The Media Notepad: US 99 unveils new morning show

Also: No relief in sight for those missing CBS on DirecTV; Dish drops Fox RSNs; WCIU drops new CW 26 trailer; This TV future?

Entercom country-music outlet uS 99 WUSN-FM finally announced their new morning show last week, featuring Jason Pullman and Chicago-area native Katie Bright as they replace Stylz & Roman, who were dismissed in May after three years.

Bright returns home after a stint working in promotions at Warner Music Nashville, and beforehand worked at US99 in an off-air sales position. Bright’s on-air radio experience was in Nashville and Eau Claire, WI.

Pullman comes to US99 from WUBL-FM in Atlanta. His career consisted of on-air gigs at Los Angeles’ KYSR-FM, served as voiceover talent for CBS, ABC, FX, TBS, and has appeared on several TV shows including TLC’s Faking It and ABC Family’s (now Freeform) Perfect Match.

Also joining the team is Erin Creedon, known on-air as “Erin” and previously was as the station’s The Bachelor expert (yes, really.)

US 99 hopes the moves can boost ratings in morning drive as they contend with even lower-rated rival Bobby Bones on Big 95.5 FM (WEBG), who received a bit of publicity two months ago when a columnist from a local newspaper ripped into his out-of-town, syndicated show.

Click for larger image.

Missing CBS 2, DirecTV viewers? As of this writing, we are now into week two of the standoff between the AT&T-owned satellite TV service and the network WBBM-TV is owned by as no deal is in sight and no talks between the two parties are scheduled. The same can be said for Nexstar’s dispute with the same satellite company and Dish’s dispute with Meredith-owned stations.

The chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters believes a piece of expiring legislation is behind the blackout. In a speech last week, Gordon Smith said the soon-to-expire STELA – known as the Satellite Television Extension Localism Act – is harmful to the broadcasting industry, as it allows small markets without an NBC, CBS, Fox, or ABC station to import an out-of-town signal of a fellow affiliate – is one of the reasons behind all of these impasses.

”Is their goal to manufacture the appearance of a ‘broken system’ to encourage Congress to intervene just as it deliberates the upcoming STELAR expiration? NAB’s Gordon Smith said. “If so, that is a dangerous game and one that hurts viewers — their customers — the most.”

That’s right. Because some town in Podenik, Idaho receives their ABC affiliate imported from Seattle because their DirecTV decided not to deliver a local signal while viewers here, New York, and Los Angeles can’t get their local CBS affiliate on DirecTV because they want to “manufacture a crisis”, according to him. DirecTV owner AT&T and Dish want to see the act renewed; broadcast stations want it to go away.

Meanwhile, Fox Sports’ Regional Sports Networks pulled their signals off of Dish Friday as an temporary extension expired. Disney currently owns the channels but are in the process of being sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group as the Justice Department ordered Disney to divest them.

So far, ratings for CBS programming on a national basis have not been affected by the DirecTV impasse, so it appears there is no rush to get a deal done. But with the football season approaching, the urgency to do one could grow. But these impasses just fuels the notion satellite TV is a scam, no matter what Dish and DirecTV says to customers.

A trailer on WCIU’s website last week gave viewers more information on the station’s new affiliation with The CW, set to move from current affiliate WPWR-TV on September 1. The trailer for the new “CW 26” features shows Supergirl, Arrow, Riverdale, and new shows such as Batwoman.

Most of the programming currently airing on WCIU is staying on the soon-to-be rebranded “CW 26” with the new Tamron Hall talk show airing in early fringe, court shows such as Judge Mathis, The People’s Court, and the new Judge Jerry in daytime, and off-network sitcoms Seinfeld, 2 Broke Girls, and Mike & Molly in prime access and late fringe time periods.

Also featured is the current monkier “The U” moving to where “The U Too” currently is (WMEU/WCIU-DT 26.2) with true-crime programming, sitcoms, and just announced two weeks ago, the addition of IHSA high school football and basketball tournament games.

Notably absent was WLS-TV’s Eyewitness News at 7 p.m., supposed to move to 26.2 on September 9. But on Monday, Robert Feder reported WCIU and WLS decided to end production of the prime-time newscast with the last show airing August 30.

So far, no deal has been struck with DirecTV to carry “The U” on their service (and isn’t likely given the circumstances – see the previous item above), but viewers can still watch WMEU on the Locast App available in the apps menu on-screen (and also watch the blacked-out CBS 2.) Locast is a non-profit organization and carries local TV signals over the Internet – one AT&T’s recently gave a $500,000 donation to.

Is This TV going away? TVNewscheck reported in its multicasting report last week the Tribune Media station group – including WGN-TV in Chicago is dropping movie-oriented digital subchannel on or before November 1 to make room for the new version of Court TV, which launched May 8.

The move comes as Tribune is in the process of being sold to Nexstar Broadcast Group for $4.1 billion. The deal is expected to be approved by year’s end.

This TV launched on November 1, 2008 by MGM and original station partner Weigel Broadcasting, owner of WCIU and launched on the digital subchannel of the station. Tribune assumed the partner duties on November 1, 2013 after Weigel dropped out and moved to WGN-TV’s digital subchannel space, now at 9.3. Prior, Tribune already had the rights to This at WPIX in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, and WPHL in Philadelphia. Tribune owns 50 percent of This with MGM owning the other half, with Nexstar expected to assume Tribune’s share once the deal goes through unless Tribune sells it before then.

The subchannel network’s contract with Tribune expires on November 1, 2019. MGM has not commented on the future of This. One likely scenario is MGM acquiring Tribune’s stake in the channel, as they already wholly own fellow digital subchannel Light TV.

If you can’t wait to watch the new Court TV, you can view a live stream now available on their website.


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