T Dog’s Grab Bag: Bruce Levine out at ESPN 1000

Well, it won't be anymore - ESPN canceled the host and dropped the host Saturday.
Well, it won’t be anymore – ESPN canceled the show and dropped the host Saturday.

Talking Baseball host Bruce Levine confirmed via Twitter Saturday he was out as host of WMVP-AM’s (ESPN 1000) Talking Baseball after station bosses declined to renew his contract, ending his 22-year run as host. The move to cancel the show comes as ESPN 1000 continues to slag far behind rival WSCR-AM (The Score) in the ratings. Not helping Levine’s cause was the very sub-sub-subpar season both the Cubs and White Sox had this past season. There’s a possibility Levine might wind up at The Score, so stay tuned.

Steve Farber is getting some additional responsibilities to go along with his job as interim GM at WGN-TV in Chicago: he has been named senior VP of operations at Tribune Broadcasting, meaning he’ll be responsible for running operations at Antenna TV and This TV, The Bill Cunningham Show (which airs on CW), and the company’s multicast networks. Faber will also continue to oversee WGN-TV until a replacement can be found. Technically, the GM position hasn’t been filled since Marty Wilke left for CBS-owned WBBM-TV last year.

And speaking of WGN, how about this? The station has been airing promos for its 11 a.m. newscast, noting ABC-owned WLS-TV no longer has one in the time period (WLS dropped its newscast to making room for the relocated Windy City Live, which lost its 9 a.m. time slot for Live With Kelly and Michael, which coincidentally, moved from WGN.

And they have a reason to boast: in the adult 25-54 demo since the change, WGN’s newscast are up 42 percent while Windy is down 46 percent. (Windy has added news updates to its show. Keep in mind however, WGN isn’t the only option for news at 11 a.m. – WBBM also has a half-hour newscast in the same time period.

The long retrans battle between Journal Communications and Time Warner Cable is finally over, with the impasse ending September 20 after some 50 days or so and Journal’s stations returned to TWC systems in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Omaha, and Palm Springs. In case of Milwaukee’s WTMJ however, instead of returning to the old Channel 4 position on TWC systems, the NBC affiliate would up on Channel 2 (GSN now has the channel 4 position.) TWC has the right to slot a network or local channel in any position its likes – if the money is right (GSN “bought” the then vacant slot.) Despite the move, WTMJ is retaining its “Today TMJ4” branding, since WTMJ is still seen on Channel 4 over-the-air, U-Verse, DirecTV, and Dish and in HD on Channel 1004 on TWC.

WTMJ has been on channel 4 since 1953 – in the analog, pre-cable era – when it moved from its original Channel 3 position to avoid interference from WKZO (now WWMT) in Kalamazoo, Mich. WTMJ’s move to Channel 4 forced Chicago’s WBKB/WBBM-TV to move to Channel 2.

Finally, someone has asked yours truly why T Dog Media was dropped from a local media website’s RSS news feed a few weeks ago.

Not sure why the site in question dropped T Dog Media – I wasn’t even notified. The RSS feeds work fine – click the orange icon on the upper right-hand side of this website to see for yourself. Maybe it had something to do with some recent criticism I made of the site unfairly ripping into a WGN radio host? I don’t know. The host…let’s call him “Mike”, explained his side of the argument efficiently – and this is a guy I rarely agree with politically.

Look, we’re all adults here…well, some are. If you can’t take constructive criticism, then you have no business writing for any publication, let alone running one. It’s part of the game – it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a blog or writing for Modern Family. Dropping it says more about “them” than it does about me or this site – it’s completely bush league.

And that’s about as far as my response is going.


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