Former US99 personality Drew Walker heads to Free Country

Alpha Media lures him away from Audacy – despite ongoing layoffs across the company  As first reported by Radio Insight, Alpha Media announced Friday it was flipping its Hot AC WXLC-FM (102.3 FM) to Country and simulcasting the signal of WCCQ-FM (98.3 FM), based in southwest suburban Crest Hill and Joliet, now branded as “Free Country Radio”. The new Country […]

Fox-owned stations launch “Battleground”

Plans to make digital initiative a daily TV show by August In an unusual way of launching a TV show, Fox Television Stations announced Tuesday it is launching Battleground, a new series tracking the 2024 Presidential Election, which is expected to be the most contested in history.  The show will focus on seven battleground “swing” states, hence the name: Arizona, […]

The Media Notepad: ABC, The CW announce 2024-25 lineups

Also: The Drive reclaims the top spot in Chicago radio ratings; Young Sheldon redeems himself   [Editor’s Note: The second item of this piece was updated on May 21.] Wrapping up the upfronts: ABC released its fall schedule last week as part of a Disney upfront presentation that hardly mentioned the network. And little wonder – there isn’t much to talk […]

NFL, Netflix come together for Christmas Day games

Three-year deal marks first Big Four sports rights deal for streamer The world’s most dominant streamer is teaming up with the world’s most dominant sports league. In a landmark deal, Netflix announced Wednesday morning it has agreed to stream two Christmas Day games beginning with the 2024 season, and at least one game in 2025 and 2026. Like other cable […]

The Media Notepad: NBC, Fox announce fall schedules

Also: Roku Channel to air Sunday MLB baseball  While back to normalcy is the word at Upfronts week after years of interruptions (from labor unrest and Covid), unfortunately so are the stupid and awful presentations to advertisers with Jimmy Fallon headlining NBC’s and Fox featuring Rob Lowe and new Fox Sports football analyst Tom Brady.  One tradition that didn’t return […]

Syndicated version of “Good Morning Football” clears Fox-owned stations

Deal includes Fox 32 and My50 Sony Pictures Television made their first deals for the two-hour syndicated version of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football by signing the Fox Television Stations group. Known in syndication as GMFB, Fox did sign their duopoly markets including Chicago, but several non-duopoly ones as well, including WITI Milwaukee, WAGA Atlanta, WTVT Tampa-St. Petersburg, and WTXF […]

Cable TV back? Disney, Warner Bros. announce bundling plan

Includes Hulu and but no word on if new sports streaming service is included In a move for their streaming services to become more economical for subscribers, The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday a plan to bundle their streaming services. Both plan to launch the bundle this summer with ad-supported and commercial-free tiers being offered. Notably […]

NBC Chicago streaming channel heads to Pluto TV

Highlights the rarity of two competing networks on the same platform  Starting today, Chicago viewers can now find WMAQ-TV’s streaming local news channel on Pluto TV. “We are excited to grow our existing partnership with Pluto TV and expand the reach of our premium local news content to new audiences,” said Amy Geary, senior VP of NBCUniversal Content Distribution. “News […]

The Media Notepad: Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox go a different direction to launch new RSN

Also: Daily Herald makes changes; CBS releases fall sked early; US 99’s Drew Walker exits  The new proposed regional sports network featuring the Blackhawks, Bulls, and White Sox now may have a behind-the-scenes change. In a surprising move reported by The Athletic Saturday night, the new regional sports network Jerry Reinsdorf is looking to launch will now be handled by […]

Weigel launches MeTV Toons

New digital subchannel and streamer to feature Bugs, Daffy, Scooby, and more  Your favorite cartoon characters are returning to broadcast television. Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting announced Thursday it is launching a new, 24/7 classic animation channel in conjunction with Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns the classic Warner Bros. Loony Tunes and Hanna-Barbera libraries. “We are honored to work with the amazing […]

WSHE changes course (again), rebrands as Throwbacks 100.3

Station shifts music to 1990s-2000s to attract younger listeners As first reported by Radio Insight, Hubbard-owned WSHE-FM adjusted its music playlist Thursday to feature pop hits from the 1990s and 2000s and rebranded itself as Throwback 100.3. WSHE is also promoting the new format by launching a promotion where listeners have a chance to win a “throwback experience” and qualify […]

WGN-TV reunites with The CW

“CW 26” is no more after five years; third affiliation change in eight years as WCIU returns to independence  As anticipated since Nexstar Media Group bought a controlling interest in The CW, the company’s WGN-TV returns to the network as an affiliate beginning September 1, as first reported by The Desk. This comes as the contract for its current affiliate, […]

Bob Bakish out as CEO of Paramount Global

His position to be reconditioned as an “Office of the CEO” as company’s bid with Skydance hangs in the balance Coming as no surprise given the speculation surrounding his future was a hot topic all weekend, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish has stepped down. In his place, Paramount announced a new management structure called the “Office Of The CEO,” run by […]

The Media Notepad: Digitial network Bounce may soon be on the sales block

Also: Judge Judy and Hot Bench renewed through 2026; Bulls’ regular-season ratings fall; WLS-AM host falls for phishing scam Digital subchannel Bounce could soon have a new owner, according to CNBC.  Cincinnati-based Scripps has hired a financial firm to evaluate potential offers. Bounce was founded by Katz Communications and launched in 2011, offering various dramas, sitcoms, and sporting events targeted […]