93.9 Lite FM to launch Christmas music Tuesday

Earliest launch in station history With Halloween in the rear view mirror, 93.9 Lite FM is wasting no time in launching its Holly Jolly Format. Beginning Tuesday, the iHeartMedia Gold AC station is lunching its popular Christmas music format at 4 p.m. On November 1, this is the earliest launch in its history and becomes the first major-market radio station […]

The Media Notepad: Marquee sees ratings slide two years after launch

Also: Elon Musk officially takes over Twitter; “The Real Love Boat” becomes the season’s first casualty; “Dr. Phil” drifting toward right-wing propaganda? The new Marquee Sports Network’s fortunes seems to ebb and flow with the Cubs’ performance, and with two consecutive losing seasons, ratings are down. But the picture may not be what it seems. According to a Chicago Tribune […]

NATPE cancels Bahamas gathering for 2023 due to bankruptcy

Is the end near for NATPE? After announcing they would hold their winter gathering in the Bahamas next year, the National Association of Television Programming Executives have pulled back on those plans due to their Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, leaving them with an uncertain future.  The organization said no decision has been made regarding other gatherings in 2023 including the […]

Crain’s to stop political endorsements

Business publication joins a growing list of media outlets halting them You can add Crain’s Chicago Business to the list of local publications bowing out of the political endorsement game. Saying times have changed, Crain’s said Monday it is ending political endorsements from its publication after 44 years as such tools are really no longer effective. In a letter to […]

The Media Notepad: Bears don’t deliver for Amazon Prime

Also: prime-time’s future debated; Pluto takes streaming lead  You wonder if Amazon has a return policy for defective football games: Much like the teams on the field, the October 13 edition of Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football was completely forgettable. The newly renamed Washington Commanders played the Chicago Bears on a 40-degree night and viewers figured the game between two […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: Kanye West again a sore spot for black radio

West’s comments about Jewish people and George Floyd put him on the spot, but a lack of outrage (outside of social media) may keep him on black radio [Editors Note: This post was updated on October 30.] Here we go again: former Chicagoan and rapper Kanye West (now known as Ye, but for the purposes of this item we’ll call […]

Sinclair hires “CSI” creator to develop programming

Anthony Zuiker to develop programming for Sinclair  In an unusual deal, Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting has struck a deal with a writer who helped develop the CSI franchise. The person’s name is Anthony E. Zuiker, and he plans to work with Sinclair to develop programming including but not limited to game shows, docuseries, and talk shows. Zuiker is working with Sinclair’s […]

Report: Rupert Murdoch looking to join Fox Corp., NewsCorp. together

After splitting a decade ago, he wants to reunite It appears Rupert Murdoch wants to bring back together the two companies he separated eight years ago.  Late Friday, reports surfaced on Murdoch doing exactly that – Fox Corp.’s board of directors received a letter from him and the Murdoch Family Trust about  reuniting Fox and News Corp. once again and […]

The Media Notepad: WGN-TV scores ratings win in gubernatorial debates

Pritzker, Bailey showdown tops time slot in viewers, demos  Chicago viewers obviously love their politics: according to Nielsen in a press release from Nexstar’s WGN-TV, the first of two Illinois gubernatorial debates between incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker and Republican Darren Bailey was a big local ratings hit on October 6, winning the 7-8 p.m. time period with an exact total […]

WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” gets set makeover

Only third set redesign in 20 years Chicago PBS station WTTW revamped its signature 7 p.m. news show Chicago Tonight on October 3 debuting not only a newly remodeled set, but also new music and graphics.  “We are excited to debut this new and immersive viewing experience, which will enhance our news coverage and advance our mission to provide independent, […]

The Media Notepad: The Chicago Sun-Times drops its paywall

Also: The Drive promotes Janda Lane to middays; Nexstar closes the deal to buy The CW; NATPE files for bankruptcy; Svengoolie is hiring! The move was expected for months, and now it’s official: The Chicago Sun-Times announced Thursday it is removing the paywall for all stories. This comes as the newspaper and Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM announced a non-profit merger […]

Chicago radio ratings: The Drive dominates, B96 slips

The Drive wins overall; WLS-FM finishes first in 18-34s At the start of the year, no one would ever guess Hubbard’s The Drive (WDRV-FM) would top the ratings, let alone dominate them. And as it turns out, the classic rocker is performing a clinic on how to dominate. In September, The Drive’s ratings topped all Chicago radio stations, speeding up […]

ABC 7’s Alan Krashesky to retire after 40 years

Announcement made on the same day he joined the station in 1982 [Editor’s Note: Swapped YouTube video with the Christmas Night edition of WLS-TV’s newscast.] If anything, the year 2022 is shaping up to be The Great Retirement in local media.  The latest person to call it a career is Alan Krashesky, who announced his decision to retire from ABC […]

Disney channels return to Dish, Sling

Channels return after weekend standoff After Dish and Sling customers woke up Saturday morning to find Disney channels missing, they returned late Sunday night as the parties came to a tentative agreement. The move to pull the channels came after the contract between the two parties expired on September 30 and neither negotiated an extension to keep the channels on […]