Sun-Times CEO Nykia Wright steps down

Leaves a year after non-profit merger with WBEZ The Chicago Sun-Times is searching for a new CEO as Nykia Wright announced Monday she is stepping down from the position.  Now owned by Chicago Public Media after the first-ever non-profit merger between a newspaper and a radio station, Wright steered the Sun-Times through the transition from for-profit to non-profit and reported […]

CNBC closes “Jay Leno’s Garage”, adjourns “Money Court” (updated)

But Leno’s You Bet Your Life renewed for third season  Editor’s Note: This post was updated on January 31.  With more and more viewers abandoning linear TV, it’s no surprise CNBC is getting out of the primetime originals business with the announced cancellations of Jay Leno’s Garage after seven seasons and Money Court after two.  Jay Leno’s Garage’s cancellation came […]

The Media Notepad: Thanks to Santa, WLIT soars with record ratings

Also: Fox re-ups Animation Domination as White Sox voices Jason Benetti and Steve Stone get reneweals, too; DirecTV adds a NewsMax replacement; Blackhawks’ ratings sag as does the rest of the NHL  Even though it’s a ratings period most radio stations not playing Christmas music ignore, the “Holiday” book for iHeartMedia’s 93.9 FM The Lite dominated to no one’s surprise […]

DirecTV drops NewsMax due to contract impasse

  Struggling satellite provider drops conservative news channel as contract expires In a dispute that only came to light Tuesday afternoon, DirecTV dropped conservative-leaning news channel NewsMax at 10:59 p.m. Central Time the same day, as as the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement. The dispute centered on NewsMax demanding a large carriage fee from DirecTV as it was […]

WXRT personality Lin Brehmer dies at 68

Sudden death stuns fans Longtime WXRT personality Lin Brehmer died Sunday morning, losing a battle with prostate cancer he had fought with for the last year. He was 68. Brehmer announced last July he was taking a sabbatical from WXRT after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Brehmer felt well enough to return to the airwaves on […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: “Velma”: Bombs away?

Online reviews, viewer anger sink Mandy Kaling’s Scooby-Doo-less reboot In the 40 years I’ve followed the television business, I’ve never seen a series as panned as Velma – and I don’t mean by TV critics. On its way to becoming one of the biggest flops in television history, HBO Max released the much-talked about Velma adult animated series from Mandy […]

The CW gets into the sports business with LIV Golf deal

  Nexstar’s The CW officially announced a deal with the controversial LIV Golf, putting them in the sports business for the very first time.  LIV Golf is a Saudi Arabia-funded rival to the PGA Tour, who has broadcast deals with CBS, NBC, and others. What makes this controversial is Saudi Arabia is accused of covering up a murder of a […]

Craig Ferguson returns to daily television with syndicated “Channel Surf”

New project announced same day “Drew” gets fourth-season pickup Craig Ferguson is slated to host Channel Surf, a new daily late-night half-hour series in syndication scheduled to debut this September from Sony Pictures Television. In the show, a panel led by Ferguson reviews TV’s most shocking, surprising, and hilarious moments – or something like that. The new project is a […]

WGN-TV owner Nexstar ends live streaming of local news and programs

Cites loyalty to cable and satellite providers (Editor’s Note: It appears this order does not affect WGN-TV and a few big-market Nexstar stations. The last paragraph of this story – relating to the city delaying scanner information a half-hour – was deleted as it is no longer relevant to this story. Updated as of August 3. – T.H.)  In an unusual […]

The Media Notepad: WBBM Newsradio names Craig Schwalb news director

Also: Mayoral debates scheduled; CBS-owned stations to rebrand news properties Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM announced last week the hire of Craig Schwalb as brand manager and news director of the station effective January 23. He succeeds Ron Gleason, who retired last month.  Schwalb comes from Hubbard’s dominant all-news station WTOP in Washington, D.C., a station who typically leads the country in […]

2023: A look ahead

What’s on tap in media and more As we do at the start of every year, these are the issues local, national, and political media types will be talking about in the year ahead. At the end of 2023, we’ll re-visit this list and see how all of this fared.  1. Will the Writer’s Guild of America strike? This would […]

AMC scraps second season of Chicago-based “61st Street” – despite finished production

Cost-cutting behind move In an unusual decision, cable network AMC announced Thursday it is permanently shelving the shot-in-Chicago drama 61st Street and its already filmed second season will not air on streaming or linear.  As first reported by Variety, the move reportedly is a cost-cutting one announced by parent AMC Networks last month, taking write-downs up to $475 million according […]

WTTW shifts ‘Chicago Tonight” to 10 p.m.

Public television station goes head-to-head with late local news as it returns to late-night It’s back to the future as Chicago Tonight returns to late-night as the public affairs/news analysis show known for its deep-dive into issues facing the city and suburbs, exits primetime to compete directly with four 10 p.m. local newscasts, beginning January 23.  “There is a need […]

Monday Night Football game suspended after Bills’ player collapses

Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapses on the field during 1st quarter A game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals with playoff implications was one of the most heavily-hyped NFL games of the year and the biggest Monday Night Football matchup in quite sometime, to be televised on not only ESPN but ABC and ESPN 2 (without a ManningCast […]