T Dog’s Think Tank: Diversity matters

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s untimely death, the world is calling for reform – and the media business must follow the lead [Editor’s Note: This post was updated on July 1 and on December 1.] As one of the few African-Americans who writes a media blog, for years I’ve been pushing for more diversity in the media business, whether […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: The legacy Jerry Springer leaves

  For better or worse – mostly worse, Jerry Springer shaped television and society To say Jerry Springer didn’t have an impact on our culture is like saying cigarette smoking doesn’t cause cancer. But here we are in 2018 as what we saw as outrageous back then is the norm now. Before  Jersey Shore, Flavor Of Love, Love And Hip-Hop, […]

The Media Notepad: Big 95.5 downsizes

Also: Jamie Allman out at St. Louis’ KDNL; Chicago Tribune unionizes; quick thought on Apu gate and “Roseanne” jokes According to All Access Big changes are coming to Big 95.5 FM, known as WEBG-FM. In a complete housecleaning, the iHeartMedia station fired morning personalities Mason Schreader and Zach Hoesly (“Remy”) and midday personality Steve Stewart, who was also the program […]

CBS made right call to air controversial “Survivor” segment

Reflects the world we live in these days in the Trump era  (WARNING: Contains spoilers.) (Editor’s Note: This post has been edited due to the video in this story being removed from YouTube.)  If you’ve read this blog for the last decade, I’ve often called out Survivor for their failure to deal with social issues such as racism. Wednesday night, […]

How Chicago Watches TV (according to Facebook)

Chicago is a Simpsons town; NCIS, Duck Dynasty not so much Viewing patterns are racially segregated as the city is Two weeks ago, the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Urban Institute proclaimed in a study (another in a very long line) something we’ve known for decades: the Chicago metropolitan area is one of the most racially segregated areas in the country. And to a […]

Updated post: “Winter Classic” slides in ratings

Despite Blackhawks loss, Winter Classic draws viewers in Chicago, St. Louis – but Chicago numbers down significantly from 2015’s game Celebrity Apprentice return disappoints And other ratings news of note (Editor’s Note: Contains spoilers for Monday’s edition of “The Wall”. This post has been updated from earlier today – T.H..) Though the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t win, the ninth NHL Winter […]

2016 in review: The highs and the lows…a lot of lows

“Jessica Jones” tops odd year in media – and life When you look back at 2016, there isn’t much to rave about – way too many celebrity and industry deaths (Prince, Garry Shandling, Carrie Fisher, Grant Tinker, Doug Banks, Herb Kent, etc.), the election of Donald Trump, the rise (again) of Rahm Emanuel, continuing media consolidation, and other awful things. But […]

TV’s best in 2015

2015 in television was clearly unforgettable: a debut of a new series generating numbers not seen in years; a debate over whether we had “Too Much TV”; we said goodbye to David Letterman and Jon Stewart in late-night; and Donald Trump hijacked the news media (and will continue to do so in 2016.) As for scripted television, we went into […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: According to message board posters, “Everything Isn’t Awesome”

Constant whining about radio, TV threatens to undermine business Before social media, message boards and comment sections were basically a way to post your thoughts about a particular issue and to connect with others. But these days, message boards and comment section sections are often breeding grounds for stupidity and for people to start arguments for the sake of starting arguments. […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: When radio personalities attack

The recent confrontation between WLS-AM host Bruce Wolf and African-American traffic reporter Kelli Walker just goes to show you what a complete embarrassment Chicago radio is, and the media industry is in general. In case you haven’t heard (and that’s most of you), Walker “threw some shade” at Wolf on the morning of November 18 over the issue of racism on the air […]

Chicago radio stations asking listeners to “put the guns down”

Will it work? While urban radio station Hot 97 in New York City is having fun with their new, hot, ridiculous “docudrama” cable TV show, it is a far different environment involving urban radio in Chicago. The atmosphere is far from festive – and the drama is real. As first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Fran Spelman nearly two weeks […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: Blow it out your bullhorn

(Editor’s Note: This piece contains strong language. Reader discretion is advised.) If you want to make the case cable TV is one big ripoff, look no further to what aired this past week. And no, I’m not talking about CNN’s crappy Chicagoland show. I’m talking about the inane puke garbage that is The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, which had an […]

Grab Bag: CBS 2’s Jay Levine attacked in a live shot

(Editor’s note: under circumstances not under my control, the videos for Jay Levine’s story have since been removed. You’ll just have to take my word for it. – T.H.) – In the latest incident of TV news personnel being attacked on (or off camera), WBBM-TV’s Jay Levine was attacked by a crazed protester in a live shot outside a restaurant […]

CNN’s “Chicagoland” stalls at the starting gate

The first episode of Robert Redford’s eight-episode documentary didn’t attract much of an audience Reviews mixed, but Chicago viewers’ reception is more positive Chicago is in the spotlight once again thanks to a new eight-hour documentary Chicagoland, which premiered Thursday on CNN and is running at 9 p.m. for the next eight weeks. Produced by Robert Redford, Mark Levin, and […]

Is minority content being targeted for indecency?

Content targeting Black, Hispanic audiences come under scrutiny after FCC fines Spanish broadcaster for indecent content  Believe it or not, the next indecency battleground could be in Chicago’s African-American community. A group of activists calling themselves The Clear The Airwaves Project are targeting Crawford’s WPWX-FM (Power 92) and Clear Channel’s WGCI-FM for playing salacious hip-hop and rap music targeting children […]