Chicago stations collaborate on celebrating 2020 grads

Oprah Winfrey to speak to local grads The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out graduation ceremonies all over the Chicago area, but they get to celebrate virtually – with an assist from Chicago’s local stations. In a very rare show of collaboration, Chicago TV stations are simulcasting a virtual celebration titled Grad 2020: For Chicago by Chicago, honoring the Chicago area’s […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: Diversity matters

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s untimely death, the world is calling for reform – and the media business must follow the lead [Editor’s Note: This post was updated on July 1 and on December 1.] As one of the few African-Americans who writes a media blog, for years I’ve been pushing for more diversity in the media business, whether […]

Update: Chicago, nation remains on edge after night of rioting, looting

Riots hit downtown; spread to city neighborhoods and suburbs Sunday National Guard called up [Updated at 8:06 p.m.]  The last 24 hours have been truly hellish for Chicagoans, and Americans nationwide. Rioting and disturbances have hit cities across the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, and Chicago was […]

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 […]

Storms, flooding knock out local stations’ signals

CBS 2, CW 26, others lose signals for the day; WLS-FM, WFMT also forced off air  (Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 12:37 a.m. on May 20.)  A massive rainstorm Sunday evening wrecked havoc in the Chicago area, flooding numerous streets, including Lower Wacker Drive and the already-closed riverwalk. Nearly four inches fell at O’Hare while over eight inches […]

Report: Drew Barrymore to launch daytime talk show

New show to air locally over CBS 2 – or somewhere else It’s October and that means it’s already time to start planning for next fall’s syndicated shows. With that said, CBS Television Distribution announced a new talk show featuring Drew Barrymore, scheduled to debut in September 2020. The program cleared the CBS-owned stations in 38 percent of the country, […]

Reunification: CBS and Viacom get back together

Split in 2005, both companies re-merge in order to compete with other entertainment giants In news that was expected for several months, it is now official: CBS Corporation and Viacom, Inc. are re-merging after nearly fifteen years apart. The company will be known as ViacomCBS. The reunification returns several well-known properties to one roof: CBS, with its top-rated broadcast network, […]

ABC 7, WCIU part ways on prime-time newscast

In news first reported by Robert Feder a week ago (and mentioned here in passing), WCIU (The U) and ABC-owned WLS-TV (ABC 7) announced they were ending the 7 p.m. weeknight newscast produced for the Weigel-owned station August 30th. Launched in 2015, the newscast was meant to attract viewers who were just arriving home from work and want an update […]

The Media Notepad: US 99 unveils new morning show

Also: No relief in sight for those missing CBS on DirecTV; Dish drops Fox RSNs; WCIU drops new CW 26 trailer; This TV future? Entercom country-music outlet uS 99 WUSN-FM finally announced their new morning show last week, featuring Jason Pullman and Chicago-area native Katie Bright as they replace Stylz & Roman, who were dismissed in May after three years. […]

CBS, AT&T involved in negotiations; blackout looms

July 19 is deadline In what could be the biggest retrans showdown yet, CBS on Tuesday afternoon warned of a looming blackout for AT&T customers for this coming Friday, including those who subscribe to DirecTV, U-Verse, and the DirecTV Now streaming service. This is big because CBS is one of the nation’s largest broadcasters, and own stations in almost all […]

The Media Notepad: “Game of Thrones”, Masters score big

Also… Face The Truth won’t be back for a second season; CourTV returns May 8; AT&T sells Hulu strike While HBO turned Chicago’s weather into one big promotional machine (Winter came on Sunday…and left a big, slushy mess), it seemed to have worked: Sunday’s eighth-season premiere of Game Of Thrones proved to be a big draw. The season premiere attracted […]

Media Notepad: CBS 2 drops Rob Johnson, Marissa Bailey

Also: ABC revives a pair of game shows; WGN-TV rolls out welcome wagon for Nexstar bosses In a stunning move, CBS 2 (WBBM-TV) has parted ways with anchor Rob Johnson, who appeared on the station’s 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts with Irika Sargent. The CBS-owned outlet also parted ways with morning anchor and reporter Marissa Bailey. As first reported […]

ABC 7, WGN-TV win on election night

Election, R. Kelly, Jussie Smollett stories drive viewers to local stations in February; Super Bowl and Oscars also do their part After Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he was not running for another term, a huge political shift was in progress with a record fourteen candidates running to replace him (and no, Man Of The People’s Pat Tomasulo wasn’t one […]