The Media Notepad: NBC 5’s Andy Avalos retires; Alicia Roman promoted to morning shift

Also: Young Sheldon adds TBS home; Rick Dees becomes voice of RewindTV; Dish and Sinclair avoid blackouts – for now 

Veteran meteorologist Andy Avalos announced his retirement on Friday after 33 years on Chicago television. Starting on August 30, fellow NBC 5 (WMAQ) meteorologist Alicia Roman is taking over Avalos’ spot on the morning newscast from 4-7 a.m. She’s been with NBC 5 since 2011, coming from WISH in Indianapolis.

“Andy has been an important member of the NBC 5 Storm Team and he’s one of the nicest people in the business. We will miss him”, said WMAQ station manager and vice president Frank Whittaker in a statement“Meanwhile, we’re thrilled Alicia is taking up the morning newscasts. She has certainly earned this promotion. Her experience has played a key role in our weather team’s commitment to keep Chicagoans safe.”

Avalos has been a familiar face to local viewers, first appearing on ABC-owned WLS-TV newscasts from 1984 to 1994. He shifted over from NBC 5 handling meteorological duties from 1994 to 1999 and returned to NBC 5 in 2003. During the time he stepped away, Avalos ran a pancake house in southwest suburban Lemont. Avalos began his career in Colorado Springs KOAA and then shifted to Denver’s KMGH.

With Roman’s promotion, there be a new weather face taking her place on weekends – Iisha Scott, who hails from Tegna-owned NBC affiliate WCNC in Charlotte.

When Nexstar’s Rewind TV launches next month, there will be a familiar voice being heard on the digital subchannel – and it’s none other than Rick Dees.

Dees will be the booth announcer on the network when the channel, focusing on 1980s and 1990s sitcom hits (and a few flops) arrives September 1. Of course, Nexstar stations are the launch group with Rewind set for WGN-DT 9.4 according to their affiliates map website, replacing TBD. It is not known if TBD will slide to 9.3, where Court TV currently resides or be dropped altogether.  

“Rewind TV will air the TV comedy hits of the 80s, 90s and beyond, so there’s no better personality than Radio and TV personality Rick Dees to be the voice between the hits,” said Nexstar Networks Division president Sean Compton.

A Radio Hall of Fame and the NAB Hall of Fame inductee, Dees was once known for his 1976 novelty chart-topping hit Disco Duck while working at WMPS-AM in Memphis, who fired him at the height of the record’s popularity due to conflict-of-interest issues. Dees soon landed at rival WHBQ-AM and then KHJ-AM in Los Angeles, both stations then part of the RKO chain. But he achieved his greatest fame at KIIS-FM (Kiss 102.7), the now iHeartMedia-owned Top 40 station where he was the morning personality from 1981 to 2004, dominating the ratings in the 1980s and 1990s.

During his time at KIIS, he launched the syndicated Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 countdown show, currently in its 38th season and longest continuous pop music countdown show on the air (rival American Top 40 – who at one time was syndicated through Premiere Networks along with Weekly Top 40, was off the air between 1995 and 1998.) After exiting KIIS, Dees resurfaced briefly in L.A. at the now-defunct radio stations Movin 93.9 and Hot 92.3.

Dees also was the host of Into the Night, a short-lived late-night show for ABC in 1990 and 1991. Dees’ company operates, where his countdown shows (of various formats) are available to stream in addition to syndicated weekday music show Daily Dees.

In news that’ll either make you happy or antagonize you, Warner Bros. has found another outlet to air off-network episodes of Young Sheldon and to no one’s surprise it’s TBS, who’ll begin airing nightly reruns starting September 27 joining The Big Bang Theory, the show it spun off of.

“The Warner Bros. Domestic TV library has been wonderfully successful for our networks from Friends to The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon is a natural addition that is going to enhance more opportunities for consumers to sit back and laugh,” said Brett Weitz, who is general manager of TBS, TNT and truTV.

Young Sheldon is produced and distributed by Warner Bros. who parent company (WarnerMedia) owns TBS, TNT, and TruTV. The show also streams on WarnerMedia-owned HBO Max.

The TBS deal does not affect the one made in January by ViacomCBS’ Nick At Nite, who’ll continue to run the show. 

TBS’ run of Sheldon begins on the same day local stations begin broadcasting off-network episodes as Warne cleared the show in 90 percent of the country, including Nexstar stations in some of the largest markets. In Chicago, Nexstar’s WGN-TV plans to air Sheldon in primetime at 8 p.m. Other Nexstar stations airing Sheldon include WPIX New York and WPHL Philadelphia. More info can be found here at

The fifth season premiere of Sheldon begins October 7 on CBS, so you’ve been warned.

It looks like the showdown between Dish and Sinclair Broadcasting has been avoided – for now. The two companies have agreed to temporarily extend their current agreement as the two hammer out a new carriage deal.

140+ Sinclair stations (somehow the number magically went up from 108 and 112) were set to go dark on Dish Monday as it appears there was concern over losing local affiliates from the satcaster, especially given football season is right around the corner. Stations affected run the gamut from Springfield IL’s WICS to Washington D.C.’s WJLA, not to mention the Tennis Channel.

It is not known how along the extension would last, and the channels can still be dropped at the drop of a hat.

There were reports Sinclair was trying to leverage their Bally Regional Sports Networks with their local station retrans deals as Dish claims carrying them were too expensive. But given the extension, you wonder if Sinclair backed off given Dish wasn’t likely to change their stance as the then-called Fox Sports RSNs has been off Dish since 2019. Another channel Sinclair has a financial stake in (Marquee) has never been carried by Dish.

Keep in mind only Sinclair can pull the channels off Dish’s systems, not the other way around – regardless of what may they tell you in any commercials.

[An earlier version of this post had the wrong station group Dish reached a temporary agreement with in the byline.] 


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