T Dog’s Grab Bag: WGN Radio loses steam in latest PPMs

A lot of stuff  in this grab bag this week:

- What’s this? A historic low for WGN Radio? The Tribune-owned talker finished in a tie for fifth place overall in 6+ with CHR WKSC-FM (Kiss) in the Arbitron May PPM survey. Even with Cubs baseball (and the you know the team sucks this year), WGN finished behind WVAZ (V103) and WTMX (The Mix) and also behind WBBM-AM and WDRV (The Drive). Other May PPM highlights include WGCI’s return to the top ten (in 9th place) and new Alternative rocker WKQX (Q87.7) debuted in a tie for 25th place, while sister Merlin station WIQI is still stalled at the starting gate in 34th place – despite a controversial billboard campaign, which has become even more of an outright embarrassment by plastering an idiotic smiley face over an idiotic Blagoveich.

– In news that was first reported on Monday at Chicagoland Radio & Media, Tinley Park-based independent WJYS-TV – known mainly as a home for infomercials and religious programming (James Meeks and Paula White Today come to mind), is launching a rather ambitious hour-long late-night strip titled Seven on Ridge, taped in Chicago and hosted by Michael Essany. If his name is familiar to you, this is the same Michael Essany who hosted a local cable TV access talk show from his parents home in Valparaiso, Ind. as a teenager in the late 1990’s. The show actually attracted big-name guests and national press, and also caught the attention of E!, which picked up and ran his show from 2002-04.

Essany’s new show – which is targeting big-name guests – is scheduled to premiere September 17 at 10:30 p.m. on WJYS, and if successful, may be a candidate for a cable network or first-run syndication.

While this effort looks to be a long shot (WJYS barely registers in the ratings), keep in mind Mystery Science Theater 3000 launched at a small Minneapolis TV station (KTMA) in 1988, and went on to became a well-known and popular cable TV property in the 1990’s, airing on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy.)

– According to a retweet yours truly received on Monday from WFLD political analyst Thom Serafin, Fox-owned My Network TV affiliate WPWR has acquired the rights to the September 13th chicago Bears primetime game against the Green Bay Packers, via the NFL Network. WPWR also plans to air pre-and post-game shows. Two years ago, WGN-TV simulcasted an NFL Network game featuring the Bears and the Miami Dolphins, but apparently was outbid this time around by WPWR for the Packers game. WPWR hasn’t carried a Bears game since December 2008.

– And speaking of My Network TV (they’re still around?), here’s their 2012-13 lineup: Law and Order; SVU on Mondays; House on Tuesdays; Numb3rs on Wednesdays, White Collar on Thursdays; and Monk on Firdays – all repeats. Out are Cold Case and Without A Trace.

– The Stanley Cup Finals recently concluded with the Los Angeles Kings hoisting their first Stanley Cup in their 45-year history. But ratings-wise, the six-game series was a bust, with numbers  for the Kings-New Jersey Devils matchup down 33 percent from 2011’s Canucks-Bruins series, which went the full seven. This is the lowest Cup Finals since 2007, when another Southern California-based team – the Anaheim Ducks – won the Cup. Despite the poor national ratings, the Kings drew a 13.6 HH rating for KNBC – the highest rating ever for a hockey game in the Los Angeles market.

– On the other hand, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat drew a record 13 million viewers, the highest ratings ever for a cable NBA game. Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder drew 16.1 million viewers, the highest number in eleven years. The game also drew an 11.8 HH rating, the highest ever NBA telecast for ABC.

– Oh, that Don Draper… Mad Men’s season five finale on AMC drew 2.7 million viewers – its highest finale ever – and showed key growth in viewers and the 25-54 adult demo. Season five is also the most-watched season thus far with an average viewer count of 2.6 million – remarkable given most series’ ratings start to decline by that stage.

– And the closer… yours truly doesn’t participate much in comment board discussions anymore, let alone read them – but this quote in the comments from a “Mr. Bean” from a Chicago Tribune story regarding Mancow Mueller’s pointless guest commentary stint last week on WIQI was hilarious… couldn’t have said it better myself:

“He was there to only deliver a pizza”.

So the next time you order from Domino’s, your pizza might just be delivered by a has-been radio personality. Oh, and don’t forget my cheesy bread this time, Mancow.

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