The Media Notepad: ABC, The CW announce 2024-25 lineups

Also: The Drive reclaims the top spot in Chicago radio ratings; Young Sheldon redeems himself   [Editor’s Note: The second item of this piece was updated on May 21.] Wrapping up the upfronts: ABC released its fall schedule last week as part of a Disney upfront presentation that hardly mentioned the network. And little wonder – there isn’t much to talk […]

Cable TV back? Disney, Warner Bros. announce bundling plan

Includes Hulu and but no word on if new sports streaming service is included In a move for their streaming services to become more economical for subscribers, The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday a plan to bundle their streaming services. Both plan to launch the bundle this summer with ad-supported and commercial-free tiers being offered. Notably […]

The Media Notepad: Fallout continues from Chicago Public Media layoffs

Paramount, Skydance advance merger talks; Iger survives Disney proxy board vote The fallout continues from the decision to lay off fourteen employees at WBEZ and Sun-Times owner Chicago Public Media last Wednesday, with a Chicago alderperson from the city’s 49th Ward on the far North Side being the latest to weigh in. “Seeing the increases, seeing the benefits, and then […]

Disney-Fox-WBD joint venture: DOA with the DOJ?

Justice Department to analyze deal as the NFL pushes back The planned sports streaming venture proposed by Disney’s ESPN, Fox Corporation, and Warner Bros. Discovery could be finished before it even gets off the ground. Two significant developments took place this week as the Department of Justice (DOJ) is now looking at the proposed joint venture for anti-trust concerns. The […]

Station group supports new ESPN-Fox-WBD sports streaming service

s Questionable if others are on board; cable group opposes effort With the surprise announcement of a new sports streaming service this week involving three big media conglomerates, reaction is pouring in and as expected, it’s mixed. Local station broadcaster Gray Television said it would support the new planned effort between Fox, Disney-owned ESPN/ABC, and Warner Bros. Discovery under one […]

Rewinding media in 2023

A year dominated by labor strife, awful Chicago sports teams, and – oh yeah, Elon  If you watched the WWE, you remember Vince McMahon playing himself as an arrogant CEO and billionaire, ruling over anything and everything – the ultimate heel. It’s a real-life trend we’re seeing as we close 2023. Led by billionaire Elon Musk, CEOs – whether they’re […]

Iger: ABC, ESPN not for sale

Disney CEO seems to backtrack on comments made last summer Remember earlier this year when Disney CEO Bob Iger was looking at selling ABC and its owned stations, several cable networks, and a stake in ESPN? Never mind.  Is ABC for sale? @andrewrsorkin asks Bob Iger "It is not for sale" — Tim Baysinger (@tim_bays) November 29, 2023 On Tuesday, […]

The Media Notepad: Media companies suspend advertising on X after Musk approves anti-Semitic comments

Also: Bally Sports getting ready to close; The CW is on the move in two markets CNBC and other outlets are reporting Friday evening numerous companies have “paused” advertising on Twitter/X after owner Elon Musk boosted an anti-Semitic post on the platform.  Lionsgate (Debmar-Mercury) was the first traditional media company to pause and Apple was the first tech company to […]

The Media Notepad: ABC 7’s Ryan Chiaverini named lead sports anchor

Also: SAG-AFTRA strike ends; Jennifer Hudson’s ratings grow; Disney names two cable networks as possible sale candidates It’s official – Ryan Chiaverini was named lead sports anchor by ABC-owned WLS-TV Thursday, succeeding Jim Rose, who retired in September after 41 years at the station. “Ryan knows Chicago sports inside out and cuts right to the heart of what this city’s […]

The Media Notepad: Introducing the Sven Squad

  Also: ABC’s stations team up with Nat Geo on another water special; Spectrum says they will drop more under performing channels; Houston’s Space City Home Network launches You heard of The Mod Squad, right? Now meet The Sven Squad.  Just in time for Halloween, MeTV’s Svengoolie is adding cast members for the first time. Joining the horror movie host […]

Car spins out in front of ABC 7 Chicago’s studios

Adds to numerous incidents at or in the station over the years You can add this to the “weird things that’s hapened at 190 North State Street” file.  On Monday night around 10 p.m. – minutes before ABC 7 (WLS-TV) was set to go on the air with its nightly newscast (delayed due to Monday Night Football), a car was […]

WLS-TV celebrates 75 years

Comes at a time of uncertain future for local institution While all the hoopla was over WGN-TV celebrating its 75th year of broadcasting, let’s not forget there’s another station celebrating its 75th, too. ABC-owned WLS-TV, branded as ABC 7 since the 1990s, celebrated its 75th on September 17. Although there was no two-hour special to comminate the occasion like WGN’s, […]

DirecTV, WGN-TV owner Nexstar reach agreement, restoring service

Impasse lasted 77 days [Editor’s Note: This article was originally published a day earlier. It has been slightly re-written to reflect updated news.] In news that broke overnight Sunday (and I do mean literally), the signal for Nexstar stations returned this morning to DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse after 77 days under an interim agreement, leading to a more concrete […]