Media Notepad: Mancow drops lawsuit against Nyren

Also, The Real renewed through 2020; Anamainics returns; Fox at TCA

Our long national nightmare is over: the Mancow-Marv Nyren feud is buried – for now.

As first reported by Robert Feder Thursday, WLUP-FM’s Mancow Mueller dropped his “lawsuit” against Marv Nyren, who became his boss again after being named vice president and market manager of Cumulus last fall, who owns WLUP and three other stations in Chicago. Mueller sued Nyren in Cook County Court, claiming he suffered emotional anguish while working for Nyren in the mid-2000s when he was employed at then Emmis-owned WKQX-FM and Nyren was the boss there (ironically, WKQX is also now owned by Cumulus.)

The two met last month and apparently ironed out their differences, leading Mueller to drop his lawsuit against Nyren. Mueller filed a similar suit against Nyren in 2006, and was settled in 2011. This suit was meant to avoid repeating this whole mess the first time around, according to Muller’s attorney, which was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. Is Muller’s attorney also a fortune teller?

To steal a phrase from John Kass: Radio. “The Chicago Way”.

Meanwhile, alternative rocker WKQX-FM announced Wednesday its decision to split up its morning team of Brian Phillips and Lou Lombardo. As reported by Robert Feder, Phillips continues on in the daypart, but now as a solo host. Meanwhile, Lombardo shifts to evenings replacing Josh Macroni, Lombardo also takes over Marconi’s role of “digital content captain”, meaning he runs the station’s websites and social media accounts.

Nyren yammered on about “maximizing skills at positions”, or something.

The phrase”digital content captain” sounds a bit ridicious, but I guess you can assume  they better have the “digital content life preservers” on standby because as a company, bankrupt Cumulus is a sinking ship.


Another day, another reboot: Hulu announced Thursday it put in a two-season order of the popular animated series Animaniacs, which ran on Fox and Kids WB in the 1990s. Two seasons have been ordered to start in 2020, plus all 99 existing episodes are being added to the service.

The deal also includes other ’90s Warner Bros. animated series including Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs spin-off Pinky And The Brain, which had an all-too brief primetime run on The WB.

The series centers around Yakko, Wakko, and Dot  after being locked in the Warner Bros. water tower for decades – escape and create all kinds of wacky stuff on the Warner Bros. lot (imagine if the Animanics had to deal with Charlie Sheen from Two And A Half Men – it would be a laugh riot!)

Animaniacs premiered as part of Fox Kids’ lineup in 1993 when they had a deal to program their two-hour afternoon lineup, but shifted to Kids WB two years later as Warner Bros. shifted all of its animated product to the new network, part of The WB (which later folded into UPN to form The CW.) Warner Bros. generally reduced the number of new episodes over the years, ending in 1998.

The series has won eight daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody.

The series is produced by Steven Speilberg’s production company, Amblin Television and is returning in his role as executive producer.


Also on the Warner beat: Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution announced a two-season renewal for daytime talk show strip The Real, thanks to the Fox Television Stations group, who renewed the show through 2020. Even though ratings for the show aren’t exactly stellar (0.8 Nielsen household average this current season), the series’ social media element has been successful, thanks to The Real going live – something the series didn’t do at first. During the 2016-17 season, The Real saw more than 12 million social media interactions.

The Real was tested by a few Fox-owned stations in 2013 and debuted in national syndication in 2014. The show is hosted by Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai, and Tamera-Mowry Housley. A fifth host (Tamar Braxton) was dropped from the show a year ago.

I’m thinking an Anamainics – The Real crossover. It’s entirely possible, people!


Dana Walden (l.) and Gary Newman. (Variety/Shutterstock)

For the first time since the announcement of Disney buying most of 21st Century Fox, executives of the latter met with reporters Thursday on the first day of the TCA press tour, and of course, questions were asked about the future of the network. Executives Dana Walden and Gary Newman noted it would be business as usual, and shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy won’t be “Disney-fied”. Both shows are renewed through 2019; the deal is expected to close twelve to eighteen months from now.

Meanwhile, they confirmed the new company featuring Fox, Fox News, the Fox-owned stations, and Fox Sports would be named “New Fox”, though this is likely a working title. Walden also downplayed the possibility of the new Fox consisting of 80 percent “live events and sports”, as Fox would be open to programming from Sony and Warner Bros.

In other TCA news involving Fox, both Walden and Newman dismissed speculation about the future of the recently returned X-Files, as reports have surfaced Gilligan Anderson would not be doing the show after this season, which could end the short-term series. “Some days you’d get a ‘Yes,’ some days you’d get a ‘No.’ I would not exclude the possibility that there would be more. But not only is there no plan, there hasn’t been a single conversation. It’s too early to even speculate”, Newman said. But ratings may determine X-Files’ fate: Wednesday night’s return drew a 1.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, below what Empire was previously doing in the time slot.

Further reading:

Brittney Payton joins Good Day Chicago

Greg Mathis may leave TV show to run for Congress (more on this in a future post)

The Four debuted Thursday on Fox

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