1. WBEZ and the Sun-Times “merger”. Little has been released about a potential merger between the Sun-Times and public radio station WBEZ. How is this going to work? How will the different unions work together? And with the loosening of the media ownership rules, will the FCC have any say?
The Sun-Times and WBEZ are now one big non-profit entity. But trouble is looming as the union complained about numerous issues since the merger was finalized.
2. Will the FCC name a fifth commissioner? Gigi Sohn was nominated for the position but faces stiff opposition from conservatives worried she may go after right-leaning news outlets such as Fox News, Sinclair, and Newsmax.
No action was taken, leaving the FCC at four members as this doesn’t seem to be a priority for the Senate. Nobody knows when – or if – she’ll even get a vote.
3. 2022 is a political year. How much advertising will we see? If you can’t stand political ads, make sure your Netflix and Disney Plus invoices are paid up because there’s going to be plenty of them on the airwaves – including YouTube and ad-supported streaming services.
And boy, were there ever with a lot of these commercials in poor taste. Of note, Netflix and Disney Plus introduced ad tiers, so unless you want to pay even more money to avoid this crap, there is really no escape.
4. Can the Bears rebound? After firing Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, the perennial NFL cellar dweller faces a tough road to rebuild not only their team but also their reputation on the world’s biggest sports stage.
To no one’s surprise, this season was a wash as the Bears as of this writing, lost eight in a row. But at least they’re not the Denver Broncos, who nabbed QB Russell Wilson in free agency and turned out to be the worst move in NFL history.
5. Will there be a breakout hit on linear TV? We have to redefine what a hit is on linear network TV these days. So far, critical praise has helped CBS’ Ghosts and ABC’s Abbott Elementary. We could see more.
Not on the same level as those two, but there were some surprise TV hits: CBS’ East New York and So Help Me Todd and NBC’s Lopez vs. Lopez.
6. Will Jennifer Hudson go forward with a new talk show? It’ll basically depend on if incumbents Wendy Williams, Nick Cannon, and/or Drew Barrymore come back. And even if they don’t, will she still be interested in doing one?
Jennifer Hudson’s new daytime show debuted September 12 and is doing respectively well. Drew’s back (and doing better than ever), but Wendy and Nick are gone.
7. Can Bob’s Burgers succeed at the box office? The last TV show to hit it big at the box office was The Simpsons Movie in 2007. Can a show with a fraction of The Simpsons fanbase make it big in an arena where thanks to the pandemic, isn’t relevant as it used to be?
The Bob Burgers Movie was critically acclaimed, receiving high Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores but unfortunately, didn’t generate much box office traffic as it debuted the same weekend as Top Gun: Maverick, a huge blockbuster no one saw coming.
8. How will the 2022 Winter Olympics fare? Given the lackluster numbers from Tokyo last year, it will be even tougher for the Winter Olympics to draw solid numbers – not to mention the games are taking place in a country where human-rights abuses are very commonplace – an instant turn-off for some fans.
And this is exactly what happened as viewers all but ignored the games.
9. Who winds up owning The CW? With a potential sale by co-owners WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS looming, it could be Nexstar, who may gut the low-rated network – or it could be someone else.
And this is exactly what happened as Nexstar acquired a 75 percent stake in the network in October.
10. Is Dish merging with DirecTV? Unthinkable ten years ago, both struggling satellite providers could combine their respective companies as viewers continue to drop expensive cable and satellite providers. While antitrust issues could be a problem, keep in mind those concerns didn’t stop satellite radio’s Sirius and XM merging fifteen years ago.
It didn’t happen, but there is already talk of a possible merger soon as the pay-TV ecosystem continues to shrink.