It’s a Holiday edition of the T Dog Media Grab Bag, renamed the Stocking Stuffer. Have you been naughty or nice?
– In an effort to get a wider reach in the Chicago area, Weigel Broadcasting’s new Heroes & Icons digital subchannel is being simulcasted beginning Monday over WMEU, aka WCIU-DT, Channel 26.4, aka “MeToo”.
The male-skewing channel, will continue to be broadcast on WWME-CA. Heroes & Icons (H & I) was launched in September 2014 as an answer to Grit, a similarly male-skewing channel which launched this year over WGBO-DT (66.3). Unlike Grit, which mainly features male-skewing movies, H & I features male-skewing action shows for the most part. Shows on the current schedule include Batman, The Mod Squad, Twelve O’Clock High, and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.
Joining the schedule in 2015 include The A-Team, The Commish, Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, and more.
H&I is also available on as digital subchannels in St. Georges, Utah; Evansville and South Bend Ind; Des Moines Iowa; and Allentown, Penn.
MeToo spun off of the original MeTV in March 2008, and at one time carried dramatic series while its MeTV counterpart carried only comedy series. The genre split ended when MeTV launched as a national network in December 2010.
MeToo’s profile dropped this year, with the recent loss of the Sony and Universal TV libraries (which meant no more “Stooge-a-Polooza”.) The bulk of MeToo’s programming came from CBS Television Distribution and other smaller distributors. Incidentally, H&I’s arrival marks the end of Cosby Show reruns on MeToo, as other outlets (notably TV Land) have pulled the ’80’s sitcom in light of Bill Cosby’s rape allegations.
– Is Big John Howell exiting WIND-AM? Sure looks like it, according to Robert Feder. The longtime morning host is not likely to return to WIND but could be headed to WLS-AM in the same capacity. Howell had been the morning host for eight years and is currently paired with Amy Jacobson. His contract expires this week, and could jump to WLS in a matter of weeks. If he does, he’ll replace Dan Proft and Bruce Wolf, whose futures at the Cumulus-owned station is unknown.
– Changes at WDCB (90.9 FM): Also according to Feder, the College of DuPage’s Jazz station is losing Rick O’Dell to recently launched The Groove, available at 103.9 FM, where he’s operations manager. In order to concentrate on his new duties and as owner and operator of SmoothJazzNet.com, O’Dell has given up the Sunday Jazz Brunch, which he originated at WTMX, and brought over to WNUA, WLFM, and to WDCB over the years. The series concluded this weekend.
On the other hand, Grammy-Award winning artist Ramsey Lewis is joining the station through a documentary series he hosted called Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis. It replaces O’Dell’s brunch show, and is airing Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. starting January 4.
Like O’Dell, Lewis is also a WNUA alum, hosting a syndicated morning show at the station until 2009, when it flipped to a Regional Mexican format.
– FXX has picked up Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def animated block and is placing it on Thursday nights starting January 22 with new episodes of Lucas Bros. and Stone Quackers, and previews January 1 after a Simpsons marathon.
Originally, Fox ran the ADHD block on Saturday nights, consisting of rotating series Axe Cop, High School USA, Lucas, and Golan but ceased production in April and announced it was pulling the plug on the block June 28 because of low ratings and weak advertising support, though it would continue as a digital platform. However, reruns have continued to air on an indefinite basis and is expected to stay on Fox for the foreseeable future.