Biography

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

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Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal

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Snobbiest city lists wrong; being a snob is right

Snobbiest city lists wrong; being a snob is right

July 26, 2014

Oak Park is the seventh snobbiest small city in America, according to a real estate website that earlier branded Naperville the nation's fourth snobbiest midsize city.

  • NCAA awaits possible verdict hit, shifts stance

    July 23, 2014

    It's easy to forget that there is also some good news in the world.

  • Walgreen tax move would make U.S. examine system

    July 13, 2014

    If Walgreen Co. does choose to move its headquarters overseas to the United Kingdom or Switzerland, it should go all-out. Forget the whole friendly neighborhood pharmacy thing, and become America's chemist.

  • 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.

  • George Lucas, Cubs, Donald Trump work the City That Works

    July 6, 2014

    So you're rich and you want to spend some of your money building something in Chicago.

  • RadioShack facing static in its bid to reboot

    July 2, 2014

    RadioShack is like the Garden of Eden. Once you've had an Apple, it's never going to be the same.

  • Calvin Klein and the fabric of brand loyalty

    June 29, 2014

    A recent trip to St. Louis found Team Rosenthal on the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour. For the young son and daughter, there was a foosball table in the waiting area, Clydesdale horses in the stables and a gift shop. For the parents, there was free beer.

  • Broadcast TV survives Aereo, but fight continues

    June 26, 2014

    Broadcast television exhaled Wednesday like a reality show contestant who survived elimination.

  • World Cup's 'lost productivity': How do you measure it?

    June 18, 2014

    So I'm doing research for a potential column ... look, an online quiz to learn what my personal theme song should be ... and the boss asks if I've seen reports about the millions, maybe billions, of dollars that employees distracted by World Cup soccer will cost businesses in lost productivity.

  • Value of frequent-flier miles currency up in the air

    June 15, 2014

    When the central bank announced the big change, those of us who had squirreled away what we had earned over the years naturally were concerned about the effect on our savings plans.

  • CVS cigarette ban is right move at right price

    June 11, 2014

    We learn as children that doing the right thing often comes at a cost. For businesses, there's an actual ledger.

  • Ballmer's Clippers bid: A Chicago appreciation?

    June 8, 2014

    Steve Ballmer's reported $2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers shows us sports team valuations are like the pricey palaces some of these pro franchises call home.

  • HomeMade Pizza burned by supermarket meal growth

    June 4, 2014

    HomeMade Pizza Co. was in the right business and exactly the wrong place.

  • Warning: Ads pull us closer with tiny disclaimers

    June 1, 2014

    The commercial opens with a car whipping around a corner. The boilerplate adland disclaimer in tiny type on the bottom of the screen — "Professional driver. Closed course." — has become so familiar over the years that we know what it says without the bother of squinting to read it.

  • Scott Turow: Amazon's muscling of publisher Hachette a sign of future

    May 28, 2014

    Jeff Bezos tells of going through "A" words in the dictionary when he decided to call his nascent e-commerce site Amazon. As the name of the world's largest river, he felt it conveyed a sense of size.

  • CEO: McDonald's would 'manage' minimum wage hike

    May 25, 2014

    McDonald's Corp. for years has been in the cross hairs of a national campaign to raise the minimum wage, a movement that intensified last week as demonstrators marched on its Oak Brook headquarters.

  • George Lucas' shrine to commerce, art — and negotiation

    May 21, 2014

    A long time ago, at a studio far, far away, a young filmmaker coming off his first success opted to leave around a half-million dollars in pay on the negotiating table in exchange for more control over the project he was about to begin.

  • Inside Blommer Chocolate: Family and cocoa at 75

    May 18, 2014

    The seductive smell of cocoa beans roasting, venting from a nondescript factory on West Kinzie Street, is how many Chicagoans know the Blommer Chocolate Co. — if we know it at all.

  • McDonald's McAloo Tikki represents a world of opportunity

    May 14, 2014

    When someone tells you about a food they love, the passion is infectious. And as Don Thompson tapped into his inner foodie, rhapsodizing about a spicy potato croquette on a bun called a McAloo Tikki, you could almost taste it.

  • Portillo's sale an entree to red-hot founder debate

    May 11, 2014

    You bet your buns we're devoted to our hot dogs and sausages here in Chicago, so news of coming upheaval on the red-hot front has been a little hard for local gourmands to digest.

  • Groupon keeps pivoting as it seeks profits

    May 7, 2014

    There are critics who said all along that the writing was on the wall for Groupon, but how would they know for sure? With everything the 5 1/2-year-old Chicago company has thrown at the wall to see what would stick, it's hard to tell the difference between the promising strategies and the soon-to-be discards.

  • Wrigley Field brand booms, but not Soldier Field's

    May 4, 2014

    This year marks a big anniversary for the home of one of Chicago's favorite teams, and you can imagine the hoopla as its great moments in sports, music and other history are celebrated.

  • Toyota's jilting of California a jolt to Illinois

    April 30, 2014

    Toyota abruptly announcing it is moving thousands of California jobs to Texas should be a wake-up call to Illinois that businesses don't beg for incentives.

  • Northwestern union vote just small part of drive for NCAA reforms

    April 27, 2014

    Think of Friday's union vote by Northwestern University football players as the necklace in "Titanic," the ruby slippers or the meaning of Rosebud.

  • A convention that really could put Chicago on the map

    March 19, 2014

    Hey, Chicago. Think we can be on our best behavior for a few days in early April? You know, be our charming Midwestern selves.

  • 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.

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