T Dog’s Media Notepad: Chicago radio stations to carry Mayor Emanuel interview


Conviction canceled, becomes first casualty; NFL ratings continue to decline; WLIT to flip to Christmas music Thursday; PlaysttionVue drops Viacom channels

Fresh after a bruising election season, Chicago radio listeners are going to subjected to a half-hour with Mayor Rahm Emanuel – whether they like it or not.

On Monday, over 40 radio stations in the Chicago area are airing a half-hour interview with the mayor at 6 p.m. Monday. Titled Chicago Radio Town Hall With Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the mayor will talk about pressing issues involving Chicago with Bill Kurtis. Scheduled to last a half-hour, the commercial-free program is being produced by the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland.

No doubt one of the topics to come up is  Donald Trump’s recent stunning presidential victory and the impact it will have on Chicago. Listeners can submit questions through ChicagoRadioStations.com.

Station groups participating include iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Hubbard, Alpha, Tribune Media, Univision, SBS, and Window To The World. In other words, almost all local stations will carry the broadcast.

If you’re near a TV,  you can tune in to channel 877  on Comcast, or low-power channel 6 to listen to WRME-FM’s (known as MeTV FM) feed of the broadcast.

Let’s face it, the mayor isn’t exactly Mr. Popularity, and like yours truly, a lot of people don’t want to hear want he has to say – especially many suburbanites. But give Chicago radio credit for addressing these issues the mayor is bringing up – even if it is only for a half-hour. Let’s hope Chicago’s local TV stations follow the same path.

conviction-cast-poster-abcIf you have Conviction as your pick to be the first show of the season to be canceled….you win! ABC quietly canceled the Hayley Atwell series Tuesday night, and said it would continue to produce all thirteen episodes ordered. The series is expected to remain in its Monday night time slot for now, where it drew embarrassingly low ratings. Another ABC drama (Notorious) recently has its episode order reduced, from thirteen to ten and is expected to be canceled soon.

This is the second straight year ABC has had the distinction of having the first cancellation of the season – Wicked City was canceled after a few episodes last season.

With Conviction gone, there is a push from fans to bring back Agent Carter, another show Atwell starred in, either through Netflix or ABC. But that scenario is unlikely.

Meet WLIT's newest DJ. He's a seasonal worker. (Credit: Chicago Business Journal)

Be warned: iHeartMedia’s WLIT-FM is expected to flip to Christmas music on Thursday. The annual holly jolly format generally brings in tons of ratings and revenue to local radio stations across the country and WLIT is no exception. And given the bruising political season we went through, expect ratings to be sky-high this year.

The switch is expected to take place at approximately 4:05 p.m.

downloadAnother week, another discussion on NFL ratings: with the election now over, can the NFL bounce back? The NFL is discussing the possibility of speeding up games, as viewers continue to complain about the quality of the product. Ratings continue to decline from last year – especially prime-time games.

In contrast, NBA games on cable (ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV) are up by double-digits.

Despite proclamations from a lot of people on social media on how the Buffalo Bills-Seattle Seahawks was “the best game of the year” (quite a stretch, really), Monday night’s game was off 5 percent from last year’s Chicago Bears-San Diego Chargers matchup. Still, the game drew 11.3 million viewers and a 6.9 household rating, outdrawing everything on both broadcast and cable.

However, nearly nine million viewers were watching either Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC in primetime on Election Eve.

Sunday Night Football’s Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders contest, a huge AFC rivalry game, drew 18.3 million viewers – highest since week three, but down 20 percent from last year’s Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game.

With the elections now behind us, experts will be checking in to see if cable news did indeed draw viewers away from football. If not…the NFL’s going be in crisis mode.

051ca8dd8ee84ad3837794ab3fe0d2cf-hdIf you love MTV or Spongebob and a PlaystationVue subscriber? You are out of luck. The new internet-only subscription service (known as over-the-top) is dropping cable channels owned by Viacom, effective Friday. Among the channels being axed include MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, and TV Land.

According to a post on the official Playstation blog, Vice President and PlaysttionVue head Dwayne Benefield noted “As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans.” Wondering this is speak for “we couldn’t come to terms with Viacom on a new deal” or “Viacom was asking for a price increase we may have to pass on to you.”

The move is the latest blow to Viacom, whose channels are struggling in the ratings and its stock price is taking a beating. The conglomerate is reportedly considering merging with CBS, who it spun off from 45 years ago, merged into seventeen years ago, and split from ten years ago.

Despite the loss, PlaystationVue has added BBC America and NBA TV, and is planning to add local channels from CBS or Fox, though the post didn’t specify in what markets.

PlaystationVue was launched as an over-the-top service last March in order to take advantage of the growing number of “cord-Cutters”, or those disposing their cable subscriptions to lower costs. The service is available not only on PS3 and PS 4 consoles, but also on Android and iOS devices, Roku, and Kindle Fire devices, with four different pricing tiers.

For those living in the Chicago area, CW network programming is not available over PSVue due to the recent affiliation switch from WGN-TV to WPWR-TV.