was taking over operations of Merlin Media’s two remaining stations immediately: classic rocker WLUP-FM (97.9) and Variety Hits WIQI-FM (101.1), which was once home to the failed “FM News” experiment. The deal also gives […]

Massive shakeup ahead at WGN Radio

WGN Radio brings back some of its personalities; station hopes listeners return as well; Brandmeier moves online – for now Hoping to undo the damage done by years of mismanagement, WGN-AM general manager Jimmy DeCastro is retooling the station’s lineup nearly from top to bottom, bringing back familiar names and hoping to reconnect with Chicago listeners. As first hinted by […]

Rewind 100.3 gains a PD, WGN Radio loses one

Also: Jim Laski ends radio comeback Monday was an active day in Chicago radio as two big personnel moves took place. Hubbard Broadcasting’s WILV-FM (aka Rewind 100.3) hired Marty Bender as the station’s new program director (PD), effective soon. Bender ran WFBQ (Q95) in Indianapolis for over two decades and also oversaw “The Bob And Tom Show”, a station staple […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: Internet trolls aren’t Boston strong

Leave it to wingnuts, trolls, and the FCC Chairman to ruin a feelgood moment. The Boston Red Sox played their first game at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals after deadly bombings ripped through the Boston Marathon’s finish line Monday, killing three people and injured more than one hundred. Before the game, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz […]

Nils Larsen out at Tribune

There’s a lesson to be learned – The Chicago Way usually doesn’t work outside of City Hall. As first reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media on April 2, Tribune fired Nils Larsen as president and CEO of Tribune Broadcasting. Larsen  joined Tribune in December 2008 during the Randy Michaels-Sam Zell era. Typical to how things work in Chicago politics, Larsen […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: “Ellen” renewed through 2017

– Good news for fans of Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talk show: Warner Bros. has renewed the strip through 2017 on more than twenty station groups, including all ten of the NBC-owned stations. Airing on WMAQ in Chicago at 3 p.m., Ellen is the top-rated program among women 25-54 in the time period, besting rival talkers Katie, Dr. Phil, and Maury. […]

Chicago radio sinks to a new low – again – WIND to hire Walsh

I guess in Chicago media, you don’t need a degree to get a job. Just look pretty. Or be dumb. Or be an unfunny, talentless hack. Or just yell a lot. Welcome to the Chicago media freak show, former Representative Joe Walsh. In a town whose media outlets hired embarrassments such as Randy “Court Jester” Michaels, Jim Laski, Jenny McCarthy, […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: Seth MacFarlane, The Oscars, and you

MacFarlane panned at Oscars, but he wasn’t the problem with the show A few months ago on Twitter, yours truly said Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane wasn’t a good fit as host for the 85th Annual Academy Awards, aka The Oscars. Sunday’s telecast certainly verified that fact – well, somewhat. The first few minutes of MacFarlane’s gig actually got off […]

Mike Renda out at WFLD; Dennis Welsh in

In the 27 years yours truly has followed the media business, I’ve never encountered anyone who is arrogant, incompetent, and stupid – aside from Randy “Court Jester” Michaels and his minions – in running a radio or TV station as Fox-owned WFLD and WPWR General Manager Mike Renda. On Friday, Fox management – which is proven to be every bit […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: Merlin Media sells NYC station to CBS

Today’s Grab Bag features Merlin Media, Friday prime-time ratings, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey hooking up, and a possible new name for The Insider which you have to see to believe: It looks like the end is near for Merlin Media: the company announced the sale of New York City alternative rock outlet WRXP-FM to CBS Corp., who plans to […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: Associating with Mariotti sends the wrong message

Look what washed up on the shores on the beaches of L.A. after all these years…: it’s the human garbage disposal: Jay Mariotti. Two weeks ago, the former Chicago Sun-Times columnist and Around The Horn panelist on ESPN – and who twice pleaded no contest to misdemeanor domestic abuse – wrote a not-so-glowing piece on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler […]