"Match Game" may return

It may happen. Hopefully, the revival is more in the spirit of the Gene Rayburn-hosted version, and not the awful Ross Shafer (1990) and Michael Berger (1998-99)-hosted versions of the series.

Time to get "Lost"

Anticipation is building as ABC begins a new, shortened season of Lost tonight on a new night and in a new time slot (8:00 CT), and with a 3.3 ratings in the money demo (adults 18-49) for a repeat of last night’s season finale from May, expect a big number for the season premiere tonight. Click here to read a […]

Channel 5 to go all out on election night

NBC-owned WMAQ-TV plans to go all out on Super Tuesday primary night with comprehensive coverage on the station and on its’ website. The multi-platform plan go into action at 7 p.m. with coverage on WMAQ and real-time election updates on the station’s website, NBC5.com., with election coverage streamed on the web and on the station’s digital weather channel (WMAQ-DT 5.2.), […]

"Montel" over and out

As expected, CBS Television Distribution has officially canceled the long-running The Montel Williams Show after a seventeen-season run. Montel Williams’ talk show was dropped by Fox-owned stations in the top three markets (including KCOP-TV in Los Angeles and WPWR-TV in Chicago.) In fact, KCOP was one of the founding stations of Montel Williams when Viacom and then owner of KCOP […]

Wilbon, Payne off air

Wishing a speedy recovery to two on-air personalities: WGN’s Allison Payne, who has been kept off the air due to a series of “mini-strokes”, and to Pardon the Interruption host and Washington Post sportswriter Michael Wilbon, who suffered a mild heart attack over the weekend. To each, get well soon. Updated at 2:30 p.m. (added link to Wilbon story)

NATPE News

The latest from the convention: – In a coup for small syndie Program Partners, the company signed Marie Osmond to host a one-hour talk show strip for fall 2009. Marie Osmond last co-hosted a talk show with her brother Donny back in the late ’90’s for Sony. – MGM has decided to bring back Gladiators 2000, a teen-oriented game show […]

What’s this? A scripted series in first-run syndication?

For the first time in many years, a major syndicator is offering a first-run scripted, original action hour in syndication. Disney-ABC Domestic Television announced at NATPE today it will launch a new offering in first-run syndication from producer Sam Raimi called Wizard’s First Rule. The program has cleared the Tribune station group, covering 35 percent of the country. The deal […]

Clean sweep?

In all my years of following the syndication business (since 1985, when yours truly at the young age of thirteen read his first NATPE edition of TV/Radio Age), I cannot recall at any time the entire slate of rookie first-run strips that debuted in the fall were renewed for a second season. In fact, go back to the 1990-91 season, […]

Chicago Defender to be weekly only

It looks like the struggling newspaper industry has claimed another victim: The Chicago Defender, the historic African-American newspaper which has struggled for years, is converting from a daily newspaper to a weekly, a move that has been speculated since last summer.The Defender, which drastically scaled back its online presence last year, isn’t laying off employees (which is good) – but […]

NATPE News

– Syndicated repeats of Fox’s hit Bones has been cleared 45 percent of the country, including all of the Fox O&Os, not to mention station groups belonging to CBS, Tribune, and Bahakel. Weekday airings of the program were sold to TNT. -CBS’ Judge Judy has been re-upped until 2012. – As mentioned earlier, Program Partners has renewed Merv Griffin’s Crosswords […]

NATPE is here

The NATPE convention begins today in Las Vegas, and Broadcasting & Cable has a story on what the nation’s 25 largest TV station groups are shopping for next season. One thing is clear: A lot of veteran syndicated programs (Oprah, Wheel, Rachael Ray, People’s Court, etc.) are sold well into the future – for the next four or five years, […]

WLS-TV hit with fine from FCC

As well as every other ABC affiliate in the Central and Mountain time zone for airing a episode of NYPD Blue on Feb. 25, 2003 that contained partial nudity. The fine being proposed is $1.4 million. Only two ABC O&Os (WLS and KTRK-TV in Houston) are named in the action, since the rest of the O&Os fall in the Pacific […]

Randy Salerno dies (Updated)

Sad news to report: Randy Salerno, who co-anchored WBBM-TV’s morning newscast, was killed in a snowmobile accident Thursday night in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Salerno was a Crystal Lake native who worked at TV stations in Albany, N.Y., Peoria, and Rockford before arriving at WGN-TV in 1994, where he was a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter. He also anchored the […]