T Dog’s Grab Bag: Harry Teinowitz out at ESPN 1000

He's not "winning" this time.

He’s not “winning” this time.

I guess he ain’t “winning” anymore: Harry Teinowitz is out as afternoon co-host at ESPN 1000 (WMVP). Teinowitz, who was paired up with John “Jurko” Jurkovic and Carmen DeFalco for the 2-6 afternoon shift, was given his walking papers Thursday after twelve years at the ESPN-owned radio station. Jurko and Carmen will continue with the show for the time being.

As you recall two years ago, Teinowitz was pulled over for driving under the influence in Skokie. Teinowitz was suspended shortly thereafter, but returned to the show two months later. But Thursday’s move most likely had more to do with CJ&H’s ratings, which were less than half of their rivals, WSCR’s Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers.

ABC affiliate WHOI-TV in Peoria/Bloomington has a new owner: Sinclair Broadcast Group, who already owns ABC affiliates WICS in Springfield and satellite sister station WICD, bought it, CBS affiliate KHQA-TV in Quincy, and 22 other stations from Barrington Broadcasting, which is based in northwest suburban Barrington (of course.) Due to FCC ownership restrictions, Sinclair plans to sell Fox affiliate WYZZ in Peoria and another station in Syracuse, N.Y.

The Baltimore-based station group has been on a buying tear lately, purchasing numerous stations, including a few in the Cox station groups, mostly in small markets. Many of those small-market TV stations are being spun off to a subsidiary company called Chesapeake TV, which is being headed by former Communications Corp. of America CEO Steven Pruitt.

End of an era: The Atlanta Braves and Fox Sports announced last week they were moving the remaining 45 non-cable local games to its two regional sports networks in Georgia, Fox Sports South and Sports South, giving Fox 150-plus games to televise (Fox Saturday baseball games will continue air on WAGA.) This means WPCH-TV, or Peachtree TV no longer has rights to Braves games, ending an era dating back to the WTCG/WTBS days when Ted Turner both owned both the team and the station. The move comes as more and more teams are moving games to cable, eliminating them from local broadcast TV entirely. This scenario could become a possibly should the Cubs launch their own RSN, which they could do after their contract with WGN-TV expires in 2014 (Cubs also has a contract with CSN through the 2019 season.)

TBS’ national and local feeds were permanently split in 2007; the local version of TBS became Peachtree TV. Even though Turner owns the broadcast license to WPCH, the company seceded day-to-day operations of the independent station to Meredith Corp. in 2011 in a local marketing agreement (Meredith also owns CBS affiliate WGCL in Atlanta.) Despite the loss of the Braves, WPCH still has rights to a few SEC college football and basketball games.

Generally, station pre-emptions of network programming doesn’t make news… but this one did  – NBC affiliate WKYC in Cleveland dropped two hours its network’s primetime lineup Thursday night for a Matlock rerun. News of the pre-emption spread like wildfire on social media, and surprisingly made headlines on industry-related websites such as THR and Broadcasting and Cable, not to mention local media site Ohio Media Watch (The Plain Dealer mentioned the Matlock pre-emption this morning.)

But even more bizarre was the explanation WKYC GM Brooke Spectorsky provided to THR on why Matlock was chosen over reruns of Office and Law & Order:SVU and a new 1600 Penn, saying the move was made because the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts & Sciences snubbed star Andy Griffith (who appeared in several films such as No Time For Sergeants) in the Oscars “In Memoriam” segment. (Spectorsky fessed up and later told B&C the move was an “inventory play” – i.e. more local ads to sell.)

The Matlock pre-emption was news because NBC recently finished fifth in primetime during the February sweeps – even behind Univision, after finishing first in adults 18-49 in November, suggesting NBC affiliates were ready to bail on the network’s lineup. While the number of prime-time pre-emptions are down from what they were in the past (for example, CBS affiliate KMOV in St. Louis pre-empted a whopping 103 hours of network primetime programming in 1987), they still happen, albeit occasionally – KSDK in St. Louis for one, has pre-empted NBC’s airings of Community in the past for local specials. (WGN-TV of course, often pre-empts CW fare for sports.)

Interestingly enough, WKYC at one time was an NBC owned-and-operated station – which meant the station had to carry the network’s entire schedule. WKYC was an NBC O&O from 1948 to 1956 (as WNBK) and again from 1965 to 1990, when it sold 51 percent of the station to Multimedia, Inc., best known as the syndicator of Phil Donahue’s talk show. Gannett purchased Multimedia in 1995 and bought out the rest of WKYC in 1999. The 1956-65 period saw the station’s calls as KYW and owned by Westinghouse (In 1965, the KYW AM-FM-TV cluster – including some staff – “moved” to Philadelphia and “reclaimed” Channel 3 after the FCC ordered a Cleveland-Philadelphia cluster swap forced by NBC reversed.)

Originally produced by Viacom, Matlock is distributed by CBS Television Distribution.

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