T Dog’s Grab Bag: “Ellen” renewed through 2017

EllenDeGeneres– Good news for fans of Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talk show: Warner Bros. has renewed the strip through 2017 on more than twenty station groups, including all ten of the NBC-owned stations.

Airing on WMAQ in Chicago at 3 p.m., Ellen is the top-rated program among women 25-54 in the time period, besting rival talkers Katie, Dr. Phil, and Maury. Ellen also won her time period in the same demo in New York and Los Angeles.

During the February sweeps, Ellen ranked third among all talk shows in syndication with a 2.7 rating, up 4 percent from last year.

– There’s also good news for fans of Milt Rosenberg: the 87-year old former WGN Radio personality is now going the podcasting route to deliver his content, Robert Feder from Time Out Chicago is reporting. Beginning next month, Rosenberg’s show is available for download every weeknight at 7 p.m. The program is expected to follow the same format of his former terrestrial radio show. Rosenberg’s podcast should be available via iTunes and RSS and miltrosenberg.com, where fans can for updates. Rosenberg left WGN after station officials declined to renew his contract.

– Talk about supersizing: WGN-TV is looking at expanding its successful weekday morning newscast to six hours a day, according to a report by Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago. The newscast would replace Live With Kelly & Michael, which is moving back to WLS-TV after an eleven-year hiatus (when it was known as Regis & Kelly) and airing at 9 a.m. for the first time ever on the ABC-owned station. The acquisition also ends WLS as the last holdout – it was the only ABC O&O that didn’t air Kelly & Michael.

Live would be replacing Windy City Live, which leads the market in households but trails Live in key female demos. No word yet on where WCL would wind up, though 11 a.m. is a possibility.

Meanwhile, WGN is adding The Test to its daytime schedule this fall, a new paternity-test talk show hosted by Parks and Recreation cast member “Captain” Kirk Fox to its daytime lineup this fall, with a time period to be determined. Khan!

– You’d think Randy Michaels was still employed at the Tribune Co.: WTIC in Hartford-New Haven Conn. had to apologize to its viewers for airing a Women’s Month piece which showed nothing but shots at women’s breasts. The Tribune-owned Fox affiliate was flooded with angry viewers’ complaints and apologized, saying it was ” a mistake” (of course.)

Under the reign of the Court Jester and Sam Zell, the atmosphere at the Tribune Company was described as a “frat house” with accusations of sexual harassment and late-night poker parties. In the process, Tribune went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

WTIC is one of six Fox affiliates Tribune owns; the company also owns CW affiliate WTXX and the Hartford Courant; the latter is up for sale as Tribune is currently new management.

Michaels and the frat house atmosphere is gone and Tribune is out of bankruptcy, but I guess some things never change.