T Dog’s Media Notepad: Cubs outslug singers and dancers

Cubs ratings; Carsey-Werner comedies head to LAFF; Media Life radio survey and more

Chicago-CubsThe Chicago Cubs have started off the 2016 season in style and viewers are watching: Monday’s home opener against the Cincinnati Reds drew a whopping 11.4 household same-day live rating, easily finishing as the most-watched program of the evening topping ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (always popular draw in Chicago) and NBC’s The Voice. The game peaked at a 14.8 rating as the Cubs’ Addison Russell hit a game –winning home run in the 8th inning.

On April 4, the Cubs opened the WLS-TV portion of their schedule in Anaheim against the Angels, and drew an 8.0 household rating, despite the late start and tough competition from a down-to-the-wire NCAA Basketball Championship Game.

With this young, exciting team, The Cubs are off to their best start since 1969 and if they keep on winning, their three broadcast partners and radio home WSCR-AM are sure to benefit.

DougBanksAccording to recent figures released by Nielsen, Doug Banks – who passed away Monday at the age of 57, went out on top. Heard locally on WVAZ, Banks finished in a tie for first in afternoon drive (2 to 6 p.m.), and was a dominant number one in the 35 to 64 demo.

There is no word on how American Urban Radio Networks would push forward without their number one attraction, though Banks’ co-host (Dee Dee Renee) is hosting solo for now. There is precedent – when Kidd Kraddick of The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show died in 2013, his on-air staff continued the program, currently syndicated to 75 markets.

V103 meanwhile, may return the airshift to local hosts. Two names being mentioned are Ramonski Luv and Joe Soto, who held down the afternoon shift before Doug Banks took over in 2008. Luv recently returned to V103 as a part-time, fill-in and weekend host and was on the air Monday and Soto and other V103 radio personalities reacting to Doug Banks’ death.

a radioMedia Life Magazine asked their readers about the state of the radio business in 2016 – and boy, were they vocal about it. Not surprisingly, many readers held a lot of ill will toward two major players in particular: Cumulus and iHeartMedia, and they say its time for the big conglomerates to break up. According to the survey, nearly 80 percent said the companies have “hurt” the radio industry, while 40 percent said radio is “struggling”. One reader has referred to it as “Big Box Radio”.

The survey reflects how many people feel about the medium, despite boasting a larger reach than television and attracting more than 200 million listeners. Complaints are the one you keep hearing about: voice-tracking, too many commercials, too much of a debt load, job and programming cuts, and on and on and on. Many believe the potential bankruptcy of iHeart and Cumulus “may be a good thing for radio”.

The hope here is the big conglomerates are listening to media planners and listeners, something they have not been doing (I.e., nobody was craving for Mancow Mueller to return to Chicago radio or Ryan Seacrest being piped in daily.) In all, Big Radio has been out of touch with listeners’ needs – something even a dullard can figure out.

70sGood news for local fans of classic American Top 40 episodes: last Sunday, American Top 40: The 70’s returned to Cumulus-owned WLS-FM after a two and a half year hiatus, airing Sunday nights from 8 to 11 p.m.

American Top 40 was co-created and hosted by Casey Kasem. Kasem also hosted Adult Contemporary spinoffs of his countdown show until 2009 when he retired. Kasem died in 2014.

This is the third time AT40 reruns have popped up on the 94.7 frequency – previously, WLS ran AT 40 reruns on Sunday mornings from 2010 until 2013, and in 2001 as WZZN (The Zone) under the American Top 40 Flashback title.  There is also an ’80’s version, which airs Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon on WNNS-FM in Springfield, IL, the cloest AT40 ’80’s affiliate to Chicago.

Running from 1970 to 1995, the original version of AT 40 has aired locally on WCFL, WDHF, WBBM-FM, WLS-AM, WYTZ-FM, WBUS-FM (Kankakee), and WKSC-FM. Shadoe Stevens took over as host in 1988 after Kasem departed for a rival syndicator to do another countdown show, Casey’s Top 40. Kasem returned to host American Top 40 in 1998, in another run lasting six years.

The current version of American Top 40, now hosted by Ryan Seacrest Sunday mornings over WKSC, is not affected by the deal. American Top 40 programming is syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, a unit of iHeartMedia.

indexKatz’s digital subchannel network LAFF recently acquired five off-network sitcoms from Carsey-Werner Distribution Co. In a multi-year licensing deal. The five are Roseanne, That 70’s Show, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Grounded For Life, and Cybill. They already join Carsey-Werner’s Grace Under Fire, which is already airing on LAFF. The former three had successful runs in broadcast syndication.

LAFF already airs off-net sitcoms Night Court, Empty Nest, Spin City, and various comedy movies. The channel can be seen locally over WLS-TV, Channel 7.3.

the realWarner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s daytime talker The Real has been renewed for two more years, through 2018 in 95 percent of the country. Fox was the first station group to renew the show, giving it 35 percent clearance right off the bat. Locally, The Real airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on Fox’s WFLD and a same day repeat at 8 a.m. the next weekday on sister station WPWR. The Real also airs at midnight (CT) on BET.

Ratings are respectable – the show is averaging a 1.0 household live-plus-same day this season, and a 0.8 in the show’s key female 25-54 demo, according to information obtained by Broadcasting and Cable.

Recently, the show’s five hosts traveled to The White House to interview First Lady Michelle Obama and recently devoted an entire week to the new movie BarberShop: the Next Cut with stars Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer as guests. Unlike the first two films, this edition of Barbershop is shot in Atlanta (UGH), but still set in Chicago according to IMDB.



3 thoughts on “T Dog’s Media Notepad: Cubs outslug singers and dancers

    • With very good opening numbers for the Cubs on WGN-TV, would it make sense for the Tribune station to let its affiliation to the CW network expire and focus on more local sports programming? WGN could bring the Cubs, White Sox, and Bulls games it puts on WPWR-TV back home to Channel 9. In addition, the station could possibly go after the rights to other Chicago area professional and collegiate sports, similar to what it held years ago. Also, in my opinion, Tribune should go after the rights to JEOPARDY, WHEEL OF FORTUNE and INSIDE EDITION for its stations, including WGN. These three syndicated shows could air weeknights between 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. My guess is that the ratings would be higher than the current CW schedule.

      • Not sure what will happen at this point, given CW and Tribune still haven’t come to a deal. As for “Wheel” and “Jeopardy”, Tribune will have to wait – current station contracts aren’t up until 2018. Keep in mind the game shows and “Inside Edition” would bring in a far older audience (age 55 and up) than CW programming, despite higher ratings. A lot of non-political advertisers aren’t exactly interested in paying a premium for older audiences.

        • Points well taken about the older-skewing audience for “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” and “Inside Edition,” but that older audience would fit nicely with “WGN News at Nine” each weeknight. I am not sure how much of the CW’s younger audience sticks around for the news afterwards. The bottom line is I am curious as to what could possibly replace the CW on WGN if no deal is reached between Tribune and the CW. It’s all pretty much speculation until we know what happens with their negotiations. Also, I must say I enjoy reading the articles on the tdogmedia.com site. Continued success!

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