Media Notepad: David Haugh joins Mike Mulligan at The Score

Also: WLUP to return? While Arrested Development might not. Plus, WGN-TV’s newscasts does well in July sweeps

It’s official: Robert Feder is reporting Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh has joined Entercom’s The Score (WSCR) as Mike Mulligan’s new morning drive co-host. As speculated during the last few weeks, Haugh joined Mulligan on Monday morning’s show, replacing longtime Score veteran Brian Hanley, who is now only doing fill-in work for the station after 26 years as a full-timer.

As a result, the morning show on The Score is now Mulley & Haugh.

Haugh joined the Tribune in 2003 and inherited the showcase In The Wake Of The News column after Rick Morrissey left for the Sun-Times. Haugh recently joined David Kaplan as co-host for Kap & Haugh on the now-defunct WGWG-FM (The Game), one of the few strong programs on the station.

As a result of his new morning gig, Haugh’s column in the Tribune is likely to be reduced from five times a week. The Score hopes to continue the momentum laid out by Mulley & Hanley, as the morning drive show ranked in the top five in the male 25-54 demo and in the top ten overall.

The turmoil at Tribune Media’s WGN-TV regarding future ownership doesn’t seem to be affecting its newscasts as viewers continue to pack ’em in during the July sweeps.

According to Chicago Business Journal, WGN’s morning newscasts continues to dominate in the key adult news demos, ahead of ABC 7’s (WLS-TV) combo of Eyewitness News This Morning and Good Morning America. WGN tied ABC 7 during the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. time frame in households. The major highlight taking place on WGN Morning News in July was a successful Block Party event in south suburban Homewood, drawing headlines in TV trade website TVNewscheck.

WGN’s continues ratings success comes as parent Tribune Media’s merger deal with Sinclair Broadcasting is in limbo after the FCC voted to send the matter to an administrative law judge, after finding deceit on Sinclair’s part over the sale of WGN and two other stations. Since the deal was announced nearly fifteen months ago, Tribune Media employees were left in a state of limbo wondering if the chain’s standard newscasts would turn into right-wing propaganda, something Sinclair is known for.

At 9 p.m., WGN had a commanding lead over Fox 32 (Fox-owned WFLD) by 36 percent in the key adult news demo, but Fox 32 did show some growth from last year. Both WGN and WFLD are far ahead of CBS 2’s (WBBM-TV’s) 10 p.m. newscast, whose 0.5 adult news demo rating has to be the lowest in the history of the station. In fact, WGN’s 10 p.m. news rating in the demo was more than double of CBS 2’s. ABC 7 however, remains the top-rated station in households and key adult news demos in most news time periods.

(I’ll try my best to explain this… ) Could we have another heritage station biting the dust in Chicago? Rumor has it WOJO-FM (known currently as La Que Buena 105.1)  and other Univision radio properties could either be sold to or managed by Cumulus, who recently exited Chapter 11. Radio Insight reported last week a domain of was registered by Cumulus, who has the old WLUP calls parked somewhere in Minnesota.

The news comes as the Wall Street Journal published an unflattering story last week about executive turmoil at Univision, as its broadcast TV network continues to lose ground to rival competitors, including rival Telemundo and like the rest of the industry, having trouble dealing with viewers cutting the cable cord.

If this comes to fruition, a shift of WOJO’s Spanish-language format (Regional Mexican) could wind up on two other FM stations it owns in Chicagoland: WVIV 93.5 or WPPN 106.7 – however, neither station does not reach the entire market. Univision also owns Spanish-language TV stations WXFT and WGBO.

The article states a deal isn’t imminent and could be used as a “smokescreen” (to throw off competitors.) But if it happens, it could face opposition from Latino community leaders, providing even more bad PR for Univision. While iHeartMedia did dump a similar Spanish-language format from the former WNUA-FM 95.5 FM in 2015, the station never attracted much of an audience and its passing was barely noticeable.

WOJO has long had a various number of Spanish-language formats on 105.1, dating back to the early 1970s. While something like this may seem far-fetched, keep in mind WLUP was around for 41 years – and in March, the station dissolved when it was sold to the Education Media Foundation and flipped to Christian Rock.

Univision is one of the very few companies left in the media business with a sizeable amount of television and radio stations. Last week, Cox announced it was exploring a sale of its TV stations to focus on radio and newspaper properties.

Remember Arrested Development? It looks like it is over and out for the once-critically acclaimed sitcom, who found new life on Netflix after Fox canceled the show in 2006. On a Television Critics Association panel Sunday, Netflix VP of original content head Cindy Holland noted there has not been a discussion on bringing back the show for another season.

“I actually don’t know if [Season 6] is a possibility or not,” Holland told reporters. “We haven’t discussed it at all.”

The fifth season of Arrested Development quietly debuted on May 29, but only a few of the thirteen-episode order were released on Netflix – very unusual for a service who generally releases all of a season’s worth of episodes at once so viewers can binge. The promotional machine for the show was derailed after a controversial interview involving the cast was published in the New York Times. In the piece, Jeffrey Tambor was accused to harassing fellow cast member Jessica Walter while cast members Jason Bateman, David Cross, and Tony Hale defended him during the interview.

Tambor was fired from another streaming series, Amazon’s Transparent after similar allegations of misconduct surfaced.

The New York Times controversy may likely have killed buzz for the show, though reviews have been decent with a 67 Metacritic rating and 65 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Another reason Netflix isn’t likely committing to a sixth season is Arrested Development’s producer (20th Century Fox Television) is being acquired by Disney, who is launching their own streaming service in 2019 and is not likely interested in producing any more episodes. Netflix hasn’t set a date on when the rest of the episodes would be released, signaling there is either low demand for them – or they just don’t care.

Whatever the outcome, it is a sad end to what was once a great TV show.


1 thought on “Media Notepad: David Haugh joins Mike Mulligan at The Score

    • WGN – is running messages of the legal challenge, a man reading text of the notice and that is takes place in August. Some of what I have read states that WGN owners can end negotiations with Sinclair on August 5th or around then best I recall, and stated that becomes likely the owners (banks, other investors) will seek new sale options) — someone other than Sinclair. Stated option of 21st Century Fox sounds wrong as Disney is not purchasing the TV stations- thus would be FOX broadcasting seeking to own WGN which would give FOX two Chicago stations. At least even FOX news on channel 32 is not corporate Fox editorial content. I don’t see Disney as owner of 21st Century Fox being a bidder for WGN or any other stations as they own the ABC TV network and just purchased the movie/TV/internet program production and internet assets of 20th Century Fox………

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