The Media Notepad: Paris Schutz exits WTTW

Also: Chicago Blackhawks add animated alternative broadcast; FCC fine won’t affect WADL sale; Caps/Wizards move to Virginia scuttled In another blow to the long-running Chicago Tonight, anchor and co-host Paris Schutz announced Tuesday he is leaving the WTTW show after a twenty-year run, departing on April 12. Some personal news: Nearly 20 years ago, I walked into WTTW as a […]

Nexstar, Mission Broadcasting fined by FCC over New York’s WPIX

Must also sell station in twelve months In a decision that could have ripple effects for local television, the FCC has fined both Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting over their relationship with one another regarding WPIX in New York City, the market’s CW affiliate. The FCC has also ordered Mission to sell the station in the nation’s largest media market. The […]

New WLS-FM jingles pays tribute to station’s iconic past

Mirrors station’s success as a Classic Hits outlet Back some time ago, format changes at WLS-FM were similar to Chicago’s weather – quite frequent and varied. The 94.7 frequency went through more format changes than a singer’s wardrobe on stage through disco, rock, contemporary hit radio, talk, oldies, alternative, and even country over the years. But a decade ago, WLS-FM […]

DirecTV to offer package without local stations

But only for traditional satellite customers In a controversial move, DirecTV announced Sunday it was offering a new package without local stations. As first reported by Broadcasting & Cable (NextTV), DirecTV would offer consumers a package that would let subscribers save $12 a month (roughly $144 per year) if they dropped them. It's now officially official (thanks) — T […]

The Media Notepad: Former MBC HQ won’t be used for migrant shelter after all

Also: The NAB is concerned about crime near their headquarters; ESPN 1000 owner drops Nielsen; WNBA’s New York Liberty strikes broadcast deal with Fox in New York The River North building where the Museum of Broadcast Communications was located won’t become a migrant shelter after all. Last November, city leaders led by Mayor Brandon Johnson were looking to house migrants […]

The 2024 Oscars a big hit with viewers

Ratings surge despite earlier start time, change to Daylight Savings Time In an era where ratings for almost everything outside of sports are declining, the early numbers for the 96th Annual Academy Awards are certainly encouraging. According to Nielsen estimates, the Oscars drew 19.5 million viewers – up four percent from last year’s telecast and the highest numbers since the […]

Shaw Local Radio buys LaSalle, Dixon stations

Year-old division of Shaw Media expands even further into radio with a four-station purchase Shaw Media, who owns about eighty local newspapers across Northern Illinois and websites here and in Iowa, is making a push to get into radio. Christened Shaw Local Radio, the division announced last Thursday it was purchasing three  Illinois radio stations: Dixon’s Oldies WIXN-AM (1450) and […]

Bally Sports to stick around after all – but with different name

  Say so long to the name but not the RSN: Bally Sports is getting a rebrand this fall.  It’s like Diamond’s regional sports networks are sticking around after all. As part of its reorganization plan last week, a Houston bankruptcy judge approved two key items: a $450 million debtor-in-possession financing package and a $495 million settlement from Sinclair, who […]

NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” heads to syndication

Sony returns to daily syndication with NFL show The NFL Network’s Good Morning Football morning show may soon be available on a local station near you. On Wednesday, the league confirmed plans that a new, separate first-run syndicated version of the show is in the works with Sony Pictures Television. Titled GMFB (an acronym for Good Morning Football), the show […]

CBS, NAACP, P&G join together on new daytime serial “The Gates”

First daytime serial to debut in 25 years In an unusual deal, CBS Studios is teaming up with the NAACP and Procter and Gamble (P&G) to launch The Gates, a new daytime serial centered around a wealthy African-American family. The effort is born out of an agreement between CBS and the NAACP made in 2020 to increase the viability of […]

CW 26 to air Cubs exhibition game March 12

Could be a dress rehearsal for more According to a report in the Sun-Times, Weigel’s CW 26 (or WCIU) announced Monday it is televising a Chicago Cubs spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 12 at 8 p.m. The game will be simulcast on Marquee Sports Network, the home of all Cubs games since 2020 a year after […]

Scott Childers out at Alpha Media

Longtime Chicago radio vet’s position was eliminated Scott Childers, an on-air voice and engineer at three suburban-based Alpha Media radio stations, has exited the company after two decades. Announced Monday morning, Childers’ position, or positions were eliminated in yet another round of cuts at the cluster. Childers was Chief Engineer and on-air voice for three Alpha stations: Joilet’s WSSR-FM (Star […]

Tom Skilling retires…so what’s next for local TV?

His departure leaves a void as linear usage declines and cord-cutting continues When Tom Skilling stepped down from his longtime role as meteorologist at WGN-TV Wednesday night, it marked the end of an era for Chicago’s longest-tenured television personality after 46 years on the air at the same station. But it also marked the end of an era for Chicago […]