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 […]

FCC sinks net neutrality

FCC reverses 2015 vote; leaves uncertain future for Net Never in the years I’ll followed the media business I’ve seen so much hatred for the FCC – even during the Nipplegate controversy and when former chairman Kevin Martin was running the agency. But what we saw Thursday may have Trumped everything. In yet another bitterly partisan divided vote in an […]

FCC pulls a scam and reinstates UHF discount

Look for more consolidation as FCC gifts media conglomerates by relaxing media ownership rules  In all my years of following the television industry, I’ve never seen an outright scam perpetrated onto the public by a government agency. But that’s what we have as the Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday the restoration of the UHF discount abolished a few months ago in […]

Media Notepad: Chances for writer’s strike increase

Also: ‘Showtime At The Apollo’ returns; The end of the road for “MyTV” branding? Blackhawks’ ratings for 2016-17 drop An update on the WGA labor situation: With the May 1 deadline approaching, the chances of a walkout by the Writer’s Guild seems to be increasing. According to the New York Times, progress has been made on issues such as pay […]

Writer’s Strike, redux?

Here we go again? The story in Tuesday’s New York Post suggests another Writer’s Strike may be on tap, ten years after the last one crippled Hollywood for one hundred days. The Writer’s Guild of America is slated to start negotiations on March 13. The current three-year contract ends on May 1 – timed to coincide with the Upfront presentations […]

Think Tank Express: Freeing the set-top box

A few weeks ago, President Obama announced he was backing a FCC proposal to unlock cable set-top boxes. Whee. The problem is, those set-top boxes you lease to cable operators are about as obsolete as an 8-track tape player. It’s not the direction the industry is moving in, and this idea would be great – if it was 1992. Generally, you need […]

Net neutrality sails through the FCC

In what has to be the most politically divided vote at the Federal Communications Commission since the Sirius/XM merger of nearly seven years ago, the government agency passed new Net Neutrality rules on Thursday, a victory for open-Internet activists and the defeat of ISPs and telecoms, notably Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast. The three-to-two vote came among party lines: Democrats Mignon […]

Supreme Court to Aereo: You’re Out

Ending months of wondering and worrying, the nation’s major broadcasters dodged a major bullet Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of them in their case against Aereo (ABC v. Aereo), an Internet startup company which took (or some say stole) broadcasters’ signals and allows subscribers to watch on their laptops, smartphones, and other devices – without Aereo […]

Comcast, TimeWarner Cable agree to merge

In what can be described as a historic deal, Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. – the country’s largest cable operator – is purchasing New York City-based Time Warner Cable – the second-largest cable operator for $45 billion, or $159 a share in an all-stock deal. The combined entity will boasts 30 million subscribers when Comcast plans to divest three million households due […]

The Excellent 10 of 2011

There is a lot of mediocrity that abounded in the media business this year. But in this post, T Dog Media is honoring the standouts of 2011 – the year’s ten best shows and the best media items. Let’s countdown the best shows of the year first… Best shows of 2011 10. Bob’s Burgers (Fox). What could’ve been the next […]

WGA, AMPTP reach new three-year deal

While there is currently labor discord in the NFL and with public employees in Wisconsin, there is labor peace in one place where there was turmoil nearly four years ago – Hollywood. The Writers Guild of America and The Association of Motion Picture of Television Producers – who represents the major Hollywood studios and the television networks – reached a […]

Will the viewers come back?

All right, the strike is finally over. Now comes the toughest task of all: trying to win the viewers back. When Major League Baseball went on strike in 1994 and when the NHL players were locked out twice in the last fifteen years, it hurt both sports tremendously, and some teams are still feeling the effects. Locally, the Chicago White […]