Rewinding 2019 in media

  Disney Plus made the biggest splash of the year 2019 saw the end of several institutions, big media battles, and disappointing sports teams. Let’s start with the huge changes in big media, as Disney closed on its purchase of the 20th Century Fox film studio and Viacom reuniting with CBS again with a new name (ViacomCBS) as the race […]

Media Notepad: “Red Line” derails in the ratings against “Game of Thrones”

Plus…. Ratings for Bulls and Blackhawks continue to fall; Jeopardy continues to roll thanks to a winning contestant; Crain’s partners with WGN Radio As one might have predicted, CBS’ new limited-series drama The Red Line got off to a rough start Sunday night, and it was indeed “A Long Night”. The two-hour premiere of the shot-in-Chicago series drew next-to-nothing in […]

The Media Notepad: “Game of Thrones”, Masters score big

Also… Face The Truth won’t be back for a second season; CourTV returns May 8; AT&T sells Hulu strike While HBO turned Chicago’s weather into one big promotional machine (Winter came on Sunday…and left a big, slushy mess), it seemed to have worked: Sunday’s eighth-season premiere of Game Of Thrones proved to be a big draw. The season premiere attracted […]

The Media Notepad: Bears draw big ratings for SNF

Plus… HBO Boxing swan song a bust; Judge Joe Brown returns to TV The Monsters Of The Midway are back! Sunday Night Football scored a significant ratings victory with the matchup between two first-place teams: the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears. Being played at a frigid Soldier Field in Chicago, the Bears beat the Rams 15-6, thanks to the […]

HBO to end boxing telecasts after 45 years

Move marks latest shift for premium service (Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.) After a few years on the ropes, HBO’s boxing franchise is down for the count. HBO announced Thursday it was ending boxing telecasts on the network after 45 years, with the cancellations of World Championship Boxing, Boxing After Dark, and The Fight Game.  The move isn’t […]

Think Tank: HBO wants to get “bigger”

They want to get “bigger and broader” to compete with Netflix – but they use language only a commercial broadcaster would use If you are a fan of HBO or any premium cable service you have to be concerned about what was reported in the New York Times on July 8. Blaring the headline “HBO Must Get Bigger And Broader […]

The 2017 Primetime Emmys: “The Handmaid’s Tale” surprise big night

Diversity shines during Emmy telecast, but presentation showcases the worst of Hollywood  The 69th Annual Emmy Awards took place Sunday night described as Hollywood’s annual self-congratulatory fest. Oh wait, this takes also place during the Oscars, too. Whatever. The event was televised live to all time zones with Stephen Colbert as host of the festivities. Among notable winners, Sterling K. […]

Think Tank Express: ESPN’s Jemele Hill should keep her job (updated)

Why? Bill Maher and former Rep. Joe Walsh have said much worse about African-Americans – and they get to keep THEIR jobs  (Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new information since this was posted. – T.H.)  As you know by now, ESPN personality Jemele Hill was reprimanded by the network for tweets she sent on Monday, referring to […]

ESPN fights its way back into the boxing business

More boxing on the way As the sports world Saturday was focusing on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor pay-per-view fight from Las Vegas, ESPN made some boxing news of its own over the weekend by announcing a new, multi-deal year to carry boxing matches from Top Rank, a promotion run by legend Bob Arum. Top Rank tested the waters recently with […]

Bill Maher escapes punishment for N-Word use on “Real Time”

The use of a racial slur isn’t the career-ending death sentence one thinks it is – but should it? Bill Maher’s use of the “N-Word” on his Real Time show on HBO recently opened up a debate on whether if it’s okay for non-African Americans to use the word – even to make a point. On June 2nd’s edition of […]

T Dog’s Media Notepad: Bulls dragging down NBA ratings

Also: ABC 7 and WGN-TV are February sweeps winners; Tribune Broadcasting update; T.D. Jakes show is canceled; Legion, Good Wife renewed; Iron Fist debuts  With the 33-37 Bulls once again struggling in the ratings locally, it comes as no surprise Chicago’s NBA team is dragging down the league’s ratings nationally. According to Nielsen via Sports Media Watch, March 12’s game on ABC […]