Saying Goodbye to WGN Sports

1990s WGN Sports Logo

As a geek for all things media who grew up watching Chicago sports, it’s not lost on me that WGN Channel 9 is in its final year broadcasting live sports. My first experience watching sports on WGN was with the Cubs in 1992. As an eight year old (badly) playing little league, I thought it would be cool to watch real baseball games on television that summer. While WGN was the television home of the Cubs, they would air one or two White Sox games a week, so I had the opportunity to grow up watching both teams.

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Ed Farmer, Please Take a Day Off

As I tweeted earlier today….

As I wrote a year ago on this blog, I am not a fan of Farmer’s broadcast style. That sentiment is shared largely among other White Sox fans. While I do sincerely wish him well, it would have been nice to have heard a different voice fill in on the broadcast while Farmer recovered.

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Monday Night Football, Post Jason Witten

Jason Witten

Jason Witten’s surprise news that he is returning to the Dallas Cowboys for this upcoming season means he is exiting the ESPN “Monday Night Football” booth. There has been plenty of speculation as to whether ESPN will go to a two-man booth with Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland or if they will come up with an alternate plan.

One repeated notion that I’ve come across from the sports media community is how ESPN was seemingly caught off guard with the news and that Witten could have done a better job at giving ESPN more of a heads up. Even if that is all true (and I do prefer an employee to not blindside an employer when possible), this news took place six months before the next “Monday Night Football” broadcast. It’s not like the news came a few weeks before the start of the season.

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Broadcasting is a Cruel Industry: Ron and Don Abruptly Gone from KIRO Radio in Seattle

Ron and Don Radio Show

I’m almost a month late on this one, but without Tom Taylor or Al Peterson, following the radio industry’s day-to-day isn’t quite as easy.

I was surprised to learn this afternoon (by accident while researching a separate radio story) that KIRO Radio in Seattle abruptly ended the popular Ron and Don Show. Even though I have spent my entire life in the Chicago area and have absolutely no ties to Seattle, I came across their show in around 2009 or 2010 and became a quick fan.

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Live and Reporting Outside from Anywhere (Doesn’t Matter Where), To Tell You How Cold It Is Out There

News Reporters in Winter Live Shots

As local newscasts, in Chicago and throughout Midwest, prepare to cover the potential record breaking cold temperatures over the next couple days, I hope news directors come to the realization that live shots of their reporters standing outside from various locations to tell us how cold it is does not enhance the newscast or provide any additional benefits to the viewer.

1/31/19 UPDATE – At least one television station is exhibiting common sense

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Barry Rozner Deserves Better from 670 The Score

Barry Rozner

2/6/2019 UPDATE – Robert Feder’s reports that Barry Rozner has officially cut ties with The Score.

Barry Rozner has been one of my favorite voices on 670 The Score, probably for the better part of the last 5 plus years. That is saying something because Rozner has never been a full-time host at the station.

Rozner, a long-time sports columnist at the Daily Herald, has been a prominent weekend and fill in host for The Score over the last decade. For much of the time, he’s co-hosted “Hit & Run,” The Score’s long-time Sunday morning baseball show. And when regular full-time hosts were either on vacation or off sick, Rozner had been the most called upon personality to fill in.

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Morning Joe Chicanery

Morning Joe on MSNBC

Astute viewers of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” have noticed for quite a while that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the now husband and wife co-hosts, appear to be broadcasting from outside of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios where the rest of the show originates from.

If you search on Twitter using the phrase “Morning Joe studio,” you will see a series of tweets dating back several months and years. The common theme among these tweets is that viewers notice a remarkable difference in the show’s chemistry with Scarborough and Brzezinski on remote while remaining co-hosts Willie Geist, Mike Barnicle and a rotation of guest panelists are together in studio.

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Fox College Basketball Goes ‘Roundball Rock’

Fox College Basketball

Fox Sports created some buzz over the weekend with the use of “Roundball Rock” during Saturday’s Fox College Basketball triple-header broadcast. “Roundball Rock” is best remembered by basketball fans as being the iconic NBA on NBC theme song from the 1990s.

From what I’ve seen on Twitter, the use “Roundball Rock” by Fox seems to be a mixed bag. Some think it should be reserved for a NBA broadcast, while others don’t seem to mind and are happy to hear the song in use again.

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Book Review: “Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show”

Jay Leno Tonight Show Book, Behind the Curtain by Dave Berg

Long overdue on my “to read” list was Dave Berg’s “Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show.” Berg published the book in July 2014, months following Leno signing off as host of the franchise (for the second time). Having served as a co-producer of the show during Leno’s entire run with NBC, the book promised to share interested insight into the behind the scenes aspect of the show.

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Remembering Art Bell

Art Bell

Art Bell’s radio show was a guilty pleasure of mine. The paranormal themed overnight show housed an abundance of fascinating topics that, while mostly derived of absolute nonsense, made for some great radio.

With that said, I was sad when I found out over the weekend that he had passed away on Friday, of all days, the 13th. While my expectations long ago faded that he would ever return to the air for an extended run, his death now cements that his voice is indeed permanently silent.

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