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 […]

Upfronts review: More legal dramas, less multi-cam laughs

Also: fewer new shows The 2019-20 season is going to be more dramatic and less comedic. That’s the analysis of the five major network’s fall schedules, containing perhaps the fewest number of new shows in memory. The major networks don’t really invest in pilots anymore, thus there are fewer programs to look at as replacements. Ratings aren’t really important as […]

T Dog’s Think Tank: “It’s not you, it’s me”

WPWR-CW breakup illustrates how some affiliate partnerships don’t work The major networks have enjoyed long, prosperous relationships with their affiliates. For example, Milwaukee’s WTMJ, St. Louis’ KSDK, and Cincinnati’s WLWT each has enjoyed a long relationship with NBC dating back to the late 1940s. CBS and New Orleans’ WWL have been partners since 1957. And ABC and Dallas’ WFAA go […]

The CW changes channels again in Chicago – this time to WCIU

Weigel scores major coup In a stunning move, Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting Co. announced it has picked up The CW affiliation from Fox-owned WPWR, beginning this fall. The news was first reported by Robert Feder Thursday morning. No exact date has been set for the change, but it is expected to set off a chain reaction of programming moves within the […]

What’s next for WGN-TV sports?

Sun-Times article talks about a future without sports on WGN as station, teams head into transition In 2016, WGN-TV decided to cut their ties to The CW and become an independent station once again, going all in on sports featuring the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks. Come October 2019, WGN might not have any sports on its schedule at […]

Luke Perry dies

One-time 90210 heartthrob had career resurgence recently in CW’s Riverdale Fans are mourning the loss of Luke Perry, who rose to stardom as teen heartthrob Dylan Mckay on Beverly Hills, 90210 and more recently, had a career resurgence playing Fred Andrews on CW’s drama Riverdale. Perry died Monday at the age of 52 from complications of the stroke he suffered […]

NBC Sports Chicago re-ups with Blackhawks, Bulls, and White Sox

Deal calls for exclusive rights for all regular season, non-network games plus multi-platform streaming rights WGN likely loses rights After weeks of speculation, Comcast Corp.’s NBC Sports Chicago announced Wednesday it has struck a multi-year deal to continue carry Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago White Sox games well into the next decade beginning in October. The new pact reportedly […]

Netflix cancels “Luke Cage”

Late Friday news caught some off guard In a move catching a lot of people by surprise, Netflix canceled Luke Cage after two seasons Friday night. From a terse joint statement released by the streaming service and Marvel: “Unfortunately, Marvel’s “Luke Cage” will not return for a third season. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated […]

Thursday ratings roundup: NFL wins, but cable news is the real winner

Kavanaugh-Ford hearings draw 20 million viewers in daytime; cable news networks benefit The big ratings story yesterday didn’t take place in primetime. Live coverage of The Kavanaugh hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee drew an average of 20.4 million viewers across six networks Thursday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. according to Nielsen. The cable news networks drew the biggest […]

Wednesday night ratings roundup: Cubs outdraw NBC’s “Chicago” shows in Chicago

Broadcast networks continue to struggle; Empire top-rated 18-49 show of night nationally Wednesday night, NBC’s Chicago shows returned with their season premieres. But it was the Chicago Cubs who beat the Chicago-based dramas on their own home turf. Fueled by their chase for the NL Central championship, the Cubs game from Wrigley Field topped all prime-time programs in viewership in […]

The Media notepad: Chicago’s African-American radio stations hold their own despite population drop

As yet another report showing the Chicago area’s African-American population on the decline, the market’s black-targeted radio stations seem to be holding their own. Even the entrance of classic Hip-Hop/R&B station 104.3 Jams (WBMX) didn’t have much of an impact on the overall share of African-Americans listening to radio in the Chicago market, though WBMX reportedly had taken audience away […]

The CW expands to Sundays with “Supergirl”, “Charmed” reboot

Network expands to a sixth night with its all-drama lineup The CW recently unveiled its 2018-19 lineup before its upfront presentation on Thursday and features five new shows – two of them debuting this fall. The big news is The CW’s return to Sunday nights for the first time since 2009, as reported here in February. The night kicks off […]