The latest Quick Hits and Bits contains a lot of good stuff, so here we go!
– Even though the Chicago Bulls lost Saturday night to the Philadelphia 76ers, the first WGN-TV regular season game featuring Derrick Rose’s return scored gangbuster ratings for the Tribune-owned station – even on a night notorious for low HUT levels. The game earned a 8.5 household and an impressive 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 from 6-8:30 p.m. and scored triple digit increases in all key demos from last season’s averages.
– He’s back: Robert Murphy returns to Chicago radio again this time in the afternoon shift at WLS-FM. The classic hits station owned by Cumulus also realigned its airshift schedule. Unfortunately, look for them to play the same ten artists thirty times a day with little talk from the DJs.
– With Halloween over, we are now officially on Holiday Lite watch – yes, that time of year when all eyes are on WLIT-FM (My 93.9) and guess what day their going to switch to Christmas music. With a few radio stations already have flipped to 24/7 Holly Jolly, look for WLIT to flip within the next week.
– On Friday, two series were canceled: ABC is dumping Back In The Game after its thirteen-episode run is completed, continuing a tradition of baseball-related TV shows that did not work: Bay City Blues, Hardball, Bad News Bears, and Ball Four.
– Also on Friday, Lifetime canceled The Client List after two low-rated seasons in part because star Jennifer Love Hewitt wanted her finance to play her lover. Reminds yours truly of the time Hunter’s Fred Dwyer demanded a pay raise during the original series’ seventh season and…yeah, you all know how that turned out.
– After a hold was lifted by Texas Senator (and general pain in the ass) Ted Cruz, Tom Wheeler was finally sworn in as FCC Chairman on Monday, as was Republican commissioner Michael O’Rieilly.
– This week’s print edition of Broadcasting & Cable features the 94th-ranked Jackson, Miss. market and spotlights longtime ratings leader WLBT. The NBC affiliate proudly boasted about its racially diverse workforce: “There’s more diversity at this station per capita than any one I can think of,” WLBT GM Dan Modisett told B&C. It’s a far cry from the Jim Crow era of the 1950’s and 1960’s, when WLBT wasn’t exactly a model of tolerance. The FCC yanked WLBT’s license from then-owner Lamar Insurance Co. due to discrimination practices in 1969, and lost on appeal in 1971. WLBT is now owned by Raycom.
– In a blow to Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV, KTXD in Dallas dropped the classic TV channel in the nation’s fifth largest market October 31 in order to air more local programming and become “a true independent station”. But in the comments section of this article, viewers in the Metroplex are less than pleased with the move. On Wednesday, MeTV is making its channel available to U-Verse customers while looking for a new outlet in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
KTXD meanwhile, has picked up local OTA rights to air ESPN’s Monday Night Football on December 9 when the Dallas Cowboys take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, which will be carried in Chicago by WLS-TV.
– Looks like Bethenny Frankel had a good week – the shock jock talk show host scored a 33 percent ratings increase from the previous week in the key 25-54 female demo and is now only two-tenths of a ratings point (0.9) behind rookie talker (in this sense) Queen Latifah in households (1.1). Heaven help us!