Media Notepad: 103.9 The Fox ends run as bible thumpers take over

Also: Sun-Times sees ownership shift; AAF ends its run quickly; Pickler & Ben to exit The bible thumpers strike again: Beginning Monday, Fox Valley-based WFXF-FM – better known as The Fox 103.9 – will turn the keys over to the Educational Media Foundation (EMF) as the station flips from Classic Rock to Christian Music. As a result, the station’s on-air […]

What’s next for WGN-TV sports?

Sun-Times article talks about a future without sports on WGN as station, teams head into transition In 2016, WGN-TV decided to cut their ties to The CW and become an independent station once again, going all in on sports featuring the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks. Come October 2019, WGN might not have any sports on its schedule at […]

Media Notepad: Bulls fire Fred Hoiberg

Also: WKQX hires new morning personality, Carol Fowler out at the Sun-Times; Tamron Hall adds Hearst stations Can anyone in Chicago management keep a job these days? Weeks after the Blackhawks fired Joel Quennville, their United Center co-tenants did the same to Fred Hoiberg earlier this week after three and-a-half-seasons. The Bulls did make the playoffs the first two years […]

Media Notepad: Jennifer Lyons returns to WGN-TV

Also… Iron Fist canceled; Sun-Times outsources its website; an old post about Ramonski Luv receiving a lot of traffic It’s kind of like WFAN host Mike Francesca’s sudden return, only more warmly received: after only a few weeks away, WGN-TV news director Jennifer Lyons has returned to the Tribune Media station as reported by Robert Feder. She originally left WGN […]

Chance The Rapper buys Chicagoist

The South Side native gets into the media business – and takes shots at them In an unusual manner, Chance The Rapper announced some big news – by letting one of his tracks serve as a press release. In a stunning announcement, the Chicago native announced he was purchasing the website Chicagoist from public radio station WNYC in New York. […]

The Media Notepad: “GMA” expansion forces “The Chew” off the road

Also: New host of Check Please is a familiar name; Chicago radio still playing R. Kelly’s music; Peoria public radio in trouble; CBC cancels arts show who visited Chicago In a mind-numbing move, ABC announced Wednesday it was expanding Good Morning America to three hours. Only problem is… the extension is airing at Noon Chicago time, 1 p.m. Eastern time […]

The Sun-Times goes blank for the cause

Local paper sell subscriptions – by using the public TV model  The Sun-Times have found a new way to sell newspapers – going the pledge route. Taking a page from public television, the Chicago Sun-Times Monday published a front page with a blank canvas. The decision to do so illustrated the need for readers to support the long-term survival of […]

Michael Ferro sells shares in tronc

It looks like Michael W. Ferro is heading back to his home planet. In news which can only be construed as positive, major tronc shareholder Ferro announced Friday he was selling all his shares in the company to a newly formed trust with ties to the McCormick Family., descendants of Colonel Robert McCormick, who founded the paper in 1847. McCormick […]

The Media Notepad: Big 95.5 downsizes

Also: Jamie Allman out at St. Louis’ KDNL; Chicago Tribune unionizes; quick thought on Apu gate and “Roseanne” jokes According to All Access Big changes are coming to Big 95.5 FM, known as WEBG-FM. In a complete housecleaning, the iHeartMedia station fired morning personalities Mason Schreader and Zach Hoesly (“Remy”) and midday personality Steve Stewart, who was also the program […]

Chicago Tribune cuts Blackhawks, White Sox coverage

Eliminates beat coverage in cost-cutting move This is something you’d expect in a much smaller market. But not in sports-crazy Chicago. But this is what we have here, and as first reported by Robert Feder Thursday, the Chicago Tribune announced it has cut beat reporters for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Blackhawks, despite the recent success of the latter […]

Michael Ferro steps down from Tronc

He “retires” shortly before Fortune publishes a story about him sexually harassing two women In news shocking everyone, tronc chairman Michael Ferro resigned Monday morning and ceded control of the company to CEO Justin Dearborn. But later in the day, Fortune published an expose of Ferro – with two women accusing him of sexual harassment. The moves comes as tronc […]

The Media Notepad: NBC scores with Olympic opening ceremonies

Plus: L.A. Times, San Diego Union-Tribune sold; Mike Flannery gets his own Fox 32 news show; This week in Chicago bashing; White Sox snubbed again (Editor’s Note: Contains strong language. Reader discretion is advised.) The opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics from South Korea dominated the ratings as expected for NBC, and even performed stronger than expected. According to […]

The Media Notepad: Bears ratings up thanks to Mitch Trubisky

Anthem protests, weak record doesn’t deter fans Also news on a former Bears star; NBC 5; FCC (Editor’s Note: An earlier draft of this post mistakenly featured a picture of Drew Brees  for the first item. Apologies. -T.H.)   While ratings for the NFL have declined nationally – allegedly due to anthem protests, that is not the case in Chicago – […]