Remembering the NBC “Checkerboard”

On September 14, 1987, NBC’s owned-and-operated stations decided to launch a bold experiment, airing a different sitcom every weeknight leading in to prime-time. It was a disaster.   Before streaming, where you can watch what you want when you want – or what day you want, there was a time where local stations did something called “checkerboarding”. As you know, prime-time […]

Kevin Cross named NBC 5, Telemundo Chicago GM

Takes over role June 1 In a masterful stroke of corporate synergy, current NBC Sports Chicago senior vice president and general manager Kevin Cross will assume the same responsibilities (as president and GM) for NBC 5 (WMAQ-TV) and Spanish-language Telemundo Chicago (WSNS-TV) effective June 1, succeeding a retiring David Doebler, who is exiting after eight years. The news was first […]

More diginets fall: Scripps pulls plug on Ion Plus, ShopIon, Qubo

Former Katz networks to take their place Get ready for a major shift in the digital channel world.  Months after Scripps acquired Ion Networks, the company announced it was eliminating three digital subchannel networks: Ion Plus, ShopIon, and Qubo effective at the end of February. Those channels will be replaced by existing Katz channels, including Bounce, Grit, Laff, and Court […]

The state of syndication in 2021 (three months early)

  Pandemic, shifting audiences makes it challenging for stations and syndicators Generally, I write these state of syndication articles in January before the NATPE gathering in Miami. But as we know, there has been nothing normal about the current times we live in, the television business included (and of course, NATPE isn’t likely happening as a traditional gathering in 2021.)  […]

Chicago media criticized for looting, vandalism coverage

Chicago’s news media under fire for coverage of African-American communities Even though a Tribune article published Friday fell short in describing the tense relationship between the local news media and the Black community, it did bring up valid points needing to be addressed.  In a sub-headline titled “Black Chicagoans, white media at odds”, writer Christen Johnson reported on the frail […]

“30 Rock” reunion special faces affiliate resistance (updated)

Chicago viewers will get to see Liz Lemon & Co. reunite. Outside of Chicago? It depends on where your live – and who owns your NBC station. [Updated Thursday at 4:25 p.m.]  Are you excited about the 30 Rock reunion Thursday night? If you live outside of the Chicago area, you might have to delay your enthusiasm until Friday morning […]

2017: How did we do?

Back a year ago, yours truly did a look ahead into 2017. So how did everything turn out? I have the answers right here! 1. The FCC under a Trump administration. With a 3-2 FCC majority, issues the FCC championed under Tom Wheeler: net neutrality, preserving the cross-ownership rule, and other issues are going to get a hard look at […]

T Dog’s Media Notepad: President Obama grants interviews with Chicago TV stations

President Obama invites Chicago stations to interview him; Robin Rock returns; ABC 7 launches new anti-fake news campaign; Dish Nation returns for two more seasons.; NBC launches new station in Boston; TCA’s Winter Tour begins  Thursday was a big day for local Chicago TV news operations as in an unprecedented move, outgoing President Obama gave interviews with all five local […]