The Grab Bag: Kevin Matthews joins Steve Dahl; “Pan Am” goes bankrupt

Grab Bag time: Pan Am closes up shop; Kevin Matthews joins Steve Dahl’s podcast venture; and a former Philadelphian lands a radio gig here in Chicago… while a current Philadelphian loses one:

Kev heads to Dahland. Former Chicago radio personality Kevin Matthews – who was part of WLUP-AM/FM back in the day – is joining Steve Dahl in the podcast game. As first reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media, Matthews is planning to do an one-shot podcast on Dahl’s website – its due up on Dahl.com on December 2. If this is successful, more podcasts featuring Matthews could be planned. Matthews recently had a long stint as morning personality at Cumulus-owned WLAV-FM in Grand Rapids, where he was unceremoniously dropped two weeks ago, obviously due to the change in the station’s ownership, as WLAV is a former Citadel station. Cumulus purchased Citadel on February 18. (UPDATE: Robert Feder reports this morning that Matthews’ new podcast is now indeed a weekly show.)

WGN-AM signs Blackhawks player to host music show. He can throw bodies around on the ice – but can he host a radio show? In a rather unusual deal reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media on Tuesday, WGN-AM – a news/talk radio station – signed Blackhawks player Daniel Carcillo to host a one-hour weekly radio show not to talk about the Hawks – but to talk about music. Titled The Bomb Shelter, Carcillo plans to talk about and play his favorite music and explore music history, including Chicago’s musical roots. Carcillo signed with the Hawks this season as a free agent after spending several years with the Philadelphia Flyers – the team the Hawks faced in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. WGN plans to play Bomb Shelter on weekends after Hawks games.

Philly radio host fired. Now here’s a radio item the city where Carcillo used to play… but its not about a hiring – its about a firing. Clear Channel fired controversial WUSL-FM morning personality Jonesy (aka Tarsha Jones) after just two years due to her landing in legal hot water not once, but twice – she and the Philadelphia radio station were sued by a daycare business owner for slander last month, and has also been sued by another woman for falsely implying she was made pregnant by an NFL player. Jones has been in hot water before – she was fired from WUSL chief Urban rival, Radio One-owned WPHI-FM for slanderous comments, and suspended from WHQT-FM (Hot 97) in New York for her role in a parody song that aired on the station about the 2004 Thailand Tsunami that killed thousands.

So, how did she manage to land a morning gig in Philadelphia after being suspended once and fired twice? Oh that’s right. This is Clear Channel we’re talking about.

Announcement: All Pan Am flights grounded until further notice. Looks like Pan AM is headed for bankruptcy – again. But this time, it’s the TV show that’s going under. ABC announced Tuesday it was cutting this season’s episode order to just fourteen and is ending its season in January. ABC insists the series isn’t canceled – a network spokesperson said the series’ fate won’t be decided until May when the series is completely forgotten. But when a network cuts back an order – you know the show is over. Wouldn’t be easier just to cancel this outright and spare the fans of the show six months of hand wringing agony?

Here’s a rule of thumb: never create a TV show based on a dead brand. But knowing Hollywood, we’ll likely be subjected to Filene’s Basement: The Series, with crazed women running to buy discounted wedding dresses every week.

Dancing heads to GSN. GSN – once known as Game Show Network – has purchased the off-network rights to reality/competition series Dancing With The Stars to air beginning in January. The deal however, excludes the series’ first three editions (possibly due to rights issues.) There’s no word on what day, or how frequently the series will air on GSN (many of the shows are two-hour editions.)

You have to question this acquisition – repeats of reality/competition shows generally don’t fare well in the ratings. Just ask any station that aired American Idol Rewind, or the old OLN (now Versus/NBC Sports Network) about Survivor repeats –  how did that work out? The new Executive Vice President of Programming (Amy Introcaso-Davis) is about as clueless as an exec can come. You sure she didn’t work behind the scenes in Chicago radio before joining GSN?

Fox’s Animation Domination springs a leak. Is Fox’s Animation Domination block in a free fall? Ratings for Fox’s raunchy animated comedies this Sunday finished in last place among total viewers with four of the five series hitting series lows – including newcomer Allen Gregory – which scored only a 1.5 rating last week. Even though the worst animated sitcom of all time is dragging down the rest of the block, don’t look for any major changes anytime soon – since Fox won November among the key 18-49 audience thanks to The X Factor – and will likely do so again in February and May when American Idol returns, fixing Sunday nights isn’t exactly a priority right now. In January, the new animated version of Napoleon Dynamite will likely take over Allen Gregory’s time slot. Gregory is scheduled to conclude on December 11.

Anderson gets Chicago upgrade. Speaking of low-rated programming…after being renewed for next season here, WFLD here, Warner Bros. freshman talk show strip Anderson has been upgraded to 3 p.m., switching time slots with a Dr. Oz repeat on the Fox-owned station (fresh Oz episodes continue to air at 4 pm, while Cooper’s show repeats at 11 a.m. ) Anderson has now been renewed in 77 percent of the country, including other Fox-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. WFLD is also adding Ricki Lake’s show to its schedule as well next fall.

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