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 […]

The Media Notepad: Merit hooks up with TBN for distribution

Also: PBC heads to Amazon Prime; Paramount Global may be on sales block; Cord-cutting having impact on Baltimore’s finances  More information was released last week about Dr. Phil McGraw’s new network Merit Street and is relying on an old standby to distribute the network.  Trinity Broadcasting Network, who usually broadcasts non-secular fare, will air several hours of Dr. Phil’s new […]

New cable network to launch featuring Dr. Phil

Bold move as linear cable TV subscriptions continues to decline In a mind-boggling move, Dr. Phil McGraw announced Monday he is launching a new network. But instead of taking the streaming route, McGraw is launching Merit Street Media via traditional cable TV. Yes, you heard it right in the Year Of Our Lord 2023 – a new linear cable network […]

Bears flounder on the field and in the ratings

Bears sink in ratings locally despite gains for football – pro and collegiate elsewhere Last year, Chicago football fans had hope the Bears would drastically improve as they finished 3-14 and earning the first draft pick, whom they traded to the Carolina Panthers to get even more draft picks and acquiring a few standout veterans such as DJ Moore and […]

Syndication: What’s new this fall

…or not, as reruns, court shows dominate local schedules As linear TV viewership continues to tumble, fall schedules for local television stations across the country certainly reflect the trend. Unlike last year when Sherri Shepard and Jennifer Hudson debuted with new syndicated talk shows, there is no such new programming being offered – especially with an ongoing work stoppage in […]

Warner Bros. pulls plug on long-running “Judge Mathis”, “People’s Court”

Departure of “Mathis” leaves Chicago without a nationally daily syndicated show for the first time since 1986 Warner Bros. Discovery announced late Friday it was ending long-running courtroom shows Judge Mathis and The People’s Court after 24 and 26 seasons respectively. While Court was taped in Connecticut, Judge Mathis‘ cancellation leaves Chicago without a national daily program to call home […]

“Dr. Phil” to end long run

Calls it a career after 21 seasons Dr. Phil McGraw announced Tuesday evening that he’s leaving his successful syndicated talk show after 21 seasons to focus on other projects, including developing prime-time programming and forming a “strategic partnership” in the daypart. As first reported by Deadline, Dr. Phil is exiting as his contract with CBS Media Ventures ends after this […]

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 […]

Detroit’s WWJ-TV gets back in the news game

CBS-owned station was one of only two Big 3 network affiliates in the 50 largest markets without a local news operation After nearly twenty years without local news, WWJ-TV is back in the business, launching a new hyper-local effort in late summer/early fall of 2022 with the operation being branded as CBS News Detroit. Reflecting the sign of the times, […]

The Media Notepad: “Game of Thrones”, Masters score big

Also… Face The Truth won’t be back for a second season; CourTV returns May 8; AT&T sells Hulu strike While HBO turned Chicago’s weather into one big promotional machine (Winter came on Sunday…and left a big, slushy mess), it seemed to have worked: Sunday’s eighth-season premiere of Game Of Thrones proved to be a big draw. The season premiere attracted […]

Thursday ratings roundup: NFL wins, but cable news is the real winner

Kavanaugh-Ford hearings draw 20 million viewers in daytime; cable news networks benefit The big ratings story yesterday didn’t take place in primetime. Live coverage of The Kavanaugh hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee drew an average of 20.4 million viewers across six networks Thursday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. according to Nielsen. The cable news networks drew the biggest […]