Former WMAQ meteorologist Jim Tilmon dies

Also was a licensed pilot; did aviation stories for local television Jim Tilmon, who was one of the first African-American television personalities on Chicago television, died Saturday at the age of 86 in his Scottsdale, Arizona home. Tilmon was more than a meteorologist; he was also a licensed pilot, becoming the third African-American to fly for a commercial carrier. He […]

Bears back into playoffs and back right out as ratings drop

Game draws fewer viewers than last playoff run two years ago Nickelodeon simulcast draws praise If it weren’t for Nickelodeon’s family-oriented simulcast of the Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints game Sunday, this matchup wouldn’t be worth watching. But for once, the “slime” mentioned – and seen – didn’t refer to Mitch Trubisky, Ryan Pace, or Matt Nagy. The Chicago NFL Lakefront […]

“You’ve got the wrong house!” – CBS 2 investigation proves journalists’ worth

Nothing fake about this investigative report as investigative journalism proves its worth  The next time someone yammers about “fake news”, there was another reminder this week on how journalists play an important role in our society. On Monday during its 10 p.m. newscast, CBS 2 – CBS-owned WBBM-TV here in Chicago – aired an eight-minute report and showed an exclusive […]

The Media Notepad: Judy Sheindlin strikes deal with Amazon

Also: This TV/Light TV has new owner; Rock 95.5 does modestly well in first survey As anticipated following her announcement on Ellen earlier this year, Judy Sheindlin released more information about her new project Thursday in a press release. For one, the her new courtroom show is still untitled – but perhaps the biggest takeaway is beginning next year, her […]

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.)  […]

Fall syndication preview: It’s all Drew

Drew Barrymore show set to debut Monday – on TWO local stations [Editor’s Note: An earlier draft listed incomplete time period information for Law & Crime Daily and The First 48. This post was updated on September 19.]  With Nick Cannon’s new syndicated talk show on the shelf for another year, it’s just Drew Barrymore as the lone new syndicated […]

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 […]

Remembering Regis Philbin

Iconic television personality dies at 88 Television fans are mourning the loss of Regis Philbin, who was one of the most beloved hosts in the medium. Not only he successfully re-invented morning television with his Live franchise with Kathie Lee Gifford and later Kelly Ripa, but also “saved ABC” as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He holds […]

Chicago stations collaborate on celebrating 2020 grads

Oprah Winfrey to speak to local grads The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out graduation ceremonies all over the Chicago area, but they get to celebrate virtually – with an assist from Chicago’s local stations. In a very rare show of collaboration, Chicago TV stations are simulcasting a virtual celebration titled Grad 2020: For Chicago by Chicago, honoring the Chicago area’s […]

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 […]

Update: Chicago, nation remains on edge after night of rioting, looting

Riots hit downtown; spread to city neighborhoods and suburbs Sunday National Guard called up [Updated at 8:06 p.m.]  The last 24 hours have been truly hellish for Chicagoans, and Americans nationwide. Rioting and disturbances have hit cities across the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, and Chicago was […]

CBS lays off staff, including Chicago’s CBS 2

More than a dozen staffers let go, including longtime investigative reporter Pam Zekman  [Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.]  Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Pam Zekman was one of a dozen staffers let go at CBS-owned WBBM-TV Wednesday as parent company ViacomCBS made 300 to 400 layoffs at CBS Entertainment Group.   It appears CBS 2 bore the brunt of the […]

Storms, flooding knock out local stations’ signals

CBS 2, CW 26, others lose signals for the day; WLS-FM, WFMT also forced off air  (Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 12:37 a.m. on May 20.)  A massive rainstorm Sunday evening wrecked havoc in the Chicago area, flooding numerous streets, including Lower Wacker Drive and the already-closed riverwalk. Nearly four inches fell at O’Hare while over eight inches […]

Remembering Lee Phillip Bell

Referred to as “the first lady of Chicago television”, she was a trailblazer for many who followed The Chicago media community is mourning the loss of one of the tremendous pioneers of local television. Lee Phillip Bell passed away Wednesday at the age of 91 in her California home. Bell, along with her husband William, created the soaps The Young And […]