New Bears season, same Bears prime-time result

Same old Sunday Night Football story for Bears I’m not going to bore you whining about why the Chicago Bears keep getting national prime-time TV appearances; I’ve covered the topic aplenty over the years, most recently here and here. But the decision to keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace around for another year is one of those “Chicago Way” type […]

“Field Of Dreams” game scores for Fox – and baseball

Featuring the White Sox and Yankees in Iowa was the highest-rated regular season game since 2005 If you build it, they will come. Well, they came all right – and proved to be a boon for Major League Baseball. The inaugural Field Of Dreams game – set in Dyersville, Iowa (located in the Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque market) in a newly-built ballfield […]

What’s new in primetime this fall (if you still care)

Fewer new shows reflect today’s reality of network television With television viewership shifting to streaming preferences, it seems a “fall schedule” for linear TV networks seems antiquated, especially when viewers are watching shows on their own schedules. Plus, the pandemic has all but canned the in-person upfronts experience. But old habits are hard to break, and despite plunging ratings, the […]

Media Notepad: Chicago radio personality Greg Brown to retire

Also: remembering Dick Kay; Broadcast networks makes moves Longtime Chicago radio personality Greg Brown is calling it a career this week after five decades on the city’s airwaves, as first reported Friday by Radio Insight. The current WLS-FM personality started his Chicago radio career in 1970. His longest tenures were thirteen years at WKQX-FM (during its CHR/Hot AC era); eleven […]

The Mountain Of Entertainment unveiled: Paramount + is here

36 original series; changes to subscription structure from CBS All Access [Editor’s Note: This story was updated on March 5. – T. H]  ViacomCBS officially jumped into the streaming wars this week with their three-hour upfront-like Paramount + presentation Wednesday afternoon, unveiling a slog of programming with a whopping 36 original series and tons of specials all set to launch […]

Bears back into playoffs and back right out as ratings drop

Game draws fewer viewers than last playoff run two years ago Nickelodeon simulcast draws praise If it weren’t for Nickelodeon’s family-oriented simulcast of the Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints game Sunday, this matchup wouldn’t be worth watching. But for once, the “slime” mentioned – and seen – didn’t refer to Mitch Trubisky, Ryan Pace, or Matt Nagy. The Chicago NFL Lakefront […]

Dear NFL…Stop putting the Bears in prime-time

The league deserves its ratings losses from dumb scheduling decisions I’m trying to figure out who the hell runs the NFL. Is it Rob Manfred or Roger Goodell? It’s hard to tell these days given both are as popular as a bag of brussels sprouts.  But I imagine the league – who decided to plow through the regular season during […]

Media Notepad: WLIT now in Christmas music mode

Also: Fox News wins election night; NBA season to start Dec. 22 IHeartMedia’s WLIT launched its Holly Jolly format (or Christmas music as everyone else calls it) starting at 4 p.m. Friday, and is likely to last through the end of the year. This is the 20th year WLIT has turned its playlist to a Christmas Jukebox, playing Mariah Carey’s […]

Report: Apple + adds Peanuts holiday specials, ends broadcast TV run

A Charlie Brown Christmas abruptly exits network TV Details are scarce, but it looks like Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and his flimsy Christmas tree are heading off of linear TV and into the house Steve Jobs built. According to a tweet sent from the official Peanuts account Monday morning, the Halloween special It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is streaming exclusively […]

Mountain Movers: CBS All Access rebrands as Paramount Plus

A mountain of entertainment awaits the home viewer As the streaming wars continue to heat up, ViacomCBS announced Tuesday it was ditching the CBS All Access name and rebranding as Paramount Plus, or Paramount + beginning in early 2021, with a dedicated website already launched. The move to freshen up the streaming service comes as other big conglomerates have jumped […]

CBS lays off staff, including Chicago’s CBS 2

More than a dozen staffers let go, including longtime investigative reporter Pam Zekman  [Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.]  Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Pam Zekman was one of a dozen staffers let go at CBS-owned WBBM-TV Wednesday as parent company ViacomCBS made 300 to 400 layoffs at CBS Entertainment Group.   It appears CBS 2 bore the brunt of the […]

Remembering Lee Phillip Bell

Referred to as “the first lady of Chicago television”, she was a trailblazer for many who followed The Chicago media community is mourning the loss of one of the tremendous pioneers of local television. Lee Phillip Bell passed away Wednesday at the age of 91 in her California home. Bell, along with her husband William, created the soaps The Young And […]

Legendary network executive Fred Silverman dies

Career spanned ABC, CBS, NBC plus his own production company Media watchers are mourning the death of Fred Silverman, an executive who re-invented CBS and took ABC to the top, and later formed his own production company. Born in the Queens borough of New York, Silverman began his career right here in Chicago at WGN-TV in the early 1960s where […]