Senators target LGBTQ content in children’s programming

  LGBTQ battle shifts to the tube   It would be only a matter of time before politicians would set their sight on television in their war with Disney over LGBTQ rights. In a stunt no doubt timed to curry over favor with their constituents with an election around the corner, five Republican senators are demanding the TV Guidelines Ratings Board […]

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 […]

YouTubeTV, Disney reach agreement

Restores ESPN and ABC programming After off for more than a day, Disney programming has returned to Google’s YouTube TV. The deal was announced Sunday and comes in time for Monday Night Football between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, a game that carries playoff implications (for at least one team.) Returning to YouTube TV are ABC, ESPN and their […]

YouTube TV loses Disney channels in carriage spat

  ABC 7, ESPN are off Google-owned platform Just like a thief striking in the middle of the night, Disney has taken all of their channels off the Google-owned YouTubeTV platform at 11 p.m. Friday Central Time in a carriage dispute, leaving four million subscribers of the virtual multichannel video programming distributor pissed.  Vanishing are seventeen channels, including ESPN, ESPN 2, […]

Comcast, Disney renew carriage deal

ACC Network part of pact While retrans disputes are becoming more and more common, at least there are some companies who can come to a deal without any problem. The latest example came a few days ago when The Walt Disney Co. renewed their carriage pact with Comcast to continue carrying their channels uninterrupted on their Xfinity platform.  “We’re very […]

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 […]