Media Notepad: NewsNation makes schedule changes – again

Also: A Shark becomes a judge; Pictionary returns; MyNetworkTV adds Chicago Fire and a new Detroit affiliate Once again, Chicago-based NewsNation is making changes to its lineup. Announced last week, the network formerly known as WGN America is adding another personality show in primetime, featuring a show hosted by former Fox News personality Leland Vittert, who’ll helm On Balance. Beginning […]

25 years ago: The deal heard around the world

25 years ago this week, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch changed the TV world by inking a deal to trigger the biggest affiliation switch in history.  It goes back to what happened on December 17, 1993. The networks were complaining about paying too much for sports – the NFL in particular – as the packages were losing money and looking to pay […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: America is suffering from Chicago fatigue

Non-Chicagoans tired of hearing about Chicago  Will advertisers bail out of the Windy City because of negative media coverage? During NHL All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Corey Crawford were all booed by fans at the Staples Center. Maybe because of the Kings’ rivalry with the Blackhawks? Keep in mind San Jose […]

When Trump had a game show

Trump had a game show? It’s true. His name headlined a flop in 1990-91  These days, real estate mogul Donald Trump is grabbing headlines as a Republican Presidential Candidate – for better or worse, but 25 years ago Trump had his own game show. Yes, he actually had a game show – well, his name was slapped on one. Here […]

WFLD GM’s editorials a dumb idea

From the station where bad ideas usually flourish: A few months ago, Fox-owned WFLD introduced editorials at the end of their 9 p.m. newscasts on occasion featuring General Manager Mike Renda, who now runs sis station WJBK in Detroit, with former WOFL/WRBW GM Dennis Welsh, as his replacement. Well, Welsh has continued the practice and thus far appeared in two […]

Phyllis Schwartz exits WFLD

It looks like its back to the beach for Phyllis Schwartz. The WFLD vice president and news director exited the station Tuesday after nearly a year. She replaced Carol Fowler in the same capacity on January 6. A former WLS-TV and WMAQ-TV executive, Schwartz returned to Chicago from San Diego where she ran her own consulting company and was previously […]

Mike Renda out at WFLD; Dennis Welsh in

In the 27 years yours truly has followed the media business, I’ve never encountered anyone who is arrogant, incompetent, and stupid – aside from Randy “Court Jester” Michaels and his minions – in running a radio or TV station as Fox-owned WFLD and WPWR General Manager Mike Renda. On Friday, Fox management – which is proven to be every bit […]

“TMZ Live” heads to Fox Chicago

Ricki Lake changes EPs on her newly relaunched show WFLD and four other Fox-owned stations announced they were slotting Warner Bros.’ TMZ Live, a spin-off of the popular half-hour strip beginning Monday. TMZ Live features TMZ creator and executive producer Harvey Levin talking to his staff about the day’s entertainment stories in an expanded, hour-long format. Launched in 2007 as […]

The Grab Bag: “Brandmeier” renewed; Antenna TV a hit – in Cleveland

This week’s Grab Bag include plenty of local TV items – and some not so local: – In an item first reported Saturday at Chicagoland Radio and Media, Brandmeier has been picked up for a second cycle by NBC-owned WMAQ-TV. The series stars WGN-AM morning host Johnathan Brandmeier where takes on the week’s headlines and interviews special guests. Brandmeier had […]

NFL agrees to new deals with CBS, NBC, and Fox

The National Football League has secured deals with three of its network partners to keep football on over-the-air broadcast TV for the next decade. The deals keeps everything status quo – Fox continues to broadcast the NFC package it has held since 1994; CBS retains the AFC package it has held since 1998; and NBC keeps the Sunday night package […]

The Grab Bag: “Wendy Williams” renewed through 2014

Wendy Williams has gotten a new lease on life on her syndicated talk show: Debmar-Mercury announced Monday that the three-season old daytime talk show strip has been renewed by Fox O&Os currently carrying the show through 2014, including WFLD-TV, which airs the show at 10 a.m. and at midnight. Williams has been stronger in markets with large African-American audiences such […]

Scripps stations make a deal with "Dr. Oz"

In a two-station deal with Sony Pictures Television, Scripps has acquired The Dr. Oz Show to replace The Oprah Winfrey Show on its ABC stations in Detroit and Cleveland. In Cleveland, WEWS simply upgrades the show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while sister station WXYZ-TV snatches the show away  from NBC affiliate WDIV in Detroit. In the Motor City, […]

NBC affiliates buck the trend in Detroit, D.C.

Believe it or not, there are places where NBC affiliates actually won late news despite having The Jay Leno Show as its lead-in. What’s notable is these two NBC affiliates – WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. and WDIV in Detroit, rose in the ratings ranks as recently as ten years ago, when NBC was enjoying ratings dominance – surpassing former market […]