The Media Notepad: Winter Olympics’ lackluster ratings performance drags down NBC 5’s news ratings

Also: All CHGO launches; two network TV shows canceled; restaurant with a sitcom connection burns down Much has been made about the lackluster Winter Olympics ratings, but one angle wasn’t talked about much – their effect on NBC affiliates – or lack thereof. And no one experienced a bigger disappointment than Chicago’s NBC 5 (WMAQ.) As reported by Robert Feder […]

Super Bowl LVI viewership numbers are super indeed

    Close game helps ratings After a year of decline, total viewership numbers for the Super Bowl were back on the upswing, achieving the highest total numbers in years.  The game pitted the Cincinnati Bengals – their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years – against the Los Angeles Rams, who moved back to California in 2016 after 21 […]

Jeff Zucker out at CNN

  Failure to disclose romantic relationship with staff member leads to his demise In the sixteen years of writing this blog, there have been a number of media executives I’ve written about who came off as total assholes – Sam Zell, Randy Michaels, Jimmy deCastro, Michael Ferro, Jan Jeffries, Les Moonves, Marv Nyren, Larry Tisch, and probably more, enough to […]

Betty White dies at 99

Longtime cultural icon passes just two and a half weeks before she turned 100 In a week filled with devasting deaths, here’s another one: Betty White – a beloved television icon and wonderful all-around person, died Friday, December 31 at the age of 99 – just two and a half weeks before she was to turn 100 on January 17. […]

Remembering John Madden

Hall of Famer and video game innovator leaves marks on sports and media John Madden didn’t invent the game of football, but he sure helped contribute to it. The pigskin icon, who was a coach and broadcaster died Tuesday in his Bay Area home at the age of 85. Madden was an innovator in sports broadcasting, injecting enthusiasm and his […]

The Media Notepad: Bears, NFL score ratings wins

Also: Don’t Bet Your Life; Bids made for Tegna; Johnny B to host RHOF ceremony The NFL continues to rack up impressive numbers at a time when viewers are abandoning linear TV in droves. Case in point: The Bears game on Sunday against the Bengals drew a household 22.9 rating and 60 share for Fox-owned WFLD-TV Chicago Sunday, easily making […]

New Bears season, same Bears prime-time result

Same old Sunday Night Football story for Bears I’m not going to bore you whining about why the Chicago Bears keep getting national prime-time TV appearances; I’ve covered the topic aplenty over the years, most recently here and here. But the decision to keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace around for another year is one of those “Chicago Way” type […]

“Field Of Dreams” game scores for Fox – and baseball

Featuring the White Sox and Yankees in Iowa was the highest-rated regular season game since 2005 If you build it, they will come. Well, they came all right – and proved to be a boon for Major League Baseball. The inaugural Field Of Dreams game – set in Dyersville, Iowa (located in the Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque market) in a newly-built ballfield […]

Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup win not necessarily one for NBC

Lightning’s Stanley Cup Final win is the finale for NBC NBC closed out its sixteen-year run with the NHL with modest ratings for the Stanley Cup Final series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens, who made their first Final appearance since 1993. According to Sports Media Watch and Nielsen, the entire five-game series drew an average of […]

What’s new in primetime this fall (if you still care)

Fewer new shows reflect today’s reality of network television With television viewership shifting to streaming preferences, it seems a “fall schedule” for linear TV networks seems antiquated, especially when viewers are watching shows on their own schedules. Plus, the pandemic has all but canned the in-person upfronts experience. But old habits are hard to break, and despite plunging ratings, the […]

Media Notepad: Chicago radio personality Greg Brown to retire

Also: remembering Dick Kay; Broadcast networks makes moves Longtime Chicago radio personality Greg Brown is calling it a career this week after five decades on the city’s airwaves, as first reported Friday by Radio Insight. The current WLS-FM personality started his Chicago radio career in 1970. His longest tenures were thirteen years at WKQX-FM (during its CHR/Hot AC era); eleven […]

NHL rights: NBC’s out, Turner’s in

Surprise bid from WarnerMedia subsidiary ends NBC’s 16-year run In a surprise no one saw coming, WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports skated away with the remaining NHL package in a deal officially announced Tuesday by outbidding NBCUniversal and Fox Sports, one of two put up for bids recently by the league with ESPN and ABC acquiring the other portion several weeks ago.  […]

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 […]

Dear NFL…Stop putting the Bears in prime-time

The league deserves its ratings losses from dumb scheduling decisions I’m trying to figure out who the hell runs the NFL. Is it Rob Manfred or Roger Goodell? It’s hard to tell these days given both are as popular as a bag of brussels sprouts.  But I imagine the league – who decided to plow through the regular season during […]