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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019

* I’ve tried watching Channel 20 news over the past few years and I could never make it through an entire broadcast. To me, it’s unwatchable. I didn’t even know who Joe Crain was until the recent uproar

WICS-TV’s general manager said Monday the Springfield television station will change the phrase it uses to label early severe weather alerts.

Gone is “Code Red,” words that drew the ire of some viewers and prompted station meteorologist Joe Crain to use a morning on-air weather report last week to criticize the phrase, saying it is a “corporate initiative” that “doesn’t recognize that not all storms are equal.” Crain hasn’t been on the air since his comments, and his biography has been removed from the Channel 20 website.

In Code Red’s place now is the phrase “Weather Warn,” WICS general manager Rick Lipps said in a video posted to the station’s website.

“We firmly believe in the need to provide an early warning alert and will continue to provide this potentially lifesaving information, but we have come to understand that the words ‘Code Red’ may no longer be fitting,” Lipps said. “As such, we are changing the name of our early warning alert to ‘Weather Warn.’ In addition, we will continue to work to more precisely define the specific geographic areas of greatest concern.”

* The Question: Do you regularly watch local TV news? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


panel management

- Posted by Rich Miller        

110 Comments
  1. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    I can’t get enough of Channel 7 in Chicago.


  2. - Seats - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    After having a Facebook post to one of their stories put on the air without a simple asking if it is alright I became pretty turned off with the network.

    Before someone says it; there Facebook gives a warning that all comments are potentially able to be used on the air. However, just because they can doesn’t mean they should without asking.


  3. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    I haven’t owned a tv in 15 years but I support Joe.


  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    More often than not, yes. WGN or WLS for the most part. But not everyday, and usually not for an entire broadcast. I’ll check-in on the news during a commercial on whatever else I was watching (sports mostly).


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    ===can’t get enough of Channel 7 ===

    Y’all are spoiled up there. It has its shortcomings, but Chicago TV news is pretty darned good overall.


  6. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    Answered no, because WICS would be my local news station. It is unwatchable. Joe was a daytime weatherman. I seldom saw him because I work during the day and never even tried to watch daytime news. This channel seems Togo they anchors. Reporters and weatherman rapidly.
    As to this controversy, they issued a Code Red for every single day the weather included a drop of rain. It was a well known joke. Joe probably should have not said anything and gone with what his employee wanted. I don’t think what he said
    was enough to be fired for.


  7. - L.A. - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    I’m with you, Rich. Never watch the news on WICS. I couldn’t pick Joe Crain out of a lineup. But I have heard talk about the ridiculousness of the overuse of Code Red, prior to Mr. Crain’s dialogue the other night. More so during this past winter; several Code Red’s and then no snow.


  8. - Iggy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    it’s weird, constant news on twitter has rewired my brain and usually leaves me feeling put off or down after scrolling for a few minutes. After several years of not watching nightly news, recently, I have begun watching fox 32 Chicago in the evenings. Overall its a much more enjoyable way to receive information about what is going on in the world. Or maybe nostalgia is just a Heck of drug, who knows.


  9. - pool boy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    I used to watch Channel 20, but after the Joe Crain debacle, I have stopped. Seems a bit harsh to fire someone for explaining why they are doing something.


  10. - Kankakee River - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    Yes. When we turn on our local news for weather related concerns, we want to know the size of the storm, tornado spotting, wind gusts, etc.


  11. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Does Chicago Tonight count?

    The main reason I watch non-WTTW news is to see political commercials during election season.


  12. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    Watched it daily. Joe obviously was catching grief for the code. But WICS looks foolish in this instance.


  13. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    “We firmly believe in the need to provide an early warning alert and will continue to provide this potentially lifesaving information, but we have come to understand that the words ‘Code Red’ may no longer be fitting,” Lipps said. “As such, we are changing the name of our early warning alert to ‘Weather Warn.’ In addition, we will continue to work to more precisely define the specific geographic areas of greatest concern.”

    No to the QOTD, and especially No to any Sinclair station. I agree with Joe Crain… The NWS has the best early warning system for severe storms. AccuWeather and now Sinclair would like to impose their own histrionics into weather. During the December 1, 2018 tornado outbreak, WICS was ready to call an “All Clear” while a tornado was ripping apart a large machine shed within the Radford Run Wind Complex near Maroa. They weren’t even aware that the Wind Complex was playing havoc with the Doppler Radar out of Lincoln. It was the NWS that kept the tornado warning in place when WICS would have gone back to the sports game that was one. Both of WICS’s meteorologists that night were surprised when a tornado signature exited Radford Run and kept going until it ended up by LeRoy with more damage.


  14. - SAP - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    Used to watch local news when I lived in the Chicago market, but I just can’t watch the local news in Springfield anymore. Not even for laughs.


  15. - Leon Durham - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    I watch WGN for Mike Lowe and Tom Skilling. I watch WTTW for Amanda Vinicky. I don’t generally care for the rest of them with their harcuts and their ties and their windbreakers.


  16. - Nilwood - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    Quick watching channel 20 when they switched from NBC to ABC years ago. I can follow local news on the radio, and no longer watch old network tv.


  17. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    I always watched WEEK years ago and often WGN even downstate, but in St Louis it became largely pointless. The news was largely content free of anything besides if it bleeds it leads and the political news was just awful.

    Then I moved to Minnesota. It’s somehow more vapid. I didn’t think it was possible, but it’s worse. I have watched some coverage during severe weather, but that’s it.


  18. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    For some reason, I became more interested in Chicago weather after Cheryl Scott replaced Jerry Taft.


  19. - Nova - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    I do, and unfortunately that leaves me with WICS. I never watched the morning show so not as familiar with Joe Crain, but the whole Code Red thing was just stupid! The fact that Sinclair told stations they had to declare a “Code Red!” a certain number of times is not compatible with accurate meteorologic forecasting. It is a misguided bid for viewers and irritates the crap out of me.


  20. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    I watch WGN every morning and Chicago Tonight every night. WGN for weather and Chicago Tonight for interesting, more substantive stories


  21. - Dude - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    Downstate local news pretty painful overall. Even WCIA is weak. They try to cover an hour at 6 p.m. that ends up with them telling all of the stories twice (90 plus percent fluff pieces).

    Literally “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley played out nightly at 6 and 10. Truly painful.


  22. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    No. If you want the weather, go to the WGN Weather App and then they have the videos of the weather report if you want to watch them. They also have weather alerts. For news, forget it–I just use twitter for my news feed.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    I watch TV news and the horrible stories that lead (if it bleeds, it leads). I like to know what’s happening in and around the city, as it could affect the people in my life and me, like crimes in the neighborhood and traffic incidents. I like weather and sports and really like meteorologist Tom Skilling.


  24. - Montrose - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    Growing up we would watch local news at 5/6 religiously, but that was before the twitters and such. I only watch it now if there is a specific story on that I want to see, and then I am usually watching the clip via the interwebs and not real time on the television.


  25. - Anonanonsir - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==WGN or WLS for the most part==

    WLS loves the Cubs. WGN splits it up.
    I kinda like the NBC5 vibe — Allison keeping her rowdy boys in check.

    I hope Joe Crain gets another gig soon.


  26. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Voted yes. I have blocked all national cable news.


  27. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Either WGN at 9 or WLS at 10.


  28. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Over half of WGN’s weekday schedule is local news. Between 4 AM and 10:30 PM they pack in 12 and a half hours of local news. It sort of makes CLTV redundant.


  29. - Shytown - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    Definitely try to catch Chicago TV news when I can - WGN, ABC and Chicago Tonight.


  30. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    I don’t have a TV but I do get OSEP (Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness) Alerts as a DHS Caseworker.
    Usually if there is a big storm coming I know about it.
    It’s nice to get these because we can warn the public as we interact especially those who are “sleeping rough” (outside) can know when to take shelter.


  31. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    Yes, but I stopped watching 20 once Sinclair took it over and started running propaganda diatribes.


  32. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    WGN morning news


  33. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    Another Chicago Tonight watcher here. I can’t stand the rest of the “news” teams in Chicago.


  34. - Wylie Coyote - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    For those of us in Springfield, local TV news is so limited. Channel 20 (pre-Sinclair) did have a half-way decent job of covering REAL local news, not just doing a stand-up on top of a bridge over the interstate everytime there was a chance of snow. With Sinclair taking over, the average reporter is barely old enough to drink and most often not very well trained (it’s obvious also they never took a speech class in their life).

    I do (did) watch a little bit of Joe in the morningto get the local weather before going to my computer and watching WGN online. Best morning TV anywhere. At night, absolutely no WICS and back to WGN online for the 9 o’clock news. Sometimes I’ll log into other Chicago channels online. WICS’ 10′o’clock news is pathetic — half of the canned Sinclair pieces are alarmingly bad and the GM must not like men because there are No male reporters, just nasally voiced post-teenagers.

    From a legislative standpoint, WCIA has the best coverage - even some enterprise reporting that shows the reporters actually know a little bit about what they are talking about.

    And don’t get me started about the SJ-R and GateHouse Media. I feel sorry for the troops that are left, but their product is atrocious. There’s no editing, especially if you read the obituaries that come in from far-flung funeral homes that are written by a secretary with a fourth grade education. And when there are more sports writers than hard news writers…..

    Just the rambling thoughts of a former news media mogul….


  35. - Nameless - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    I haven’t watched WICS Channel 20 since the days of Don Hickman and Gus Gordon.


  36. - revvedup - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    Gave up trying to watch the lengthy, sappy, full of fluff Chicago news years ago. I surf web sites and do news radio stations to save time. When severe weather hits, I’ve got NOAA, maybe a TV station, and a police scanner. If all else fails, look outside. If it’s green or black during the daylight hours, I’m in my basement.


  37. - twowaystreet - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    In college my friends and I would turn on the local news and mute it. We would banter back and forth ask if it where the tv station people talking to one another. The fun part was the tv reporters interview about hot local issues with random people at the town mall. Some soon-to-be legal substance may have been involved.


  38. - Occasional Quipper - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    Answered no. I get all of my news and weather online.


  39. - Anon312 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    I like a lot of the political TV reporters, but I can usually catch up with their stuff online. Not much need to tune in, and not much interest in the other blood and guts stuff. Understand they’re important for severe weather, and tracking city hall stuff, but it’s too easy to pick and choose stories that interest me so I’m less likely to sit and watch a whole stack of stories I don’t care about.


  40. - bhartbanjo - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    I had to say no because my local would be WICS and I stopped watching it even before I knew about Sinclair. I kept wondering why they were reporting about a murder in Florida.

    We tend to use WICA for our “local” news, and it’s mostly OK.


  41. - OldSmoky2 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    I mostly watch NBC 5 Chicago. They do a nice job with weather, Carol Marin does good reporting, and Allison just reads the news old-style, which is good. I used to watch ABC 7 but then they changed their style and started shouting the news, with far too much “And now, BREAKING NEWS!”


  42. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    My brother and I would watch the local news and then the Today Show every morning before getting on the school bus. I cannot stomach the inaccuracies, sensational, and shallow original reporting on local news coupled with the fear-based syndicated content.

    Joe was best on the radio away from his corporate guidelines.


  43. - Anon312 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    You don’t have to love Sinclair or side with them in this fight… but I think Crain would’ve been fine if he didn’t imply the company was somehow violating or neglecting its responsibility to comply with FCC requirements. That has to be the part that rankled the brass more than anything.

    That said, their stuffy ‘Weather Warn’ replacement is so lame. What kind of a brain dead dropout cooks this stuff up? The GM’s non-apology added fuel to the fire.


  44. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    FYI, the Weather Channel’s phone ap is very good.


  45. - matt jones - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    I watch local news, principally for the local sports and weather which i can’t get anywhere else. As the spouse of a (former)broadcast meteorologist, I think Mr. Crain did a great service. People can throw stones but these folks (actual certified meteorologists not just the rip and read newsies) live and breath weather. Its a sickness like politicos obsessing about precinct numbers or d-2s. And a catchy chyron to hook eyeballs a through one more ad break, at the expense of alerting the public when it really counts is sad at best and immoral at worst. Kudos for the GM finally coming around and gratitude to Mr. Crain (whom i’ve never watched) for his integrity. This is what it looks like and has bolstered my faith in its continued existence, especially in a media world bent on its own dimunition.


  46. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    ====can’t get enough of Channel 7 ===

    Y’all are spoiled up there. It has its shortcomings, but Chicago TV news is pretty darned good overall.=

    Amen. Local news in central Illinois is brutally bad. I do like the morning weather person on the Peoria CBS affiliate.

    Otherwise I try to catch WGN morning news streaming online. Sometimes our bandwidth makes that a challenge but the WGN morning crew makes the news fun and watchable. I quit cable news and national news back in 2003.


  47. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    I watch ABC7 after Jeopardy to catch the weather, current headlines.
    I’ll watch Chicago Tonight for more in-depth coverage.


  48. - Steve Polite - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    If only we had a well developed and detailed weather alert system already developed by a government agency, then Sinclair wouldn’t have to make up their own Code Reds and Weather Warns systems. I quit watching WICS news.


  49. - don the legend - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    I do turn on WICS every couple weeks to make sure I’m still doing the right thing by not watching.


  50. - Smalls - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:08 pm:

    Sorry, couldn’t help but think of this. Poor choice of words for the weather.

    Did you order the Code Red?
    You want answers?
    I want the truth
    You can’t handle the truth


  51. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    No. Channel 20 is unwatchable, especially their weather coverage. It was awful even before the “code red” nonsense. It’s as if it’s designed to keep people as paranoid as possible. Seventeen or so years ago when Springfield had a drought, Channel 20’s weather coverage all summer was, “Day __ without rain! How much more can we take?” But when it started raining again, their coverage was, “Oh no, rain! Batten down the hatches!”

    For every torrential downpour, they stick a poor reporter on an overpass over I-55. And for every blizzard, they stick a poor reporter on an overpass over I-55.

    When we do watch local news, it’s WAND 17. Never WICS.


  52. - Out of the business... - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    I stopped watching when Jordan Abudayyeh left.


  53. - Rachel - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    Don’t watch any tv news - local or national. Tried SJR in various forms but couldn’t stand it. Tribune is hopeless. I get local politics from this blog, (thank you), National news from NYTimes and WashPost and weather from the weather channel (very good) and the SPC web site which is great. I get weather channel alerts on my phone.


  54. - reddevil - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    Yes …usually because its on right before GMA in the morning


  55. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    I actually used to watch the local news station. Every once in a while they would do a decent story. Haven’t since they let Joe go …


  56. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    WGN Morning News because they are irreverent and hilarious.


  57. - My New Handle - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    I never watch local news (SPI), and rarely watch news networks.


  58. - a drop in - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    yes. For entertainment, I watch WGN news.

    But if I really want to know what’s going on, I read Capitol Fax commentators.


  59. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    yep. WTTW, Chicago Tonight and WGN in the morning to wake me up gently, and surrounding Sox games. Does BBC count for “local” news?


  60. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:32 pm:

    oh, also, I miss the local weather station on cable. it was especially fun when it was storm time and the music they played was sometimes Pink Floyd. now it’s just the weather channel which keeps putting up Joliet as a local and I live no where near that.


  61. - Old Illini - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:33 pm:

    I get my local news online or on WBBM, as the information density on television is very low. If i want the weather I say “Hey Google.” If I want entertainment I watch Fox and Friends.


  62. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    Thought “Joe Crain” was an Eric Clapton song?


  63. - ChrisB - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    I time my mornings by WGN Morning News. It’s on in the background.

    If my kids aren’t fed and dressed by the time Voicemail and Other Stuff comes on, I’m going to miss my train.


  64. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:44 pm:

    The Code Red things had become a statewide joke.
    They were calling them 3 and 4 days in advance while the NWS called for sunny skies and no rain.

    The last four “Code Red” days they called gave the area where I lived a combined 20 minutes of rain.

    Joke.


  65. - jimbo26 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    I live in Springfield and got sick of Code Red and now watch WAND Decatur.


  66. - Ginhouse Tommy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    I watch for local news but it leaves a lot to be desired. Highly unprofessional. BTW the weatherman for WAND in Decatur, J.C Fultz who had been there 17 years quit because they hired a 20 year old to do the weather. He was usually spot on with his forecasts and much more reliable the whatever WICS had.


  67. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    I stopped watching Channel 20 news after they came to Beardstown to do two reports on the high river levels and did some of the laziest most inaccurate reporting I have seen in a long time.
    Claiming people had told them “they had never seen the river that high” when it has been higher than that four times in the last five years.
    Claiming they were standing a mile from the river when it was behind a levee about 500 feet away.


  68. - Jwscott72 - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    Agree with Rich, Channel 20 has been a totally unwatchable since it was bought out. WAND for the weather but that’s about it here in the Patch. I watch local news when I’m visiting other places far more frequently than at home.


  69. - cover - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:51 pm:

    = It’s as if it’s designed to keep people as paranoid as possible. =

    Somebody could easily argue that is Sinclair’s policy overall, not just with weather alerts.


  70. - cover - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:52 pm:

    Also, I voted “no” - but I don’t own a TV…


  71. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    And to top it off,they did a live remote from where floodgates were installed at an opening to a stairway that us used when the river is at normal levels.
    There was a small bit of water coming through them and a small crack at the base of the opening.
    Nothing serious,looked like a small hose running a little stream of water.

    The reporter said something like “these gates among other things are helping to slowly bring river levels down”.
    Seriously. On live television.

    I called to complain about the reporting and they didn’t seem to care.


  72. - Guy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 4:57 pm:

    Sinclair is straight up propaganda, but local TV news of any kind is the most reactionary force in America.


  73. - Keith - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Outside of occasionally watching Chicago Tonight, I avoid all local news like the plague. I prefer to watch cable news and peruse the local papers instead.


  74. - {Sigh} - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    I watched Ch 20 for the weather.

    The Joe Crain supporters deserve some credit for their grassroots advocacy. One may not agree with them, but their social media messaging had an impact & caused several local businesses to pull their ads.


  75. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    The favorite local news at my home is WTTW Chicago Tonight. We watch this every night.


  76. - East Sangamon - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 5:18 pm:

    I’m like others. I do not watch any local news or weather. I can’t stand the national news programs — cable or network. My go to news sites are the WSJ, NYTimes and the NWS for storm alerts.


  77. - ??? - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 5:39 pm:

    Sort of. I turn on Channel 2 (Chicago, CBS) in the morning, and listen to it while I’m getting ready for work. I mostly just pay attention to the weather and traffic.


  78. - PrairieDog - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 5:45 pm:

    Typically, the weather report, such as it is, is the chief reason I bother to watch local TV news.


  79. - Sensing a trend here - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:02 pm:

    Central Illinois resident, so voted no. Central Illinois news in general is weak and superficial but Channel 20 WICS may be the worst.

    Maybe because they don’t have any in-town competition. They really are hacks at their jobs, doing the bare minimum, a cynical, superficial kind of reportage, done the cheapest, easiest way they can. When a more pro person comes along, they don’t last long.

    If you are active in your community events, you have at some time probably seen TV20 in action, “covering the news”. They show up late, shoot for about a minute, pull someone to the side to get a quote and then they are gone before the event is halfway over. I’m sure part of that is because 20 pays its people peanuts and is under-staffed, preferring to replace people with automation.

    The really scary thing about TV 20 is that for many years it was basically a farm club for training up and sending reporters and anchors into state employment as spokespeople for state agencies and the Governor’s office. There’s a potential conflict of interest in that. Maybe the political reportage is shallow so that they can ingratiate themselves with a future employer?

    I’m sure there have and will be some individual exceptions, but really, I have no respect for the station, how they are run, and what they do. Local commercial and NPR radio beat them every day.


  80. - Leatherneck - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:17 pm:

    Yes, I was among the few that watched Channel 20 regularly until the past week, but not any longer.

    Currently watching WAND. Would have watched WCIA if they could increase their coverage of Springfield news (although they are a Champaign station), even on their Springfield sister station WCIX. I don’t think viewership of Channel 3 in the Springfield area, even on cable, has recovered from when Nexstar flipped Channel 49 (now WCIX) from a Springfield-area repeater of WCIA-3 to a standalone UPN (now My) station in 2002, leaving many Springfield area non-cable viewers without OTA CBS coverage during the last 7 years of analog TV (unless they were able to pick up WCIA on antenna or the CBS stations in Peoria, Quincy or St. Louis). Fortuantely, OTA CBS has been back in Springfield since the 2009 digital transition, as Channel 49.2 simulcasts WCIA’s signal from 3.1 in Champaign.

    Getting burned out on national news in general.

    Will never watch TV morning news.

    I used to listen to WTAX regularly but got burned out on their lousy commercials and annoying news/weather sounders that seem to come on about 10 times or so every hour.

    I prefer listening to Sam Madonia instead on 1450 in Springfield in the morning–and he claims he knows some local news/local government or business happenings long before there’s anything on 20 or the SJR.


  81. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:20 pm:

    I voted no but I’ll watch Chicago Tonight sometimes and very occasionally either NBC5 or Channel 7 news. Not often though. Won’t watch cable news either. As with others, my national news comes from NYT and WaPo and my weather comes from apps.

    I do remember once years ago, we were on vacation in Florida in some small media market and we watched the Sunday night news on Labor Day weekend with what had to be their “C” team. Most hilarious news I’ve ever watched.


  82. - Levois - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:24 pm:

    To be honest and while it’s not up to the minute I find myself following local news online, especially through social media. I don’t watch local news as much as I used to.


  83. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:33 pm:

    Mostly WGN, if you’re talking “local” that covers about 3/4 of the state’s residents including cable and satellite subscribers.


  84. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:49 pm:

    I watch Chicago Tonight occasionally, and will sometimes check the weather or sports.

    I do turn the news on whenever Ed Burke is arrested, or there’s another search of his office.


  85. - Stumpy's bunker - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 6:57 pm:

    Yes, I watch Channel 20 news, but under protest. I guess the marketing brains have determined local news should be more of a community calendar than real news.

    I hope Joe Crain returns…that is, if he wants to.


  86. - Glengarry - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 7:35 pm:

    Local news is so hokey all over most of Illinois, I can’t tolerate it. I do enjoy the Chicago area news. It’s substantive.


  87. - IT Guy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 7:41 pm:

    Voted yes. ABC7 in Chicago.


  88. - Ginhouse Tommy - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 7:42 pm:

    Stumpy’s The station posted a job position for AM meteorologist so Crain will have to work somewhere else. Like someone said he was a part of the community.


  89. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 8:01 pm:

    WTTW Chicago Tonight and WGN evening news - gotta keep up with what’s happening in the ‘hood.


  90. - Captain Obvious - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 8:39 pm:

    I do try to watch 20 but seldom watch a whole broadcast. They have not had competent anchors or reporters for at least the last 15 years or so. It is interesting when they report on issues reported on this blog. They never come close to an adequate job of it. It is obvious the reporters do not grasp the issues on which they report, and even if they did they would be unable to communicate the information. It’s as if English is not their first language…or their second.


  91. - LBJ - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 8:44 pm:

    I do in Chicago but the news in Springfield blows


  92. - Dale Doback - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 8:52 pm:

    Grew up in country in Kankakee County, no cable or satellite available back then, but had over the air Chicago market tv. The Chicago news was murder, mob or political related court drama, maybe a missing person, something bad about Gary, In, the weather and sports which only included Chicago teams (pro or college (DePaul)).
    Move to Normal Illinois for college and the first time I watched the “downstate” news, they covered a dump truck in Heyworth and high school football. I thought it was joke until my roommate assured me otherwise. I took awhile.


  93. - working stiff - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 8:53 pm:

    i’ve been watching ch20 for years in the morning. the code red was a joke and severely over used. joe spoke the truth. i changed channels for my morning info. and yes, i hope sinclair has someone reading the comments.


  94. - Froganon - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 9:30 pm:

    Never watch local news anywhere. I check back occasionally but it’s dreck. Love Ari Meilber & Rachel Maddow. Sinclair news is equal to Fox - right wing propaganda. Viewers know less about what is happening than those who don’t watch news at all. Love the Guardian, Washington Post and HuffPost.


  95. - Ihatepolitics - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 9:43 pm:

    No, the local news is horrible. I realize people have to start somewhere, but do they all have to start at WICS at the same time


  96. - Former Cadet - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 9:47 pm:

    Voted no. WICS is almost unwatchable and I get local news and sports from the overpriced SJR. I’m old fashioned, I like the daily comics.


  97. - Gooner - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 9:50 pm:

    Nearly never.
    A friend is a reporter, and if I find out that he’s covering something, I may tune in just for his report, but that’s rare.

    I also never watch cable news. The only time I do is election night, to see the returns.


  98. - Austinman - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 10:31 pm:

    I love the local news in Chicago, each network has it’s own style which I greatly appreciate especially when I am down I. Springfield during session the news in Springfield is unbearable.


  99. - Simple Fix - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 10:59 pm:

    3 separate cable TV news outlets cover the entirety of Southern IL south of 64 minus metro east. With limited resources WSIL, KFVS, and WPSD do a solid job covering local news and what matters at the state and national levels. Multiple broadcasts per day, updated websites and social media pages. Sometimes you can detect slant but nothing that makes you wanna scream at the TV…believe it or not So. IL cable news is legit. Also WJPF radio has Tom Miller. He should be counted in this as he is the hardest working news man left in southern IL radio. Always has interesting guests and detailed interviews with local pols and ppl from different local and statewide interests


  100. - It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way - Tuesday, Jun 11, 19 @ 11:15 pm:

    Outside of watching an occasional Cubs game, the cable box hardly ever gets used in our house. A necessary evil for that very purpose, we otherwise stream everything we can through an Apple TV. With two preschool aged children, they’ll have a lifetime of marketing and commercialism starting once they enter the public education system. My primary filter in selecting content for my kiddos is the percentage of time per hour allocated to advertisements.

    Nothing is perfect for ad-free content, by the way. At least not without paying to rid yourself of the ads. Even watching YouTube videos of “Blippi” last September and October on the Apple TV offered up occasional Rauner ads suddenly playing mid-video connecting Pritzker somehow to Blago.. with some rather unnecessarily sinister music in the background. Not too classy..


  101. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 1:59 am:

    You left out a category, Rich:

    “Oh God no (banned punctuation) I’d rather gouge out my eyes and puncture my eardrums while banging my head against a brick wall for 10 or 15 hours.”

    I have referred to local news as “amateur hour” for at least 15 years now. WCIA has gone downhill since August Meyer died. Sinclair has totally, totally, totally hosed Channel 20 and Fox; everything said about the barely post-pubescent, poorly educated staff is true (and completely pitiful).

    When I’m in Chicago, I don’t mind the local broadcasters. The Chicagoans here have no idea how lucky they are. Downstate, you’re better off with NPR and newspapers.


  102. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 2:03 am:

    And, of course, the CapFax blog. Rich, you do amazing work.

    And to all the contributors, especially the ones who make me LOL, or give a good argument about a topic: Thank you (banned punctuation again). This joint doesn’t have very many dull moments.


  103. - Rural - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 6:13 am:

    Unfortunately there is no local news for many parts of the state. We live north of Champaign but somehow only receive Chicago stations.


  104. - leonard - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 6:36 am:

    voted no all local stations are 100 miles away only receive 1 of them. only watch cnn and weather channel


  105. - Me - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 6:56 am:

    I live in Springfield and did watch WICS news. I changed to channel 17 after Joe was gone. The code red was ridiculous and Joe just told the truth. Wish we could get WGN in Springfield. Would like to know all the companies that stopped advertising with WICS so I can thank them.


  106. - Harvest76 - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 7:09 am:

    Dont own a television and haven’t watched local news in decades. I had heard if the “Code Red” foolishness and immediately thought that was a dangerous oversimplification of a potentially serious situation. Many people rely on the weather in this area to keep them informed of potential danger. This jeopardized that trust. Joe was right to do what he did.


  107. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 8:17 am:

    No - I don’t have any kind of cable service. Only use my TV for streaming from Amazon/Netflix/Hulu, and video games.


  108. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Jun 12, 19 @ 8:48 am:

    Between Channel 20 and the SJR, there is little real reporting left in Springfield. They are both corporate ran and care nothing about quality.


  109. - Leatherneck - Thursday, Jun 13, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    Sinclair makes it official–Joe Crain is officially out at Channel 20. Although they termed it as being “let go.”

    https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190613/sinclair-meteorologist-joe-crain-let-go-from-wics

    I would not be surprised if in the next few weeks Bruce Rushton has more information on Crain’s dismissal in a future Illinois Times article.


  110. - Pnut - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    Both SJ-R and local tv weather and news information has gone downhill in recent years. The code red is a prime example of the loss of focus on the word LOCAL. Seems though the entity providing the information is supposedly local, they only provide details for surrounding, and not so close towns. Not news/weather specific to Springfield and more immediate areas. Also national Sports info is so limited. Sometime they don’t even offer scores for Cards or Cubs games that were played earlier that day.


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