Plowing Through Chicago TV Station Web Sites

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, February 19, 2007 at 07:30 AM with 0 comments

This past week I was in Boston, and with the snow storm coming across the Midwest to New England, I wanted to get an idea if I was flying home as planned. On Tuesday morning at 6:30 am Eastern (5:30 am in Chicago) I grabbed some coffee and started up my friend's browser on what ended up being an unscientific quest by a person still waking up to find out the forecast for the Windy City.

My first stop was the Web site for WMAQ, or NBC5 as they prefer to be called. My lovely wife and I just about always watch this station for news. I had been to their Web site before, and though I am not a fan of its layout and design, it's where I started. On the home page there were large red bars across the middle with links to school closings and weather alerts – easy to see with just a few sips of coffee. But as I clicked onto what I saw as the Weather Plus page, the entire Web page started scrolling, and I wasn't touching the mouse! It was an ad for GM for the Auto Show that was expanding before my eyes. As I hadn’t found the forecast, I decided to move on.

After a few more sips of coffee, I ended up on WLS's Web site, or ABC7 as they prefer. There I found weather headlines, just not as bright, and a link to watch a video forecast... from Monday night. At that time, there must have been a video clip available from the morning show, right? Sip more coffee, time to move on.

My next stop was WGN's Web site, who does go by the acronym for the World's Greatest Newspaper. However, they have 3 stations, so at wgn.com I was presented with a plain page with their 3 logos – Channel 9, AM 720 and the Superstation. Choosing the first one, the first thing I saw was a link to a video clip of Tom Skilling... from Monday night. What gives? They have a morning show too. Got another cup of coffee, and moved on.

What ended up being my last stop was the Web site for WBBM, or CBS2 as they prefer. Right front and left of center was a link to a video clip... of a weather forecast from about 15 minutes ago. Yea! As I was watching the video, I took a closer look around the site and saw a clean design, mostly text, with an RSS feeds link at the top of the page.

This was not scientific, and I did not go to WFLD (or Fox Chicago) or CLTV, Chicago's answer to CNN Headline News, as the sites came to mind as my mind was slowly awakening. I finally got my weather forecast, as disappointing as it was, and a new source for news in Chicagoland.

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