The NFL completes media deals

Blockbuster pacts include new deals for streaming Just a week after the NHL announced a return to ESPN/ABC, the NFL announced Thursday it completed its television deals.  While nothing really earth-shattering (Fox stunning the world in 1994 by grabbing the NFL from CBS or Monday Night Football moving to cable), the new deals does send a message – streamers have […]

The NHL returns to ESPN in a blockbuster deal

Seven-year deal brings the league back to the Worldwide Leader In Sports In news certain to please hockey fans across the United States, the NHL officially announced its return to ESPN on Wednesday after seventeen years. This came as the league decided to split its television rights package with two different partners as opposed to one media outfit – in […]

Chicago media criticized for looting, vandalism coverage

Chicago’s news media under fire for coverage of African-American communities Even though a Tribune article published Friday fell short in describing the tense relationship between the local news media and the Black community, it did bring up valid points needing to be addressed.  In a sub-headline titled “Black Chicagoans, white media at odds”, writer Christen Johnson reported on the frail […]

Chicago “City So Real” documentary heads to NatGeo

Sundance favorite on 2019 Chicago Mayoral race to be featured Six years after CNN’s inane Chicagoland documentary premiered and turned out to be a colossal flop, another made-in-Chicago documentary – this time about the most recent mayoral race, will soon have a linear TV premiere. Earlier this week, the National Geographic Channel – better known as NatGeo, bought the rights […]

What to look for in 2020

What’s on the media agenda in the first year of the new decade The new decade brings us things to look forward to in the world of media. So here’s are the ten things to keep your eye on in Chicago and in general for 2020. We’ll check back in at the end of the year to see how we […]

Rewinding 2019 in media

  Disney Plus made the biggest splash of the year 2019 saw the end of several institutions, big media battles, and disappointing sports teams. Let’s start with the huge changes in big media, as Disney closed on its purchase of the 20th Century Fox film studio and Viacom reuniting with CBS again with a new name (ViacomCBS) as the race […]

Disney, DirecTV the latest to battle over retransmission consent

Companies upping ante in retrans dispute; ABC 7 could be off DirecTV by Saturday  The latest entity to go toe-to-toe with a satellite and cable provider is the biggest name in cable: ESPN. And it could take Chicago’s most-watched TV station down with it. In a carefully orchestrated move, ESPN on its bottom score ticker alerted viewers about the potential […]

ESPN 1000 gets some Good Karma

Milwaukee area-based broadcaster to take over WMVP In news that surprised numerous media observers Wednesday, Milwaukee area-based Good Karma Brands announced it is taking over The Walt Disney Co’s. ESPN 1000, aka WMVP-AM in a long-term local marketing agreement beginning September 29. The move means Disney/ESPN would continue to own the station but is ceding day-to-day operations to Good Karma, […]

25 years ago: The deal heard around the world

25 years ago this week, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch changed the TV world by inking a deal to trigger the biggest affiliation switch in history.  It goes back to what happened on December 17, 1993. The networks were complaining about paying too much for sports – the NFL in particular – as the packages were losing money and looking to pay […]

Sinclair wins battle for Fox’s RSNs

Sinclair is the winner in auction; pays $10 billion for 21 Fox RSNs including Fox Sports Wisconsin  The long national nightmare is over: after months of being on the sales block, the Fox Sports RSNs (regional sports networks) finally have a new owner. Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Friday it is buying the 21 sports networks and three Fox Sports College […]

“Empire” cast stands by Jussie Smollett

(Editor’s Note: Updated to add ratings information from last night’s episode.) While Jussie Smollett’s tenure on Empire this season wound down Wednesday night, the battle on whether or not he returns to the show is just beginning. Earlier in the day Wednesday, the cast of the Fox show sent a letter to numerous executives at Disney and Fox as reported by […]

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 […]

Introducing Disney +

The Walt Disney Company unveils its weapon to win the streaming wars (Editor’s Note: This post was updated on November 12, the day Disney + was released.) At Disney Investor Day at Walt Disney Studios in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank came the new everyone was waiting for. The long-awaited Disney answer to Netflix was finally unveiled Thursday afternoon: […]

20th Century Fox: The End.

End of an era arrives as studio is taken over by Disney. On Wednesday, a new day is dawning in Hollywood – for better or worse. Parts of 21st Century Fox – including its film, television studio, thirty percent of Hulu, and other operations are to become the property of The Walt Disney Co. in a $71.3 billion deal first […]