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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Thoughts on the White Sox Radio Broadcasts Going into the 2018 Season

White Sox Baseball

After two years on WLS, I’m happy that this season, the White Sox will instead have their games on WGN Radio.

Where as WLS seemed to put in the bare minimum as a radio partner for the White Sox, WGN has been a great partner for the Blackhawks, and previously as the longtime home for the Cubs and I am hoping the same will happen with the Sox.

The only downside is that the radio broadcasts will still be called by Ed Farmer. I’ve been hoping for years that the Sox would come to the decision that an upgrade at radio play-by-play was badly needed, and each year I am surprised when he is brought back.

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Misuse of the Public Airwaves: Dangerous Psychic Nonsense

Yesterday, I had the displeasure of listening to Pete McMurray’s WGN Radio morning show, in which a Chicago area psychic (her name escapes me) was allowed to spew nonsense on the air for the better part of the 8 a.m. hour.

For the record, I think McMurray is a fine host. That said, I am disappointed for his involvement and endorsement of this psychic reader and her so called “abilities” on the show.

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By the Balls: Football’s Flagrant Hold on ESPN

NFL's Tight Grip on ESPN

On Friday, the New York Times released a damning piece that revealed just how much of a grip the NFL has over ESPN, concerning the network’s participating in a documentary about players suffering from football related head injuries. The story has garnered a lot of attention within the sports media community, calling into question the journalistic integrity of ESPN as a result.

On a semi related note, you may recall an ESPN television show 10 years ago called “Playmakers,” which depicted a fiction pro football team overcoming day-to-day hurdles in a fiction pro football league. The NFL didn’t appreciate having such “hurdles” spotlighted — even if the show was fiction — and pressured ESPN into dropping the series.

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‘That Other Pregame Show’ to Launch on CBS Sports Network (or more like that “Other Network”)

That Other Pregame Show

Compared to the efforts of the NBC Sports Network and the newly launched Fox Sports 1, it would appear that the CBS Sports Network isn’t even trying (put aside the aggressive luring of Jim Rome away from ESPN).

In an effort to curb such pessimism, CBS Sports Network announced yesterday they are launching a new expanded NFL pregame show to air each Sunday morning during the NFL season. The name of that show, according to Ed Sherman, will be “That Other Pregame Show.”

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Shades of Yellow Journalism: Comparing the Kindle Touch Against the New Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light

Today the LA Times website featured a story with video comparing the Kindle Touch by Amazon against the new Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight by Barnes & Noble. The story’s headline asks “which device is better in bed?” The premise of the story is how the Nook with Glowlight can be used in the dark, while the Kindle Touch cannot because it doesn’t light up (this discussion does not include any of the tablets offered by either company, since they are “backlit” while the Nook with Glowlight is not).

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Countdown to Current Conflict with Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann

The problems between Keith Olbermann and his bosses at Current TV should not be taking anyone by surprise… including the folks at Current TV. His bad experiences at ESPN, Fox Sports and MSNBC should speak for itself.

When on camera, Olbermann is very good at what he does. He is a reputable star. Hiring a star in hopes of turning a struggling cable network into something that is more legitimate is commendable. Hiring Keith Olbermann for such a task is absolutely insane. He is highly irritable, immature, mean, picky and short tempered.

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New Year’s Eve Countdown Shows

This is a follow-up from Wednesday’s “Why I Prefer Not to Celebrate New Years” post where I discussed various reasons why I don’t particularly like New Years. One of my major grievences against it are the New Years Eve countdown shows.

Chicago media blogger Robert Feder wrote a piece yesterday reminiscing about the various countdown shows on Chicago television through the years, and specifically the one that airs on WLS-TV Ch. 7 each year. Feder also had a few criticisms of his own to address:

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Spoiling Santa

Fox Chicago (WFLD-Channel 32) news anchor Robin Robinson made headlines the other night after revealing on the air that there is no Santa Clause (the video of the incident, as well as the on-air apology the following night are available in the posted link). As you would expect, there was a lot of feedback directed at Robinson from angry parents and other viewers.

Over on the Chicagoland Radio & Media message board, the general sentiment seems to be that Robinson was out of line for saying such remarks on the air, as it is not all too uncommon for some young children to still be up after 9 p.m. and in the same room with their parents while the news is on. An opposing view is that if children are up late enough to watch the 9 p.m. news, and old enough to learn about shootings, war and other bad things, then they are likely at an appropriate age to know the truth about Santa.

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Charlie Gibson

ABC “World News” anchor Charlie Gibson (as he prefers to be known, as opposed to Charles) will officially be retired after his final broadcast tomorrow night. Unlike another legendary great, Walter Cronkite, Gibson chose to leave.

My schedule has not permitted me to watch the network evening news in a longtime, but I have had the pleasure to watch Gibson here and there through the years, while at “Good Morning America” and with “World News. As a kid, if I didn’t have Bozo or some other cartoon on, my mother often had WLS-Channel 7 on, and “Good Morning America” would start at 7 a.m.

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