The Drive, WLIT tie again in latest PPM survey

Also: Ali Matta departs Q101  A touch of Christmas has led iHeartMedia’s 93.9 The Lite (WLIT-FM) to tie Hubbard’s The Drive (WDRV-FM) for first place in the overall ratings for the second time this year. The last time the two tied for first in the overall ratings was in September.  Both stations came up with even 6 shares in the […]

The Media Notepad: The Chicago Sun-Times drops its paywall

Also: The Drive promotes Janda Lane to middays; Nexstar closes the deal to buy The CW; NATPE files for bankruptcy; Svengoolie is hiring! The move was expected for months, and now it’s official: The Chicago Sun-Times announced Thursday it is removing the paywall for all stories. This comes as the newspaper and Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM announced a non-profit merger […]

Chicago radio ratings: The Drive dominates, B96 slips

The Drive wins overall; WLS-FM finishes first in 18-34s At the start of the year, no one would ever guess Hubbard’s The Drive (WDRV-FM) would top the ratings, let alone dominate them. And as it turns out, the classic rocker is performing a clinic on how to dominate. In September, The Drive’s ratings topped all Chicago radio stations, speeding up […]

Report: Chicago Sun-Times to drop paywall

Moves to a membership model instead It’s rare for a newspaper to drop its paywall, given it helps pay the bills because as you know, journalism doesn’t come free. But the Sun-Times is betting a new model would attract more readers and visitors to its website.  Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday the paper is dropping its paywall five months after […]

The Media Notepad: WTTW technicians’ strike continues

Also: WBEZ ties for 1st in PPMs; WTMX has a new afternoon show; Black News Channel update It looks like the technician strike at Chicago’s WTTW isn’t going to end anytime soon. IBEW 1220, who represents technicians and electricians at the North Side public television station, went on strike on March 16 demanding better pay, working conditions, and against shifting […]

The Media Notepad: Sun-Times, WBEZ complete merger

Also: Televisa and Univision become one; Weigel launches another diginet ; The last tie to Marvel at Netflix severs Been away for awhile, so let’s catch up on some items of note making news: The non-profit merger between the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ officially closed on January 31, with $61 million in philanthropic backing, raised by WBEZ parent Chicago Public […]

It’s official: WBEZ, Sun-Times to join forces

Historic deal intended to better serve communities The long-anticipated merger between WBEZ-FM and the Chicago Sun-Times, first announced in September, is now a reality. Tuesday night, the board of Chicago Public Media station and NPR affiliate approved a deal to acquire Chicago’s second-largest newspaper, creating one of the largest non-profit journalism outfits in the country.  The deal is expected to […]

2022: A look ahead

CW sale, political races, on tap  Even though it’s January 14, it’s never too late to look ahead to see what could happen in media for the remaining 351 days left in the year. So let’s look in the crystal ball and see what to expect. As always, we’ll check back at the end of the year to see how […]

WBEZ, Sun-Times strike “non-binding” deal to merge

Historic deal aims to strengthen journalism For the first time since the Chicago Tribune and WGN-AM had the same owner, a daily newspaper and a local radio station could team up – though the transaction is unusual.  But unlike the Tribune and WGN-AM, the transaction discussed here is non-profit. Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM and the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday night […]

WBEZ, Sun-Times discussing partnership

In what could become the norm in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ and the Sun-Times are discussing a possible partnership to combine operations. Talks between the two parties are underway according to Robert Feder, who broke the story this morning.  “I can confirm that we are currently exploring partnerships and opportunities with the Chicago Sun-Times to […]

Tracy Brown to take over as WBEZ Chief Content Officer

Steve Edwards departs for a non-media role In a major realignment at one of Chicago’s major radio stations, WBEZ-FM (91.5 FM) named Tracy Brown as Chief Content Officer of the public radio station last Friday, who is replacing Steve Edwards (no relation to the former WLS-AM and KTTV Los Angeles personality) in the role as he departs for an executive […]

The Media Notepad: WBEZ hires Sasha Anne-Simons as new midday host

Also: Charlie Brown returns; Fox renews syndicated shows; Sinclair to rebrand RSNs after Bally’s Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM has filled its open midday position.  Her name is Sasha Anne-Simons and she’ll take over from the since-departed Jenn White on December 14 as host of Reset, which aired weekdays  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For the last few months, the […]

PPM ratings: WBBM Newsradio 780 dominates during pandemic

Station remains on top as Felicia Middlebrooks departs The first PPM survey released in the Covid-19 era showed Entercom’s WBBM-AM dominating the ratings as listeners are tuning in to the latest coronavirus-related information. With the period covering March 26 to April 22, the station swept all dayparts (with the exception of middays, where WBBM finished second to WDRV-FM/The Drive.) Also […]

Mary Dixon heads to WBEZ as new news anchor

Longtime WXRT news person returns at a new station After being let go from Entercom’s Adult Album Alternative rock outlet WXRT, Mary Dixon has quickly landed on her feet at Chicago Public Media’s news/talk WBEZ-FM. Beginning next month, the 54 year-old news veteran becomes the station’s new morning news anchor and local host of NPR Morning Edition. She will be […]