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 […]

Legendary network executive Fred Silverman dies

Career spanned ABC, CBS, NBC plus his own production company Media watchers are mourning the death of Fred Silverman, an executive who re-invented CBS and took ABC to the top, and later formed his own production company. Born in the Queens borough of New York, Silverman began his career right here in Chicago at WGN-TV in the early 1960s where […]

Bears bomb on field again, draws mixed ratings results for “Sunday Night Football”

Local fans tuned out, but telecast still drew 17 million viewers nationwide (Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new ratings information.) The Bears’ home finale drew some interest, if not overwhelming. The Sunday Night Football matchup between Chicago’s NFL Lakefront Team and the Kansas City Chiefs drew a 22.3 household local overnight rating over NBC-owned WMAQ-TV according to […]

The Media Notepad: Marquee’s future getting on Dish looks very bleak

Also: Big 3 add overnight news repeats; Fox renews three daytime shows; Disney + signs ten million users; two prime-shows pink-slipped We have an update on the latest with the Cubs’ new Marquee Network and Dish…and I’m guessing those negotiations aren’t going well. In an interview with the Tribune’s Eric Zorn (a rather pointed opinion piece urging Dish not to […]

Broadcasters, cable news networks prepare for impeachment hearings

Viewers, syndicators prepare for regular daytime TV schedules to be disrupted (Editor’s Note: This post will be continuously updated with any information on who is carrying the impeachment hearings. – T.H.)  If you are a fan of daytime TV, get ready for a serious reality check. Beginning Wednesday, the major broadcast networks and cable news channels will begin carrying impeachment […]

The Media Notepad: Chicago stations cover teachers’ strike

Also: NBC pulls two shows – but one is moving to digital. Fox 32 downgrades local show; Bless The Harts renewed for season two To say Chicago stations had a busy week is quite an understatement: in addition to reminding viewers (constantly) about re-scanning their sets, news stations were covering the second Chicago Public School Teachers strike in the last […]

Bears blow out competition – on the field and off

Bears, Truibsky cream Redskins, Dancing, and that Bob show  The 2019-20 television season is officially underway, but Chicagoans weren’t ready for the new shows….they were ready for Mitch Trubisky. The Chicago Bears thrashed the Washington Redskins on Monday night Football 31-15, with the Bears offense – struggling as of late – put up 28 points in the first half and […]

Bears bomb on field, but NFL Kickoff is a ratings success

Ratings up 14 percent despite downer of a game The NFL’s 100th season kicked off Thursday with the oldest, most storied rivalry in the league: The Green Bay Packers playing the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. But the results on the field were anything but grand as the Bears lost to the Packers 10-3 in a lackluster game panned on […]

No Blues for NHL as Game 7 sets Stanley Cup ratings benchmark

St. Louis boring? Not when their team just won the Stanley Cup.  Who needs the Chicago Blackhawks? That’s the sentiment NBC Sports and the NHL are having Thursday in the light of record-setting ratings between teams in the 10th and 21st-largest television markets. The St. Louis Blues clinched its first-ever Stanley Cup championship (much to the chagrin of some Blackhawks […]

25 years ago: The deal heard around the world

25 years ago this week, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch changed the TV world by inking a deal to trigger the biggest affiliation switch in history.  It goes back to what happened on December 17, 1993. The networks were complaining about paying too much for sports – the NFL in particular – as the packages were losing money and looking to pay […]

Upfronts review: More legal dramas, less multi-cam laughs

Also: fewer new shows The 2019-20 season is going to be more dramatic and less comedic. That’s the analysis of the five major network’s fall schedules, containing perhaps the fewest number of new shows in memory. The major networks don’t really invest in pilots anymore, thus there are fewer programs to look at as replacements. Ratings aren’t really important as […]

Getting ready to board “The Red Line”

Limited-series debuts amid back drop of real-life problems, including Jussie Smollett The latest drama to be based in Chicago debuts (or debuted) Sunday night titled The Red Line. But you wonder if Chicago TV viewers would board for the ride. Named after the “L” line running from Howard Street in the North Side’s Rogers Park community to 95th Street on […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: “It’s not you, it’s me”

WPWR-CW breakup illustrates how some affiliate partnerships don’t work The major networks have enjoyed long, prosperous relationships with their affiliates. For example, Milwaukee’s WTMJ, St. Louis’ KSDK, and Cincinnati’s WLWT each has enjoyed a long relationship with NBC dating back to the late 1940s. CBS and New Orleans’ WWL have been partners since 1957. And ABC and Dallas’ WFAA go […]

Broadcast networks to carry President Trump speech Tuesday night

Despite criticism of their news organizations. For the first time since he’s taken office, President Donald Trump is giving a speech to the nation Tuesday night at 8 p.m local time on the issue of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. All the broadcast networks – especially CBS, NBC, and ABC announced Monday they would carry the speech, despite much […]