T Dog’s Groovy Grab Bag

Syndication switcheroo; Universal Sports add more clearances; Young files Chapter 11.

– With another ratings period ahead, two Chicago stations have made some major changes to their syndicated lineups:

* Beginning today, WCIU-TV is swapping time periods with Warner Bros.’ The People’s Court and Sony’s now-canceled Judge Karen. With Karen now out of production, WCIU has moved the show to 10 a.m. with The People’s Court moving to 2 p.m. (in addition to another run at 4 p.m.)

* Next Monday, CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil and Judge Judy exchanges time periods on WBBM-TV, with Dr. Phil moving to 3 p.m. and Judge Judy to 4 p.m. The move is being made to give WBBM’s 5 p.m. newscast a better lead-in. Judy leads into local news in many major markets, including New York and Washington, D.C.

If you recall, WBBM aired the original version of The People’s Court at 4 p.m. from 1987-93, leading into a 4:30 p.m. newscast, which usually placed a solid second behind WLS-TV.

– Universal Sports recently added 19 million homes to bring its total distribution to 45 million. The digital subchannel network was known as World Championship Sports Network until last August, when NBC Universal bought it. Here in Chicago, Universal Sports is carried on WMAQ-DT 5.3, Comcast channel 251, and RCN channel 51.

Before you get too excited, the sports channel mainly features sporting events usually seen in the Olympics. So if you’re into downhill skiing, track and field, and equestrian, this network’s for you.

– The latest broadcasting company to land on the Bankrupt space of the Wheel of Financial Misfourtune is Young Broadcasting, which filed for Chapter 11 over the weekend. Young owns KRON-TV in San Francisco, a one-time NBC powerhouse now a lagging independent station.

Young also owns ABC affiliates WBAY-TV in Green Bay/Appelton, Wis. and WKRN-TV in Nashville.