October 14, 2008 – The panelists talk about the impact of the economic downturn on local TV stations. NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker recently said the downturn is having a severe effect on local stations. Those stations are highly dependent on auto and retail advertising.
October 7, 2008 – WIU Journalism Professor Bill Knight joins the panel to talk about the future of the newspaper industry. Knight replaces Assistant Professor of Broadcasting Mike Murray, who had to step aside due to other commitments. Tri States Public Radio thanks Mike for his many years of contributing to Shop Talk. He helped make the program what it is today!
September 30, 2008 – The panelists talk about restrictive rules in the new credentials contract for reporters who want to cover Big Ten sporting events. Among other things, it says "A maximum of two minutes (2:00) of game video footage (without audio) may be utilized during the 48 hours following the conclusion of the game solely within regularly scheduled bona fide news programming distributed via television, and may not be distributed via the internet, wireless or other forms of media.
September 23, 2008 – The panelists discuss a pair of issues - one related to newspapers, the other regarding television. The newspaper issue concerns a decision by the student-run paper at Syracuse University to eliminate the print version of its Friday edition. It will only be available on-line. The TV issue concerns plans by two stations in St Louis to combine their newsrooms and share news services.
September 16, 2008 – The panelists discuss a proposal by a University of Iowa law professor, who says the media should do more to critique campaign ads. Nicholas Johnson says since newspapers and radio and TV stations take money from campaigns, they should be responsible for evaluating the truth of the ads. Johnson is a former member of the Federal Communications Commission.