There are many Phil Rosenthals. This one has been a Chicago Tribune columnist since 2005. A working journalist since age 17, he is a ...

Read full bio

Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal

E-mail | Facebook | Twitter
  • Four changes to fix 'Home Alone' for today

    December 24, 2014

    It's been 24 years since the Wet Bandits first were caught — if not red-handed — then torched, wounded, fractured and likely suffering brain damage from blunt-force trauma and arrested at a north suburban home by police wearing patches with the city of Chicago flag on their jackets.

  • 'The Simpsons' at 25: Still going strong and rolling in the d'oh

    December 16, 2014

    "If TV has taught me anything, it's that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas," the now-familiar spiky-haired boy said on Dec. 17, 1989. "It happened to Tiny Tim. It happened to Charlie Brown. It happened to the Smurfs. And it's going to happen to us."

  • Sony hacker scandal scarier than a slasher film

    December 12, 2014

    The leaked documents, with Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and James Franco cast as clowns, may at times make it all seem like a comedy.

  • Bears may suffer 'buyer's remorse' over Cutler, but real leaders admit it

    December 9, 2014

    When Gus in accounts receivable uses the wrong form, Gladys messes up work assignments or Norm boots a sure sale, your firm's retired equivalents of Doug Buffone and Ed O'Bradovich aren't on the radio rending garments and bemoaning what they've done to a once-proud institution.

  • In 2019, Chicago's minimum wage of $13 may not seem such a big deal

    December 5, 2014

    Chicago is raising its minimum hourly wage to $13 … by the middle of 2019.

  • Economic power China is so fragile it orders pun control

    December 2, 2014

    Should China flex its muscle on trade or engage the United States in some kind of new cold war, it would be nothing to sneeze at, yet there's reason to believe we would prevail. China would chip. China would crack. China would break.

  • How social media can hijack bosses' message

    November 29, 2014

    There was no memo, no sit-down with the bosses, no walk down the hall to human resources. Sports radio talker Ben Finfer learned he would be out of work by the end of the year via Twitter.

  • Thanksgiving for sale, just like you want it

    November 26, 2014

    If the first Thanksgiving harvest celebrations on these shores were held with today's leave-no-opportunity-untapped mentality, there would be a presenting sponsor, corporate underwriting, advertising signage and various tiers of VIP access sold.

  • Uber tests limits with reputation that it stops at nothing

    November 21, 2014

    Uber is in the business of helping people get to places by car, though it does not actually drive anyone around. Shove, kick and elbow — figuratively, at least — yes. Drive, no.

  • What is Bill Cosby without his image?

    November 20, 2014

    It is the defining moment of the "The Cosby Show" pilot episode, which 30 years ago introduced obstetrician Cliff Huxtable to the world. Son Theo — like typical family-sitcom viewers at the time — expects his father will accept his shortcomings and love him unconditionally.

  • The Derrick Rose dilemma: Should star workers be pushed to push themselves?

    November 18, 2014

    Despite what you think you're reading, I'm not writing a column today. But you don't have to worry about me. I'll still get paid just as surely as advertisers and subscribers had to pony up in expectation that I would, that something would fill this space. Because I am a superstar, a model employee, I know everyone wants what's best for me.

  • Sam Zell wants to run grocery stores? Tribune redux

    November 14, 2014

    One does not amass billions of dollars without learning a thing or two about making shrewd investments. "Sam Zell knows all about buying low and selling high," television's Maria Bartiromo explained in 2010, in case you were wondering.

  • Verizon hopes to connect, get its message through

    November 11, 2014

    Whatever is the opposite of "like a kid in a candy store" is a fair description of me at a typical mobile phone retail outlet.

  • Do you still set your courses by the stars?

    November 7, 2014

    The Michelin Guide this week serves up its judges' annual assessment of Chicago-area restaurants. As always, it should be a hefty helping of red meat — or well-prepared portobello mushroom — for those whose mouths water at the prospect of arguing whether this place is that good or that one was snubbed.

  • Shake Shack Chicago: We'll have what they've had

    November 4, 2014

    Shake Shack threw open its doors at the corner of Ohio and Rush streets on Tuesday, and threw off a bit of its mystique.

  • Why originality is overrated when it comes to TV -- and business

    October 31, 2014

    I've probably said it before, but originality is overrated.

  • Wilde pitch to Series MVP wins with technology and stuff

    October 31, 2014

    Here's to you, Rikk Wilde, you big, sweaty, hyperventilating sales genius. The World Series error you were pegged with after Game 7 on Wednesday night had been changed to a hit by Thursday morning.

  • Christmas creep a trick and treat to boost Santa sales

    October 28, 2014

    Chicago temperatures in the 70s this week be damned, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

  • Raw deal for AbbVie, but does anyone care?

    October 25, 2014

    AbbVie got hosed on its aborted Shire deal. Let's get that up top. It's also very hard to feel sorry for it.

  • Sun-Times suburban strategy may leave no prints

    October 21, 2014

    Given that he has talked about hastening newspapers' transition from print to digital practically from the moment he got the keys to the Chicago Sun-Times and its sister publications almost three years ago, no one should be surprised Wrapports Chairman Michael Ferro would be willing to shed the company's suburban weeklies and dailies.

  • HBO shows us freedom from cable may not be so free

    October 19, 2014

    Remember that "Seinfeld" in which Elaine tries to drive one boutique out of business by spending tons of money at a similar shop nearby, only to discover they're both owned by the same person who irked her to begin with?

  • Cubs pin hopes on elusive TV deal

    October 14, 2014

    The Chicago Cubs think they have 2020 vision. It's not as clear as they believe. That's what happens when you spend too much time staring at the television.

  • Hillary Clinton campaigns for compromise at Chicago event

    October 10, 2014

    When Hillary Clinton spoke of infidelity the other night, she told The Economic Club of Chicago that clear-eyed pragmatism and self-awareness enabled her to make peace with what others might consider an unforgivable betrayal.

  • On spoofing, smurfing, Ebola and branding outrage

    October 7, 2014

    Outrage and concern — legitimate, justified or just ginned up — are best sustained if they can be hashtagged.

  • Chicago to try giving NFL the business with draft

    October 3, 2014

    Now that the National Football League has committed to bringing its annual college draft back to Chicago this spring after half a century in New York, it's time for Roger Goodell and company to see how our city really plays.

  • The cold war at work

    October 1, 2014

    Others can worry about Ebola. I'm worried about the office cold.

  • Just assume your credit and debit card data were hacked

    September 30, 2014

    Sure, your credit and debit card information is safe and secure.

  • Busiest O'Hare is the latest thing in airports

    September 26, 2014

    The growing clot of unhappy travelers not traveling at all through O'Hare International Airport on Friday recalled the multitude of End of Days thunderstorms and blizzards that too often afflict Chicago, the city of missed connections, itinerary butcher for the world.

  • McDonald's Happy Meals problem

    September 24, 2014

    McDonald's Happy Meals are a millennial problem

  • Chicago has no reason to bet on Nik Wallenda stunt

    September 19, 2014

    Just because Nik Wallenda is willing to risk his life on the high wire doesn't mean Chicago should take a chance too.

  • The hotel minibar is Satan's pantry. Here's a way to fight back.

    September 17, 2014

    Let us stipulate this upfront: Theft is wrong. It's right there with adultery and murder on the list of things you're never supposed to do, according to the book in the bed-table drawer of your hotel room.

  • Tip questions are not at all gratuitous

    September 16, 2014

    Tipping is like a foreign language. You can try to memorize who's supposed to get a gratuity, how much, how often, when and why, but you're never going to be fluent unless you immerse yourself in the culture.

  • Apple innovation more, and less, than Xerox copies

    September 12, 2014

    As high-tech devices go, the folks at Apple and the rest have yet to introduce anything quite as hot as the one first shown to the public in a televised demonstration 55 years ago this week.

  • Power of NFL owners' puppet Roger Goodell is exposed as myth

    September 10, 2014

    The easy thing to forget in this latest National Football League fiasco, the thing the NFL is counting on us to forget, is that Roger Goodell is only playing the part of Big Boss.

  • Sit up straight until airlines ease reclining turbulence

    August 29, 2014

    None of us should take this lying down. When it comes to reclining seats on airplanes, we need to draw a line — and maybe we all should be required to sit up straight until everyone agrees on what that line should be.

  • Sofia Vergara's Emmy turn spins message into sexism

    August 26, 2014

    Irony, like sarcasm, doesn’t always translate to a mass audience.

  • A Burger King-Tim Hortons deal seems like it should be interesting

    August 25, 2014

    Despite American interest in empty calories, caffeine and companies paying their share of U.S. taxes, is a Burger King and Tim Hortons marriage interesting?

  • R.R. Donnelley as an Argentine terrorist is a hard Zell

    August 23, 2014

    Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, went on TV a little more than a week ago to denounce U.S. hedge funds she sees as undermining her nation's already struggling economy, echoing other members of her government in calling them a sort of international finance Mafia.

  • Global brain project Viv developed with Chicago's tech future on mind

    August 13, 2014

    Chicago's role in development of Viv, an artificial intelligence effort from Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus, is a reminder city needs to beef up tech sector.

  • 8 NFL moves that would ruin the typical business

    August 6, 2014

    The NFL is a great success. But your business isn't pro football and you aren't Roger Goodell. You can't afford to handle Redskins and Ray Rice like that.

  • Will Tribune Publishing be a paper tiger or new media lion?

    August 4, 2014

    For the first time in 90-plus years, the Chicago Tribune is disconnected from the broadcast business.

  • Crumbs cupcake casualty can't sugarcoat business

    July 9, 2014

    Crumbs cupcakes were good, but all appetites have limits. We had our fill. Leaders bit off too much expansion, so chain shuts. But our sweet tooth survives.

  • Coaching, adapting as much in play for businesses as sports teams

    November 15, 2011

    These days, when he puts on his suit and tie, he goes to work before a deafening throng of more than 20,000 paying customers, not to mention hundreds of thousands more following on TV and radio. His performance and that of those under him invite enough scrutiny to melt ice.

  • Walter Cronkite's star will be forever aligned with moon landing

    July 19, 2009

    He was our guide to the news during one of this nation's most eventful periods, so it was almost inevitable Walter Cronkite's death would coincide with the anniversary of some momentous occasion or another to be remembered through the prism he provided.

  • As impeachment trial begins ... he's live, from New York

    January 27, 2009

    Taking his media blitz national Monday in New York, hundreds of miles from the start of his impeachment proceedings in Springfield, embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich continued to portray himself as Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," an idealist who stands up to political corruption.

  • Murdoch given an audience in Dow Jones bid

    June 1, 2007

    If money didn't talk, there wouldn't be a Dow Jones & Co. empire.

  • NBC needs to keep its two hosts happy

    May 25, 2007

    An executive at NBC Universal recently was dismissing the latest iteration of long-standing rumors that parent General Electric Co. might look to unload the division.

  • NBC News' cost-cutting gets stone-cold

    May 23, 2007

    In its effort to rein in costs, NBC News is leaving no Stone unturned.

  • Nerds have their revenge in prime time

    May 20, 2007

    Outcasts are in. Clumsy is cool. Awkward is awesome. Minds are beautiful.

  • TV's prime time to sell

    May 13, 2007

    For a few days this week, as they do each May, the broadcast television networks will produce the kind of lavish all-star spectaculars that fell out of favor about the time the novelty of TV in color wore off.

  • Couric feeling more at ease

    April 22, 2007

    There were times, toward the end, when Katie Couric said she felt she had "outgrown" NBC's "Today" show, its lighter segments on occasion making her feel "more like a game-show host than a journalist."

  • The Times they are a-changin'?

    April 6, 2007

    David Geffen has made no secret he covets the Los Angeles Times and thinks he can help it.That was true last year when the entertainment mogul dangled $2 billion but failed to budge Tribune Co. from its stance the paper wasn't for sale.

  • Tribune Co. wants Fox `Red Eye' title closed

    February 18, 2007

    Ask anyone who's ever had too good a time: Red eyes tend to come in pairs.

  • Bickering blocs at Tribune Co. may work it out

    August 4, 2006

    Are the Chandlers and Tribune Co. ready to reconcile?

  • Tribune Co. chief recovering from cancer surgery

    August 1, 2006

    Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune Co.'s chairman, president and chief executive, is recovering from surgery Monday for prostate cancer but expects to be back to work full time before the end of August, the Chicago-based media concern said.

  • Tribune considering ads on section fronts

    July 20, 2006

    With the traditional media business under increasing pressure to boost revenue, newspapers are finding it harder to ignore the value of their most coveted real estate.

  • When the news breaks in your back yard, dig

    June 16, 2006

    As a reporter, when you have a personal stake in a story, you're supposed to beg off the assignment. When the story is about the company you work for, you're supposed to dig in and not let go.

  • No terms of endearment, no reading between lines

    June 15, 2006

    It is just as well Hallmark doesn't make a greeting card for all occasions. "Roses are red/We're feeling blue/You're costing us money/Here's what to do" doesn't really cut it when a company's second-largest shareholder bloc wants to register its dissatisfaction.

  • Given options, Tribune could rewrite script

    June 9, 2006

    Even those of us who haven't seen the new Vince Vaughn-Jennifer Aniston movie "The Break Up" have found it impossible to avoid hearing about it.

  • Not all behind Tribune buyback

    June 8, 2006

    The opening of a major rift on Tribune Co.'s board, with a bloc of three directors standing in opposition to eight others, may portend more turbulence for the embattled Chicago media concern.

  • Bold strategy to shape Tribune chief's legacy

    June 4, 2006

    With his silver-flecked hair and neatly trimmed mustache, Tribune Co. Chairman, President and CEO Dennis FitzSimons has the look of media maverick Ted Turner.

  • Tribune sets buyback

    May 31, 2006

    Tribune Co., in a move that aims to boost its stock price but saddle the company with a punishing debt load, on Tuesday disclosed a plan to buy back a quarter of its outstanding shares at a cost of more than $2 billion.

CTnow is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.



Business Midday Get daily business news sent directly to your inbox for free weekdays at 1 p.m.

After signing in, click on your username at the top left of this screen and then on "My Newsletter Subscriptions."