The Media Notepad: Introducing the Sven Squad

  Also: ABC’s stations team up with Nat Geo on another water special; Spectrum says they will drop more under performing channels; Houston’s Space City Home Network launches You heard of The Mod Squad, right? Now meet The Sven Squad.  Just in time for Halloween, MeTV’s Svengoolie is adding cast members for the first time. Joining the horror movie host […]

Disney pulls channels off Spectrum, including ESPN

NatGeo, Disney Channel, Freeform and more off Spectrum nationwide; ABC 7 off in Wisconsin  Well, you can add another carriage dispute to the Barbie (and we’re not referring to the blockbuster movie of the summer.) Without any advanced warning – no commercials, no red flag banners on station websites – nothing, The Walt Disney Company pulled all of its 20+ […]

Bob Iger: Disney could sell ABC, other cable networks

  Iger’s possible move could have implications for local and network TV In an interview with CNBC Thursday morning, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger from a financial conference from the side of the road in red-state Idaho stunned observers saying he is open to selling ABC and its non-sports cable networks such as FX and Freeform as they “may […]

ABC 7, other ABC-owned stations launch new 24/7 streaming channels

Similar to NBC-owned stations’ recent move; ABC 7 returns to prime-time news Joining fellow large-market owned-and-operated counterparts CBS and NBC, ABC-owned stations have now launched 24/7 local streaming channels of their own, including ABC 7 here (WLS-TV). According to the press release, the eight new channels “24/7 local news coverage, breaking news, weather forecasts, feel-good stories from ABC’s award-winning Localish, and […]

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, […]

ABC 7, other ABC-owned stations renew “Tamron Hall” for two more seasons

Renewal keeps her show on the air through 2024 Looks like we’re going to hear the phrase “TamFam” for some time to come. Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution announced Monday the renewal of Tamron Hall’s daytime talk show for its fourth and fifth seasons, taking the show through September 2024, thanks to an early pickup by the ABC-owned stations including […]

Remembering Regis Philbin

Iconic television personality dies at 88 Television fans are mourning the loss of Regis Philbin, who was one of the most beloved hosts in the medium. Not only he successfully re-invented morning television with his Live franchise with Kathie Lee Gifford and later Kelly Ripa, but also “saved ABC” as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He holds […]

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 […]

“Jeopardy!”: A case of a successful game show

  A: This show has been a successful story for 35 years – even before Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer came on the scene. Q: What is Jeopardy? In 1983, King World was looking to pair something with its already red-hot Wheel of Fortune, an NBC daytime game show debuted in evening syndication and became a smash hit. So they […]

Tamron Hall’s new show gains ABC O&O clearances

ABC 7 to carry local show in unspecified time period In an expected move, Disney/ABC’s new Tamron Hall daytime talk show strip has found a home on the eight ABC-owned-and-operated stations, covering 23 percent of the country. In addition to ABC 7 here (WLS-TV), other clearances include WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WPVI in Philadelphia, and KTRK […]

Disney blacklisted L.A. Times after report on how the company influences Anaheim politics

Mega company blocks newspaper from reviewing movie; report on Disney’s relationship with Anaheim to blame; ban reversed under pressure In a worrisome trend, Disney barred film critics at the Los Angeles Times from an advanced press screening of the Marvel movie Thor: Rangarok last week, setting off a huge firestorm. After film critics from other publications (New York Times, Washington Post, […]

Oscar ratings hit record low despite epic Best Picture mix-up

The “biggest Oscar flub in history” made history of another kind – one on the wrong side of the ratings ledger  Cubs’ World Series victory drew more viewers locally and nationally  The 89th Academy Awards wouldn’t be best known for boffo ratings – but for an epic screw up at the end. Many expected La La Land – a musical […]