T Dog’s Groovy Grab Bag

WFLD relaunches web site; More Howie; NATPE Wrap-up. – Fox-owned WFLD has relaunched its website (myfoxchicago.com), as part of an effort to revamp its websites in all eighteen markets where it owns stations. WFLD is the second to get a makeover; Fox’s WNYW-TV in New York was the first. WFLD’s new website looks more clean and organized than the previous […]

T Dog’s Four Pack

It’s back! After a few weeks of being on hiatus, the weekly list of winners and losers returns. The Four Fab Pack – Marie Osmond. What a career comeback. She’s performing with her brother on stage in Vegas and now her new talk show for fall has cleared 70 percent of the country in syndication. And she’s still fine. – […]

Univision flips three radio outlets

(No direct links here, so you’ll have to take my word for it) In an odd move, Univision radio has flipped its three Spanish-language FM stations to different formats. This is going to get confusing, so bear with me… Beginning today, “Recuerdo” (an adult contemporary format) appears on WVIV-FM (103.1, which used to be The Eighties Channel a while back) […]

T Dog’s Groovy Grab Bag – The NATPE edition

This version of the Groovy Grab Bag comes to you from the National Association of Television Program Executives convention going on in Las Vegas. Before we start on a barrage of news and notes, let’s talk about the convention itself: things are not going so well. Attendance at the convention is way down, as station managers and others have decided […]

Chicago PPM results for December

Since this survey is an anomaly because of the Holidays (a.k.a. skewed because of Christmas music), we’ll refrain from the listing the winners and losers. But that doesn’t stop yours truly from making a few observations… Remember, this is based on overall 6+ numbers: – WLIT (Lite FM) did gangbusters with Xmas music in December, as it finished first. The […]

Could Channel 2 dump its street-side studio?

If you’re one of those who waives to the few people watching Channel 2’s newscasts through the window of its street-side studio, time may be running out. CBS-owned WBBM-TV is considering moving its newscasts from the street-level studio it occupies along Dearborn Street at Daley Plaza to the second floor. Nothing is definite yet, but the station is considering moving […]

DTV switch date defeated in House

If you haven’t gotten your converter box – you’d better bet cracking. The House defeated a bill that would have extended the analog cut-off date to June 12. The Obama Administration wanted the deadline to be extended because there was fear a lot of Americans weren’t ready for the switchover and the coupon program ran out of money. With the […]

"Star Trek: The Next Generation" returns

Star Trek: The Next Generation is returning home to where it all began. Its mission: to boost ratings in a landscape of tawdry talk shows, crummy courtroom shows, and According to Jim-like off-network sitcoms. Reruns of the sequel to Star Trek, which practically put one-hour scripted action dramas on the map in syndication in the 1980s and 1990s, has been […]


The National Association of Television Program Executives convention got underway today in Las Vegas. While it won’t be as jumping as it was in recent years, there is business to be done here in the world of syndication and beyond. Plus, look for not one, but two T Dog Think Tanks on the state of syndication in 2009. We’ll have […]

"Ugly Betty" to be yanked

It looks like Ugly Betty may be down for the count. ABC has decided to replace the low-rated one-hour dramedy with two half-hour comedies: The new In The Motherhood and the returning Samantha Who? in its’ Thursday night (7 p.m. CT) time slot. The move is effective March 26, but the plan is to put Ugly Betty on hiatus and […]

This TV clears 60 percent of U.S.

    This TV, the new digital movie channel launched by MGM and Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting on November 1, 2008, has now cleared 60 percent of the country on digital subchannels, including several major markets. This features movies mostly from MGM’s library (though not from the pre-1986 library, which Turner/Time Warner owns), as well as classic TV series such as […]

Digital TV switch to be delayed until June 12

The Senate has voted to delay the digital TV switch until June 12 from February 17, the original date the switchover was to take place. The vote was unanimous, and it is now expected to go to the House, where it is expected to easily pass. Consumers were to get $40 coupons to help them get a converter box if […]

It’s Jared vs. The Noid

Welcome to Sub Sandwich Smackdown! In one corner, you have long-time vet Subway and another you have feisty challenger Domino’s and their new oven-baked sandwiches, which they claim beat Subway’s in a two-to-one taste test. Bunk to that, says Subway. If fact, Subway sent Domino’s a cease-and-desist letter, ordering them to stop airing the ads, claiming they were deceptive. Well, […]

"Lost" loses steam in the ratings

The fifth season-premiere of Lost didn’t gain viewers as the event notched its lowest-rated season-premiere to date. Lost averaged a 5.0 rating and 12 share among adults 18-49 and drew 10 million viewers for ABC in the 8-10 p.m. (Central) time slot Wednesday night for ABC. While the results were still pretty good, it’s still down from the fourth-season premiere […]

WFLD hires Fowler as news director

Fox-owned WFLD-TV has hired former WBBM-TV news director Carol Fowler to work in the same capacity. Fowler replaces Andrew Finlayson, who today took a job with News Corp. as director for online content and business for the Fox Television Stations Group. Fowler was news director at CBS-owned WBBM for six years before being fired last fall in a newsroom shakeup. […]