As of this writing, the “Groovy” is being dropped from “Grab Bag” title – but it is still newsworthy nonetheless:
…The Winter Television Critics Association press tour is currently taking place in Pasadena, Calif. Among the non-Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien items going on:
– Simon Cowell made an appearance at TCA today to officially announce his departure from American Idol to focus on the his new X-Factor talent show, which will also appear on Fox. It is scheduled to debut in 2011.
– Fox has also renewed hit freshmen series Glee for a second season.
– CBS has officially canceled Three Rivers, but is introducing a new Friday night medical drama Miami Medical. Also, Rules of Engagement will return to CBS’ Monday night line-up soon, replacing Accidentally On Purpose, which moves to Wednesday to replace Gary Unmarried, which now goes on hiatus.
– NBC has picked up eighteen pilots for developement, and is in talks to develop a Law and Order series set in L.A. (but yet, they cut Southland loose. Typical NBC…) Also, America’s Got Talent has replaced David Hasslehoff with Howie Mandel as the third judge on the show. This leaves Piers Morgan as the only person associated with the show from the start, which consisted of judges Hasslehoff, Brandy Norwood (since replaced by Sharon Osbourne) and host Regis Phillbin (since replaced by Jerry Springer – and in turn, replaced by Nick Cannon.) Talent returns this summer.
– Speaking of NBC, its New York City station has clearly seen better days. WNBC-TV’s newscast finished third in households at 11 p.m. last month (thanks to Leno, of course), and in essence, letting former perennial doormat WCBS-TV finish first for its newscast – for the first time since the early 1990’s.
Meanwhile, here’s what’s going on locally…
– WLS-AM dropped Amy Jacobson from Roe Conn’s program on Friday. As first reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media, Ms. Jacobson was being moved to a reporter position with the radio station in anticipation of adding Cisco Cotto to Mr. Conn’s show, effective today. Cotto comes from WIND-AM, where he was paired with John Howell.
Last month, WLS-AM severed ties with WLS-TV anchor Ron Magers, who did news reports and made contributions to Conn’s program.
– Fox-owned WFLD-TV has added Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker and sports anchor Lou Canellis to its news team. This is Zwecker’s second tour of duty with WFLD, where he was from 2000-03. He left for CBS-owned WBBM-TV where he contributed to the station’s morning show from 2004-09. Zwecker will be the entertainment reporter for WFLD, mainly focusing on American Idol.
– On a sad note, WVON’s Wesley South died Saturday at his Hyde Park home. He was 95. Born in Oklahoma, Mr. Smith came to WVON in 1963 and hosted a very popular call-in talk show simply titled Hotline, which ran for several years. The program was especially instrumental in the days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, which sparked rioting on Chicago’s West Side. He and Pervis Spann teamed up to buy WXOL-AM in the mid-1970’s (in a split-signal arrangement with WCEV at 1450AM) and flipped the format to all-talk in 1986. (WVON’s call letters were actually still at the 1390 frequency until 1984 when then-owner Gannett changed them to WGCI-AM. Meserrs. South and Spann reclaimed the WVON calls and moved them to the 1450 frequency shortly thereafter.)
The wake will be this Saturday at Good Shepard on 5700 S. Prairie in Chicago at 10 a.m., with the funeral taking place shortly thereafter.