Bears vs. Packers game night

While tonight’s Bears vs. Packers “Monday Night Football” is an ESPN broadcast, it will also be available “over the air” in Chicago via WCIU-TV Ch. 26/The U at 7 p.m., with the ESPN coverage beginning at 7:30 — kickoff shortly after 7:30.

On an added note, while the radio side is the normal WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9, you may also hear the Packers broadcast, depending where in Chicagoland you may be, via the Milwaukee station WTMJ-AM 620. The Packer’s radio play-by-play voice is the familiar sounding Wayne Larrivee.

Meanwhile, WGN-AM 720 is airing a special “Two and a Half Bears” pre-game with Pete McMurray, Dan Hampton and Glen Kozlowkski from 6 to 7:30 p.m. — the same group return after the game for the “Two and a Half Bears” post-game.

Win or lose, this Packers fan will be listening to the “Chevy Silverado Green & Gold Post Game Show” with Bill Michaels and Gary Ellerson via the WSSP-AM 1250 in Milwaukee live stream. As a matter of fact, it’s a safe bet that I’ll be listening to WSSP all day.

Regardless of the Bears situation with no Jay Cutler and their other abundance of injuries, I’m still feeling the jitters for tonight’s game. You never know what kind of affect, good or bad, the bye will have on a team, and I’m not sure which Packers offense will show up tonight. I don’t necessarily expect it to be a blowout like the one they had against the Vikings last Sunday night.

ESPN 1000 continues ‘Talkin’ Baseball’ minus Bruce Levine

Sorry WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000, but your once-venerable all baseball show, “Talkin’ Baseball,” just is not the same without veteran voice Bruce Levine.

This isn’t meant to be a shot at current hosts Fred Huebner or Jesse Rogers. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t mind listening to them talk baseball if it were on a show not titled “Talkin’ Baseball.” Levine brought a higher level of perspective to the show that just can’t be replaced by either Huebner or Rogers. Without Levine, “Talkin’ Baseball” is just another weekend sports show that happens to be all baseball.

Levine left ESPN 1000 at the end of September, following the conclusion of the 2013 MLB regular season. The station opted not to re-new his contract, a decision likely inspired by cost-cutting as opposed to any dissatisfaction with his performance.

On second thought, it’s ESPN 1000 that should  be apologizing to us.

Sun-Times chief grand marshals Columbus Day Parade

While at the Chicago Columbus Day Parade today, I was surprised when I saw that Sun-Times Media chief Michael Ferro was the grand marshal. Having shared my thoughts about him being there (I’m sure much to the delight of my wife), I was pleased to see this tidbit by Jim Romenesko after I got home.

Meanwhile, here’s a photo of the WLS-TV/ABC 7 float. Even with the sub-par cell phone photo, you might be able to ABC 7 anchors Ron Magers, Alan Krashesky and Kathy Brock.

ABC 7 Columbus Day Float

Nearby in a separate ABC 7 make-shift studio was Mark Giangreco and Janet Davis, while Mike Kaplan was at street side talking to various people on and off camera.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is an asshole

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was doing a swell job at demoralizing employees at the Patch, an AOL owned individual community digital news platform, on a Friday teleconference. Nothing portrays a superb boss like accepting blame for a failed venture to only then blame the people beneath for lack of leadership (and emphasizing leadership with a capital L) before announcing that most of the division will be gutted, meaning many people will lose his jobs. At least those who don’t voluntarily exit (he also encouraged that people voluntarily leave). but that his job is safe (he didn’t actually say his job was safe, but you get the idea).

No, that can’t possibly be bad enough…

Why not demoralize your employees further by publically firing an employee, loud and clear during the teleconference!?

Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!

Who is Armstrong attempting better emulate, Ebenezer Scrooge or Mr. Spacely?

Final note… if you’re someone with my resume looking for more information about me, and you fail to see the problem with how AOL CEO Tim Armstrong conducts his business, then do me (and yourself) a favor. Throw that resume into the trash. I wouldn’t want to work for you.

Back on the media scene, with a new name and philosophy

So, once upon a time, I started my own media blog. With the abundant of media news, gossip and randon tidbits that seem to constantly surface, I made an attempt to stay on top of it as much as possible, getting to the point that my head spinned right off my neck. I crashed and burned and eventually stopped blogging.

My mistake.

As a full-time graphic designer and webmaster, I can’t be a full-time media blogger. I knew that originally, but I still somehow forgot that in my first attempt, and it just didn’t work.

This go-round, I’m hoping to apply a new philosophy. Take it slow and easy. No pressure. Only write when I truly have something worth writing about. That’s my hope at least.

With a new philosophy also comes a name change. Prior to launching this blog, I had a few name ideas and fielded them around with friends and family. I was always sold on “Blowtorch Press,” but almost everyone else liked “Media Blowtorch,” and that’s what I went with. Being away from this for a while, and having thought about it from a fresh mindset, I probably should have gone with what I initially liked.

And now I am. The new name of this blog is the Blowtorch Press, conveniently located at

With the new change and philosophy, I’m more comfortable with this attempt.

I’m not a media professional or insider. I’m simply an enthused media geek who has a lot to say.

And I hope it will be worth your time

Friday night video searching on YouTube

So I was searching YouTube specifically for an American Coach Limousine television commercial (don’t ask), and while I found what I was looking for, I had to do a double take after observing the two female actresses at the beginning.

They look very familiar. Looks alone, I may not have recognized them, but when combined with those mannerisms, I immediately flashed back to the old Eagleman commercial from the 1990s.

Those are the same women, right? Now, I’d really like to know for sure.

I suppose there are worse things I could be doing on this Friday night…

Examining the sad state of Barnes & Noble following the resignation of CEO William Lynch

The resignation of William Lynch as CEO is a big blow to Barnes & Noble. If not for the sake of his day-to-day and/or long-term presence, then at least for the sake of morale.

His appointment as CEO in 2009 and his plan to build-up the company’s digital infrastructure was rightfully acclaimed as forward thinking — the only logical phase for the company to pursue. Manufacturing a line of e-readers and tablets would provide the means for the selling of digital content for years to come. This could have allowed the company to better absorb losses coming from its brick and mortar stores and/or phase them out completely. The goal was to become a viable alternative to the likes of Amazon.

Even though the strategy looked good on paper, any long-term viable success would require that implementation goes 100% smoothly. Unfortunately, there were a few misses along the way. The limitations of the early Nook Color in 2010/2011 likely hindered potential momentum out the gate.  I also think the (fair or unfair) perception of a struggling book company making their own tablets didn’t help. At the time, any non-Apple manufactured tablet didn’t have a good rep. Budget friendly tablets didn’t really take until Google came along with their $199 seven-inch Nexus; soon followed by the Kindle Fire at the same price (the Kindle Fire came out first, but it appears that the Nexus has taken off more then the Fire).

I’m not sure if Barnes & Noble’s strategy was doomed from the start. Perhaps, some altercation to the strategy would warranted different results. At this time last year, the formation of Nook Media as a separate subsidiary with Microsoft was deemed positive. Since then, it’s hard to identify just how Microsoft has benefited from the arrangement. It’s quite puzzling that B&N never seemed to maximize the potential benefits of such an arraignment (i.e. never any real discussion of future Nook products being Windows 8 based).

Regardless why the Nook strategy bombed, I’m saddened by what appears to be a repeat of the struggle that Borders previously experienced prior to its demise in 2011. Even if the Nook strategy would have taken off, I realize B&N’s book stores would have slowly disappeared. My  hope (as naive as it may have been) was that for the sake of novelty, there would always be a few remaining stores here and there. Maybe that still happens in some capacity, though the remaining uncertainty is unsettling.

I suppose I should also mention that I am quite the hypocrite. While rooting for the success of Barnes & Noble, I am doing so while using the Kindle. Why I’m not supporting the Nook product line is a long story in itself… one that I’m sure I’ll eventually blog about.

Media using tragedy to engage audience, boost social media activity

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I “liked” the WLS-TV/ABC 7 Facebook page. For much of the duration, the page was great for providing Chicago area news, weather and any other tidbits of interest — exactly why I “liked” it to begin with.

Of late, I started becoming annoyed with pages like ABC 7, or any other, that have gone a bit heavy with encouraging their followers to “like” or “share” a given status…

I get that active social media management means you want as many people to “like” or “share” your page or the content on your page as much as possible. The level of annoyance crossed the line when I thought ABC 7 was using (deliberate or not) the sympathy surrounding the death of the 19 Arizona firefighters as part of their social media strategy…

I don’t want to see it. I’m not interested in seeing tragedy be used as a means to engage an audience. I understand such strategy happens all the time to a much greater extent in the real world, but with Facebook(!)… it especially strikes me as sleazy.