The Media Notepad: WGN Radio surges in ratings

Also: NBC 5/Telemundo to award nonprofits; Sherri Shepard to succeed Wendy Williams; Introducing Ion Mystery  Is WGN-AM staging a return to the top?  The first PPM numbers released for 2022 shows the Nexstar-owned station placing fourth overall, up 49 percent from the last survey – marking their highest ranking since October 2008 at the dawn of the PPM era. Leading […]

It’s Newsy

Scripps’ digital news service relaunched October 1 as an all-news channel, targeting cord cutters  Another all-news channel has launched. But this one – called Newsy, isn’t entirely new.  But Scripps is revamping the network to add to their growing stable of digital subchannels, with one joining a space now dominated by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and others – but targeted […]

Media Notepad: NewsNation makes schedule changes – again

Also: A Shark becomes a judge; Pictionary returns; MyNetworkTV adds Chicago Fire and a new Detroit affiliate Once again, Chicago-based NewsNation is making changes to its lineup. Announced last week, the network formerly known as WGN America is adding another personality show in primetime, featuring a show hosted by former Fox News personality Leland Vittert, who’ll helm On Balance. Beginning […]

Weigel bounces in MeTV Plus to replace Bounce

Replaces Bounce as digital network heads to Ion’s WCPX  It’s not just an expansion – it’s now a boom. Yet another new multicast network was announced with the launch of MeTVPlus from Weigel Broadcasting, scheduled to debut May 15. As first reported by Robert Feder Monday, MeTV Plus features off-network dramas and sitcoms that hasn’t aired on MeTV in years, […]

Rewind this: Another new multicast network to launch filled with reruns

Nexstar spin-offs a network from Antenna TV  Usually in TV land, we have spin-offs of shows, some of the most successful being Gomer Pyle, USMC; Facts Of Life; Maude; Good Times; and Laverne & Shirley.  Now for the first time, we have a spin-off of an entire channel. On September 1, Nexstar is launching Rewind TV, featuring 1980s and 1990s […]

WLS-TV, ABC-owned stations add “This”

Replaces Laff on O&Os; New “Twist” launches on WGBO 66.5 The long journey of the This TV digital subchannel has added another chapter thanks to a deal with the ABC-owned stations, including WLS-TV in Chicago. The move took place April 1.  “Allen Media Group’s over-the-air broadcast television network This TV is now well-positioned for greater success with the addition of […]

Defy the Doozy and Twist

More multicast networks announced from Scripps, Tegna Days after Scripps shut down several digital subchannels (now called “multicast networks”) related to their acquisition of Ion, the Cincinnati-based company announced Tuesday two new channels: Defy and the amply named Doozy (yes, Doozy.) Both are cleared in 75 percent of the country for a July 1 launch. Defy is targeted to male […]

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 […]

Scripps, Ion agree to deal

Chicago’s WCPX becomes a Scripps-owned station – but remains an Ion affiliate In a blockbuster move, Cincinnati-based Scripps Thursday announced the purchase of Ion, a network with more than 125 affiliates, including 62-owned stations. The deal includes Ion-owned Chicago’s WCPX – the former Christian station known as WCFC-TV from 1976 to 1998 when the ministry sold the station to Bud […]

“30 Rock” reunion special faces affiliate resistance (updated)

Chicago viewers will get to see Liz Lemon & Co. reunite. Outside of Chicago? It depends on where your live – and who owns your NBC station. [Updated Thursday at 4:25 p.m.]  Are you excited about the 30 Rock reunion Thursday night? If you live outside of the Chicago area, you might have to delay your enthusiasm until Friday morning […]

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 […]

The Media Notepad: “Game of Thrones”, Masters score big

Also… Face The Truth won’t be back for a second season; CourTV returns May 8; AT&T sells Hulu strike While HBO turned Chicago’s weather into one big promotional machine (Winter came on Sunday…and left a big, slushy mess), it seemed to have worked: Sunday’s eighth-season premiere of Game Of Thrones proved to be a big draw. The season premiere attracted […]

Media Notepad: 103.9 The Fox ends run as bible thumpers take over

Also: Sun-Times sees ownership shift; AAF ends its run quickly; Pickler & Ben to exit The bible thumpers strike again: Beginning Monday, Fox Valley-based WFXF-FM – better known as The Fox 103.9 – will turn the keys over to the Educational Media Foundation (EMF) as the station flips from Classic Rock to Christian Music. As a result, the station’s on-air […]

Media Notepad: The Score’s Laurence Holmes heads to middays

Also: WLS-AM announces new PD; WBBM reigns supreme; New York’s WPIX sold One of Chicago’s prominent sports radio hosts has a new contract – and a new weekday slot. Longtime WSCR-AM (The Score) veteran Laurence Holmes is getting his own midday slot weekdays from noon to 2 p.m., beginning March 28 – coinciding with the start of the baseball season. […]