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 […]

Grab Bag: CBS in lead to snare Cubs’ radio rights

  * As first reported by Ed Sherman in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune, CBS Corp. is the leading candidate to land the radio rights to the Chicago Cubs in 2015 and beyond. The most likely destination would be WBBM-AM, who already hold rights to the Chicago Bears and whose sports station (WSCR) holds rights to the Chicago White Sox. Current rights-holder […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: Sports-talk war escalates with Finfer defection

* The first shot has been fired in the Chicago’s new sports-talk wars: Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s new Game has stolen Ben Finfer away from CBS’ The Score (WSCR), where he’ll serve as producer – but also as show host, being paired with David Kaplan at Noon and then joins Alex Quigley and Howard Griffith from 1-3 p.m. Finfer […]

Lou Scheimer: An Appreciation

Another surviving member of the Saturday Morning cartoon wars has passed on. Lou Scheimer, who helped found Filmation with Hal Sutherland, passed away at the age of 84 Thursday, as first reported by Cartoon Brew. Filmation had a fierce rivalry in from the late 1960’s through the 1980’s with William Hanna and Joseph Barbara of Hanna-Barbera Productions. From roughly 1967 […]

Swearin’ Super Bowl Sunday

  Super Bowl XLVII down from last year, but still pulls in an audience; CBS to be investigated for F-bomb; and so is WMVP for unrelated incident The Super Bowl matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers drew a huge audience on Sunday – but not as high as the two previous Super Bowls. According to Nielsen […]

Marty Wilke jumps to WBBM-TV as GM

As first reported by Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago Friday morning, WGN-TV general manager Marty Wilke is exiting the Chicago CW affiliate and heading to CBS-owned WBBM-TV (CBS 2) in the same capacity. She replaces Bruno Cohen, who is returning to central California to run CBS’ duopoly of KPIX and KBCW in the Bay Area (consisting of San Francisco, […]

The Grab Bag: Conan, “Archer” receive contract extensions

  – One up, one down: Archer just received a vote of confidence from FX as the cable net green-lighted the animated series for a fourth season for thirteen new episodes. Ratings for the show in the Thursday night time slot are up 32 percent in total viewers and 62 percent among adults 18-34. In addition, the show’s creators (Adam […]

Return of the big pay day in syndication? Not so fast.

With the second cycle sale of Two and a Half Men to the Tribune and Sinclair station groups for seven – count ‘em – seven years, and mega deals by Fox O&Os for The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family,  you think syndicators would celebrate the return of the big pay day they reaped back in the day. Right? Think […]

WLS-TV to replace "Oprah" with live, local morning show

In news first reported Tuesday morning on Robert Feder’s blog at Vocalo, ABC-owned WLS-TV has announced plans to replace The Oprah Winfrey Show, which departs first-run syndication on September 9, 2011: The station is developing a live, local morning show to take her place. There is no word yet on a host or format, but it is expected to be […]

"Marie" dropped – before it begins

After speculation that Marie Osmond’s new talk show would not go forward, Program Partners made it official today. The daily talk-show strip was to premiere on September 14 in 80 percent of the country, including WCIU-TV in Chicago. It has been reported some stations had been pulling their offers to air the show. The weak ad market, the recession, and […]

Program Partners offers new shows

Program Partners is offering two new strips in syndication this fall – both coming from north of the border. The company already offers several first-run dramas which have originally aired on Canadian broadcast networks CBC, CTV, and Global in weekly broadcast syndication, including ReGenesis and Cold Squad. Branding the block Daytime Plus, Program Partners is offering Style by Jury – […]

You’re late on your rent for the last time…

Bob Vila is being evicted from his home at CBS – The syndication outfit has pulled the plug on Bob Vila’s Home Again, ending a 28-year run on television. Low ratings and sub par weekend time periods (i.e. between midnight and 8 a.m.) apparently are to blame. Bob Vila began hosting PBS’ This Old House in 1979, but was dropped […]