Report: Chicago Sun-Times to drop paywall

Moves to a membership model instead It’s rare for a newspaper to drop its paywall, given it helps pay the bills because as you know, journalism doesn’t come free. But the Sun-Times is betting a new model would attract more readers and visitors to its website.  Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday the paper is dropping its paywall five months after […]

Chicago stations cover Highland Park shooting tragedy

Local stations pre-empt programming on holiday For a city used to the horrors of gun violence, even this was too much to take. On a sparkly clear day, a Fourth Of July parade in the north suburban community of Highland Park was interrupted by a gunman who opened fire from a roof of a commercial building, hitting spectators below. As […]

The Media Notepad: Sun-Times, WBEZ complete merger

Also: Televisa and Univision become one; Weigel launches another diginet ; The last tie to Marvel at Netflix severs Been away for awhile, so let’s catch up on some items of note making news: The non-profit merger between the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ officially closed on January 31, with $61 million in philanthropic backing, raised by WBEZ parent Chicago Public […]

It’s official: WBEZ, Sun-Times to join forces

Historic deal intended to better serve communities The long-anticipated merger between WBEZ-FM and the Chicago Sun-Times, first announced in September, is now a reality. Tuesday night, the board of Chicago Public Media station and NPR affiliate approved a deal to acquire Chicago’s second-largest newspaper, creating one of the largest non-profit journalism outfits in the country.  The deal is expected to […]

2022: A look ahead

CW sale, political races, on tap  Even though it’s January 14, it’s never too late to look ahead to see what could happen in media for the remaining 351 days left in the year. So let’s look in the crystal ball and see what to expect. As always, we’ll check back at the end of the year to see how […]

WBEZ, Sun-Times strike “non-binding” deal to merge

Historic deal aims to strengthen journalism For the first time since the Chicago Tribune and WGN-AM had the same owner, a daily newspaper and a local radio station could team up – though the transaction is unusual.  But unlike the Tribune and WGN-AM, the transaction discussed here is non-profit. Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM and the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday night […]

WBEZ, Sun-Times discussing partnership

In what could become the norm in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ and the Sun-Times are discussing a possible partnership to combine operations. Talks between the two parties are underway according to Robert Feder, who broke the story this morning.  “I can confirm that we are currently exploring partnerships and opportunities with the Chicago Sun-Times to […]

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 […]