How to take your painstakingly designed website and destroy it with 1 bad decision

Some colleagues and I were talking about some archival news footage of The Beatles at Comiskey Park in 1965 that I recently ran across. I couldn’t remember if I saw it on WGN TVs website or if it was the Chicago Tribune, both owned by the Tribune Company.

I guessed first at WGN. And what came up on the home page in my browser window almost made me spit-take.

Today’s ad-saturated WGN TV home page

Sure, I know that media companies are trying to figure out how to monetize their online presences these days, but this was beyond the pale. To quote Adam Sandler back in his SNL days, “Who were the Ad Wizards that came up with this one?”

I try to keep my blog postings as positive as possible. There are plenty of people out there who make a living complaining about things they find online that upset them. But I had to throw a design flag down on this one. Someone actually signed off on it. That’s really the incredible thing to me.

Seriously. I think my eyes were going to start bleeding at any moment before I clicked away. This seemed to be an ill-reasoned case of, well if one advertisement gets a little bit of attention, then 20 ads will get 20 times the attention. Maybe it worked. I’m writing about it. But certainly I’ll limit my trips to the WGN TV website until I have first gabbed a good pair of UV sunglasses to protect my vision.

By the way, The Beatles newsreel footage we were looking for was at the Chicago Tribune’s website.

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