Media Notepad: Brian Hanley’s role at The Score reduced

Plus… My Network TV announces new 2018-19 lineup; Chicago Reader under new ownership; Cubs games to be streamed on Facebook

As first reported by Robert Feder last week, WSCR-AM co-host Brian Hanley is being removed from his post as Mike Mulligan’s co-host and his overall role at the station reduced. There is no word on who would replace Hanley in morning drive, but speculation is centering on Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh as his replacement. Haugh was David Kaplan’s co-host when both were on the short-lived WGWG-FM, “The Game”.

There is also no word on Hanley’s status at the all-sports station, though he is expected to do fill-in and weekend work. A few months ago, Jason Goff was demoted to fill-in and weekends from afternoons.

Hanley is one of the few personalities left from The Score’s early days, joining the station since its inception in 1992. The move is mind-boggling, given Mulley & Hanley is a solid ratings performer.

The Chicago Reader is going to have a new owner – the group behind the Chicago Crusader is buying the free alt-weekly, ending six years of tumultuous ownership by the Chicago Sun-Times. The news was announced at the Rainbow/PUSH Convention last month.

Heading the group is Dorothy Levell, an African-American woman who published the Crusader and Northwest Indiana’s Gary Crusader for 50 years, with both papers covering the black community. Levell is also president of black trade press group National Newspaper Publishers Association.

With the purchase, Levell hopes the Reader expands the alt-weekly from its core North Side base into more African-American areas on the West and South Side. The paper had only been available on the South Side at libraries, such as Carter Woodson in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

The sale is quite notable given the bad press the paper received in the last few months. In February, Mark Konkol was fired from his editor position at the alt-weekly after publishing a controversial front-page cover featuring gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker spewing black smoke while sitting on a lawn jockey in a cover a lot of people said was racist. Also accused of bullying co-workers at the Reader, Konkol lasted less than two weeks. The paper was subsequently put up for sale.

The Chicago Cubs are heading to Facebook – ABC 7 (ABC-owned WLS-TV) announced Monday it is streaming ten games this season featuring the North Siders, beginning Tuesday night with a road game against the San Francisco Giants with a 9:15 p.m. Chicago time start. The games are simulcasts of the station’s telecast.

“We love having the games broadcast on ABC-7, but we also look forward to engaging Cubs fans with Facebook simulcasts,” vice president and general manger John Idler told Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune, who first reported the story Monday night.

On Saturday, a night road game against the San Diego Padres is the next to be streamed. The Facebook feed is available to Chicago-area residents only, but it is free and viewers don’t need any cable credentials to log in.

Yes, they’re still around: Fox-owned programming service MyNetworkTV announced its 2018-19 schedule Monday, replacing a total of three nights of programming with off-network crime dramas: Chicago P.D., CSI: Miami, and drama The Good Wife.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent shifts from Thursday to Monday Nights; Chicago P.D. is set for Tuesdays; Dateline stays on Wednesdays; Good Wife on Thursdays; and CSI: Miami on Fridays. Removed from the lineup are American Ninja Warrior; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; and The X-Files, whose Fox run ended earlier this year. Ninja Warrior, CSI: Miami, and X-Files also air in weekend syndication – it is unknown if the shows would continue on local stations next season.

Chicago P.D. is also debuting this fall in off-network strip syndication, while Good Wife had a previous weekend syndication run from 2014 to 2016 and was replaced by CSI: Miami, who also had an earlier weekend syndication run. Both aired over CBS-owned WBBM-TV.

The shows are set for airing in two-hour blocks beginning September 24, the first night of the new television season. My Network TV generally feeds its programming from 8 to 10 p.m. ET, but schedules vary by local market. In Chicago, CW affiliate WPWR airs the block from 9 to 11 p.m. weeknights, following CW programming. WPWR is also airing Chicago P.D. as a weekday strip this fall.

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