NBC Chicago streaming channel heads to Pluto TV

Highlights the rarity of two competing networks on the same platform  Starting today, Chicago viewers can now find WMAQ-TV’s streaming local news channel on Pluto TV. “We are excited to grow our existing partnership with Pluto TV and expand the reach of our premium local news content to new audiences,” said Amy Geary, senior VP of NBCUniversal Content Distribution. “News […]

DirecTV to offer package without local stations

But only for traditional satellite customers In a controversial move, DirecTV announced Sunday it was offering a new package without local stations. As first reported by Broadcasting & Cable (NextTV), DirecTV would offer consumers a package that would let subscribers save $12 a month (roughly $144 per year) if they dropped them. It's now officially official (thanks) https://t.co/JlHu8kTsF0 — T […]

NBC 5 to air Bulls, Blackhawks games in primetime

Experiment consists of four contests in all In a very rare move, NBC-owned WMAQ-TV announced Wednesday it will air two Bulls games and two Blackhawks games in primetime in November and December. All four games are being produced by NBC Sports Chicago, who’ll also simulcast each contest and is being streamed (with authentication credentials) on the NBC Sports app to […]

NBC Chicago names Ramirez, Harrison to news executive positions

NBC’s over-the-air duopoly in Chicago Monday named two new executives to lead their news operation Chicago’s NBC stations announced some executive moves on Monday: Sally Ramirez was named into a newly created position of Senior Vice President of news for both NBC’s WMAQ and Telemundo’s WSNS, who both share NBCUniversal as a owner. A native of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, Ramirez […]

WGN-TV owner Nexstar in dispute with Comcast

Nation’s largest station group is up against the nation’s largest cable operator in retrans battle Just a week after local DirecTV subscribers dodged a bullet when the satellite TV provider made a last-minute deal with Fox to keep the network and its related channels on the service in midst of the FIFA World Cup and a Packers-Bears game, Chicago viewers […]

Remembering the NBC “Checkerboard”

On September 14, 1987, NBC’s owned-and-operated stations decided to launch a bold experiment, airing a different sitcom every weeknight leading in to prime-time. It was a disaster.   Before streaming, where you can watch what you want when you want – or what day you want, there was a time where local stations did something called “checkerboarding”. As you know, prime-time […]

Kevin Cross named NBC 5, Telemundo Chicago GM

Takes over role June 1 In a masterful stroke of corporate synergy, current NBC Sports Chicago senior vice president and general manager Kevin Cross will assume the same responsibilities (as president and GM) for NBC 5 (WMAQ-TV) and Spanish-language Telemundo Chicago (WSNS-TV) effective June 1, succeeding a retiring David Doebler, who is exiting after eight years. The news was first […]

More diginets fall: Scripps pulls plug on Ion Plus, ShopIon, Qubo

Former Katz networks to take their place Get ready for a major shift in the digital channel world.  Months after Scripps acquired Ion Networks, the company announced it was eliminating three digital subchannel networks: Ion Plus, ShopIon, and Qubo effective at the end of February. Those channels will be replaced by existing Katz channels, including Bounce, Grit, Laff, and Court […]

The state of syndication in 2021 (three months early)

  Pandemic, shifting audiences makes it challenging for stations and syndicators Generally, I write these state of syndication articles in January before the NATPE gathering in Miami. But as we know, there has been nothing normal about the current times we live in, the television business included (and of course, NATPE isn’t likely happening as a traditional gathering in 2021.)  […]

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 […]