The Media Notepad: WSHE becomes a station who “Loves The 90s and 2000s”

Also: Peoria’s WEEK absorbs rival’s news operation; name change ahead for CBS Media Ventures?; L.A. independent TV station ends long run

[Editor’s Note: An earlier post had the incorrect title of a Beyonce song as the word “Ring” was replaced with…something else. It has since been corrected. – T.H.] 

It’s not a format change per se, but a slogan one: Hubbard’s WSHE-FM adapted the unusual branding of “SHE 100.3 Loves the ’90s and 200s!” with an exclamation point, basically saying their focus now is on songs from the 1990s and 2000s, as opposed to the 1980s. The change took place Friday morning at 10 a.m. 

Here’s a listing of songs played during the 4-5 p.m. time frame July 29: 

Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson

A Love Bizarre – Sheila E.  

Hey Mr. DJ – Zhane

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 f/Christina Aguilera, Mac Miller

Two To Make It Right – Seduction

Sk8erboi – Avril Lavigne

Give It To Me Baby – Rick James

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys

Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) – Beyonce 

Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna

Return Of The Mack – Mark Morrison

Someday – Sugar Ray

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson

Miss Independent – Ne-Yo (not the same song by the artist just above this one) 

Other songs heard on 100.3 include Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliott and Real Love by Mary J. Blige. 

It looks like they be aiming for a more classic hip-hop direction (against Audacy’s 104.3 Jams) but with a lot of 90s and 2000s pop and R&B product. 80s music is now consisting of remixes and cover songs/remakes but as you can see, there is a great deal of original 80s material remaining on the Hubbard-owned station. Hard to say which direction this is going, but the format is all over the place as Fat Joe followed by Sugar Ray is the playlist we can all aspire to create on our phones, I suppose. 

WSHE’s on-air lineup remains unchanged. During the last Nielsen ratings period WSHE was in a tie for sixteenth place with Top 40 B96 (WBBM-FM.) 

Is a name change coming to CBS’ syndication unit? A piece in Broadcasting & Cable on Monday suggests one could be coming. A new wrestling show is coming to syndication called WOW – Women OF Wrestling, scheduled to premiere the weekend of September 17 and B&C notes WOW was sold to stations by “Paramount Global Content Distribution”, though it’s not clear if this is the same company currently known as CBS Media Ventures, who changed their name from CBS Television Distribution two years ago.

But CBS Media Ventures’ parent company is Paramount Global. This space suggested Paramount should return as the name of the company’s syndication division as this was the case between 1994 and 2006 when Viacom owned the studio. Viacom bought CBS in 1999, were split in two in late 2005, and reunited as ViacomCBS in 2019. Earlier this year, the company was rebranded as Paramount Global.  

As for the show, WOW has cleared almost every major market in “100% of the country”, though no specific stations were announced. Once a staple of weekend programming on local stations during the 1980s and 1990s, WOW is a de facto replacement for Ring Of Honor Wrestling, which aired in weekend syndication for eleven seasons before ending its run last April as the promotion was sold. WOW is reminiscent of GLOW – Gorgeous Ladies’ Of Wrestling, a popular syndicated weekend offering in the late 1980s. The person behind GLOW also happens to be behind WOW – David McLane, who runs the promotion under owner Jennie Buss, who also owns the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. WOW previously ran on AXS TV before its run ended in June 2020.

The news is a boost for the struggling weekend syndication business, which hasn’t had an easy time launching first-run product, as this blog reported in 2019. The tough weekend landscape claimed Debmar-Mercury’s Central Ave. and WGN-TV’s Man Of The People in recent years as stations stuck with off-network drama reruns, preacher shows, and infomercials. 

In media news from downstate, Peoria’s WEEK-TV announced a news expansion on July 26, merging their news operation with those of Sinclair Broadcasting’s WHOI-TV. This means WHOI would no longer have a news operation as their their news staff is being absorbed by WEEK, who is an NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television.

WEEK plans to add three-in-a-half hours of news every weekday, and two hours on weekends, totaling 50 hours of original newscasts every week including adding news in prime access (6:30 p.m.) and at 4 p.m.

“We are very excited about the changes we are making at WEEK-TV and in local news in Central Illinois. The excitement in the building for these changes is incredible”, said WEEK vice president and general manager Peter Russell. “We are adding new positions, expanding the news set, and investing in new technology to make sure that we do this the best way for our staff and viewers.”

This moves leaves CBS affiliate WBMD-TV as the only local news competition in the Peoria-Bloomington market. Fox affiliate WYZZ-TV’s newscasts are produced by WMBD, who is owned by WGN-TV owner Nexstar Media Group.

Even though WHOI produced their own newscasts, it aired little syndicated programming as it is an affiliate of diginet TBD as it and the channel are both owned by Sinclair. In a strange and unusual deal, then WEEK owner Quincy Media “purchased” the ABC and CW affiliations in 2016, ended a previous joint shares agreement with WHOI, and moved them to their digital subchannel space with Sinclair continuing to produce newscasts for the ABC channel (Confused? So am I, quite frankly.) Gray purchased Quincy Media in February 2021.

The news comes as a study released Tuesday by the National Association of Broadcasters found local stations producing news was up 35 percent from ten years ago. This comes as streaming is gaining a significant foothold in the television ecosystem as linear TV audiences continues to fall. Not surprisingly the same study took a veiled shot at the FCC’s television ownership rules, claiming broadcasters lose $2 billion a year as their content is accessed through tech giants Google and Facebook without compensation as they continue to gobble much of the local advertising market.

The bible thumpers now coming for TV stations, too: Ellis Communications’ KDOC-TV in Anaheim, Calif. serving the Los Angeles market was sold a few months ago to Christian broadcaster Tri-State Christian Television, based in Marion, Ill., located downstate. The sale closed July 28 as non-secular programming was removed from the station on the same day. KDOC posted their sign-off on YouTube at midnight Pacific Time Friday morning:

The news might as come as a surprise to most KDOC viewers as the sale wasn’t mentioned in L.A. media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register, where KDOC is located nor industry trades such as TVNewscheck or Broadcasting & Cable. The sale also ends the station’s news-producing relationship with KABC-TV, who produced primetime newscasts for KDOC.

Known mostly for second or third-tier syndicated fare most Los Angeles stations passed on, KDOC was home to some uniquely interesting programs, including wild conservative talk show Hot Seat With Wally George and a 1987-92 music video show called Request Video. Of course, KDOC’s most infamous moment came about a decade ago when Jamie Kennedy’s New Year’s show went off the rails and became viral. Sports programming included the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks of course, and at times carried professional wrestling, high school and college basketball, and college football from the SEC and ACC before they launched their own cable networks.

During the station’s early years in the 1980s, KDOC was in turmoil as the station faced lawsuits over sexual harassment charges and a ratings inflation scandal. In 2006, Ellis Communications bought the station from its previous owners.

As for the future of the station’s former syndicated lineup, much of the programming was shared with other L.A. stations, such as Seinfeld and Family Guy. However, some shows such as syndicated reruns of Young Sheldon and Bob’s Burgers now do not have a home in the nation’s second-largest market although one could always find both shows on streaming services, and of course cable TV and new episodes on CBS and Fox, respectively. 

TCT also acquired former My Network TV affiliate KAIL-TV in Fresno, Calif. replacing its syndicated lineup two years ago. As linear TV continues to see its audience shrink, we may be seeing more of these deals – similar to what we’ve been seeing in radio the last few years as the former WLUP-FM and WBUS/WRZA/WCPQ-FM Chicago and WPLJ-FM in New York were purchased by non-profit Christian broadcasters and converted to non-com religious stations.

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