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 […]

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 […]

“Chicago Tonight” reduced to twice a week

The decline of linear TV claims another victim as WTTW pairs back public affairs show With the news Nexstar is looking to buy ABC and its owned stations – which could eliminate a local newsroom in Chicago in a possible merger of WLS-TV and WGN-TV, comes this bit of unwelcome news: WTTW is reducing the number of episodes of its […]

Former FCC Chairman Newton Minow dies at 97

A distinguished Chicagoan, he helped create public television and was known for famous speech declaring TV a “vast wasteland” One of the most prominent figures in early years of television as a government official has died.  Newton Minow passed away Saturday at the age of 97, surrounded by family at his Chicago home. As many of you know, he’s best […]

PBS follows NPR’s lead and exits Twitter after inaccurate labeling

Elon Musk defends “government-funded” label; Chicago affiliates not affected  The Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS has decided to follow National Public Radio, or NPR off of the Twitter platform after a flap regarding both being labeled as “government-funded media”.  This came as NPR stopped using Twitter last week, saying the labeling was inaccurate, noting only fifteen percent of PBS funding […]

WTTW shifts ‘Chicago Tonight” to 10 p.m.

Public television station goes head-to-head with late local news as it returns to late-night It’s back to the future as Chicago Tonight returns to late-night as the public affairs/news analysis show known for its deep-dive into issues facing the city and suburbs, exits primetime to compete directly with four 10 p.m. local newscasts, beginning January 23.  “There is a need […]

The Media Notepad: Steve and Johnnie return to WGN Radio for Saturday nights

Plus:  MeTV expands Svengoolie; MLS and Apple makes linear broadcasting deals; PBS stations to stream on LocalNow. One of the top-rated overnight voices in Chicago radio is coming back for an encore.  The husband-and-wife team of Steve King and Johnnie Putnam will be returning to WGN Radio on Saturday nights starting January 7, where they’ll have a weekly show airing […]

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, […]

Apple TV Plus, MLS strike landmark streaming rights deal

Deal is for a decade; RSNs, WGN-TV odd men out  In a landmark rights deal, Major League Soccer announced Tuesday they are shifting all of their rights to Apple TV Plus, reportedly in a ten-year, $2.5 billion pact. This means every single game is going to be streamed and produced by Apple TV Plus –  usurping any existing local or […]

WTTW technician strike ends

Agreement reached Wednesday night after three weeks on the picket line A strike called by IBEW 1220 against Chicago public television station WTTW has come to an end.  As first reported by Robert Feder Wednesday evening, the union came to terms with the PBS station on a new deal lasting until July 2025 containing “fair economic gains”, covering camera operators, […]

The Media Notepad: WTTW technicians’ strike continues

Also: WBEZ ties for 1st in PPMs; WTMX has a new afternoon show; Black News Channel update It looks like the technician strike at Chicago’s WTTW isn’t going to end anytime soon. IBEW 1220, who represents technicians and electricians at the North Side public television station, went on strike on March 16 demanding better pay, working conditions, and against shifting […]

The Media Notepad: Few are partying with “Chicago Party Aunt”

Bad reviews, viewer feedback sink show as show falls off radar. Also: ESPN 1000’s Mike Thomas exits; ex-B96 jock Roxanne Steele leaves Detroit radio job; Peanuts specials back on PBS Remember a month ago when this space crowed about Chicago Party Aunt, telling her to party on? Well, the party may be soon over as not too many viewers are […]

WTTW’s “Check, Please” bounced out after 20 years

WTTW announced the 20th season of Check Please would be its last One of Chicago television’s longest-running shows is closing its doors after two decades on the air. WTTW announced Wednesday the end of Check, Please, one of the PBS member station’s longest running local shows in its history. “This upcoming season, as ‘Check, Please!’ leaves our schedule, we look […]

ABC 7’s Mark Giangreco in trouble – again

On-air comment has top sports anchor off-air  It looks like we’re going to need not one but two new hosts for annual New Year’s Eve special Countdown Chicago.  Viewers of ABC 7 (WLS-TV) have noticed top sports anchor Mark Giangreco’s absence for the last few weeks and now we know why he’s been off the air – and it isn’t […]