The Media Notepad: MeTV scares up “BOOnanza” (updated)

Also: Jennifer Hudson’s local time slot set; and the Chicago Blackhawks name new analysts

[Editor’s Note: The Blackhawks item has been updated with more information.] 

If you are a fan of Svengoolie – and I know there are a lot of you out there, then you have a lot to celebrate this October.

Weigel’s MeTV is turning the pumpkin month into a celebration of all things Svengoolie and scary stuff as the diginet creates Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza for October. Among the goodies include a new Svengoolie special, the season premiere of Sventoonie, and of course, the Saturday night Svengoolie showcase. The fun extends outside of Sven as well, including Sunday marathons featuring classic Halloween-themed episodes and even spooky episodes of original series Collector’s Call.

“The master horror host escapes his dungeon to journey far and wide, discovering a world of friends and new adventures,” a MeTV spokesperson said in a press release. “The special also shines a spotlight on Svengoolie’s world for 43+ years as he has entertained horror fans with Saturday night showcases of campy and obscure titles, offering insightful horror movie facts, trivia and jokes. Fans across the country will want to tune-in for all this plus the crypt-shaking special reveal.”

The new season kicks off October 1 with the Svengoolie special; a Svengoolie presentation of Count Yorga, Vampire; and the one hour season-premiere of Sventoonie featuring Toon In With Me’s fish out of water, Toonie (voiced by Kevin Fleming.) The following week, Sventoonie reverts back to its regular half-hour format.

Every Sunday starting October 2 and running through October 30, MeTV is airing mini-marathons of The Addams Family, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and the original version of The Twilight Zone. One Sunday is being devoted to a “monster mashup” of Halloween episodes, including Happy Days, Leave It To Beaver, and The Brady Bunch, among others.

Svengoolie of course, is played by Rich Koz and aside from a nine-year break between shows on WFLD and WCIU, he’s filled the tux since 1979. After moving to MeTV, Svengoolie went national in 2015 when the classic show channel did likewise.


The station/time slot list for Jennifer Hudson’s new daytime talk show was released and for her hometown Chicago viewers, you might have to set those DVRs early.

The Warner Bros. show has been slotted at 11 a.m. on Fox 32 (WFLD) starting September 12, replacing the now-canceled The Real, whose last airing is September 9. The list doesn’t have an airing for My50, Fox 32’s sister station, but a second run of the show could still air on the station.

Sold to the Fox-owned stations, Hudson is also slatted for 11 a.m. at WNYW New York and KTTV Los Angeles. However, their sister My Network TV stations (also owned by Fox) has Hudson slotted at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. KSAZ Phoenix is also slotting the show at 11 a.m. while another run airs an hour later on sister station KUTP.

Other notable clearances include early fringe 3 p.m. time slots at WCVB Boston, WXIA Atlanta, WDIV Detroit, and WISN Milwaukee. Fox owns stations in the last three markets, but weren’t included in the deal. Other notable slots includes a 4 p.m. berth at WICS Champaign/Springfield/Decatur and 1 p.m. slots at KDFW Dallas-Ft. Worth, KMSP Minneapolis-St. Paul, and WTTG Washington D.C.

Other new shows debuting in syndication this fall include Debmar-Mercury’s Sherri and CBS Media Ventures’ Pictionary, which is slotted for 3 and 3:30 p.m. on My50 in Chicago.


Like other Chicago pro sports teams with male players, the Blackhawks are not expected to do much this year. But at least they’ve put together a winning team in the broadcast booth: former players Troy Murray and Patrick Sharp are rotating analysts for the team’s broadcasts on NBC Sports Chicago this upcoming season, replacing Eddie Olczyk in the role.

Both join new play-by-play man Chris Vosters in the booth. Vosters replaced the retiring Pat Foley in the booth last April.

Other announced talent are Colby Cohen, who reports between the benches and contributes to other content channels and also contributing on both radio and television broadcasts is Caley Chelios, who is the daughter of former Blackhawks player Chris Chelios. The younger Chelios often appeared on NBC Sports Chicago’s pre and post-game shows last season.

“Our broadcast team that we have in place — TV, radio and studio — combine for 1,400 NHL games played, so they know hockey,” Blackhawks president of business operations Jaime Faulkner told the Chicago Tribune. “Sixty years of broadcast experience, so they know broadcasting really well. And you’ll see people across the different channels as well.”

More Blackhawks alumni will join the broadcasts in the months to come.

On the radio side, John Wiedeman continues in role as play-by-play man for the seventeenth season for Nexstar’s WGN Radio while Joe Brand continues with pre and post- game shows and hosting Blackhawks Live. Meanwhile, Miguel Esparaza and Jorge Moreno handles Spanish play-by-play and commentary for Univision’s WRTO-AM (home games only) for another season. The Blackhawks are one of the few teams in the NHL to broadcast games in Spanish.

Further reading:

An All Access writer blasts attendees for ignoring a panel on diversity in radio panel at last week’s Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago, which me and a lot of others didn’t know was even taking place here. Maybe that’s part of the problem? (All Access)

NBCUniversal’s Chicago cluster hires Samantha Rivera as their new sports reporter. (TVNewscheck)

Surprise, surprise: Real Housewives drama spills outside of the show. (Deadline)

Daytime TV is shifting again, away from entertainment programming and into more news (Variety)

Have any news tips? E-mail them to terehend@tdogmedia.com.

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