NextGen TV arrives in Chicago

CBS 2, others turned on signal Monday The future of television has finally arrived in Chicago. After a long wait, CBS-owned WBBM-TV (CBS 2) turned on the new ATSC 3.0 signal Monday at 1 p.m. local time, as  NextGen TV, made its debut. “America’s third-largest TV market is riding the NextGen TV wave, with the addition of new capabilities for […]

Rewinding media in 2023

A year dominated by labor strife, awful Chicago sports teams, and – oh yeah, Elon  If you watched the WWE, you remember Vince McMahon playing himself as an arrogant CEO and billionaire, ruling over anything and everything – the ultimate heel. It’s a real-life trend we’re seeing as we close 2023. Led by billionaire Elon Musk, CEOs – whether they’re […]

The Media Notepad: Media companies suspend advertising on X after Musk approves anti-Semitic comments

Also: Bally Sports getting ready to close; The CW is on the move in two markets CNBC and other outlets are reporting Friday evening numerous companies have “paused” advertising on Twitter/X after owner Elon Musk boosted an anti-Semitic post on the platform.  Lionsgate (Debmar-Mercury) was the first traditional media company to pause and Apple was the first tech company to […]

Report: TV news crew robbed on North Side

Second incident in a month If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to crime in Chicago…now we have TV news crews getting robbed while covering…robberies.  According to local crime blog CWBChicago, a local news crew was ready to do a live shot around 5 a.m. on the Near North Side near the intersection of Division and Milwaukee […]

Bally Sports files for Chapter 11

Impact might not be felt immediately  The nation’s biggest regional sports network chain just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but of all the talk and bluster about its implosion, they actually might come out fine. Well, maybe. Bally Sports parent Diamond Sports Group entered those waters last Tuesday with the Southern District of Texas bankruptcy court as the company – […]

The Media Notepad: WBBM Newsradio names Craig Schwalb news director

Also: Mayoral debates scheduled; CBS-owned stations to rebrand news properties Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM announced last week the hire of Craig Schwalb as brand manager and news director of the station effective January 23. He succeeds Ron Gleason, who retired last month.  Schwalb comes from Hubbard’s dominant all-news station WTOP in Washington, D.C., a station who typically leads the country in […]

Chicago stations cover Highland Park shooting tragedy

Local stations pre-empt programming on holiday For a city used to the horrors of gun violence, even this was too much to take. On a sparkly clear day, a Fourth Of July parade in the north suburban community of Highland Park was interrupted by a gunman who opened fire from a roof of a commercial building, hitting spectators below. As […]

May sweeps sees declines for local news

Ratings are down for local news – but not out [Editor’s Note: This post was updated on June 1.]  If you’ve noticed, ratings are down across-the-board for just about everything on linear TV these days.  And yes, that includes local news. As reported by Robert Feder Friday, three Chicago news stations: ABC-owned WLS-TV, NBC-owned WMAQ-TV and Nexstar independent WGN-TV, all […]

Televisa, Univision combine to form Spanish-language giant

Merger brings together two brands in two different countries to form one big global Spanish-language powerhouse  Two of the world’s biggest names in Spanish-language broadcasting are forming a union. Announced Tuesday night, Mexico’s Grupo Televisa S.A.B. – simply known as Televisa, and privately-held U.S. broadcaster Univision announced a merger agreement bringing together each company’s media assets and content, forming a […]

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 […]

The Media Notepad: Univision Chicago, Chicago Reporter team to cover Latino community

Also: WLS-FM achieves historic feat; Nick Cannon to get new daytime show; MST3K canceled again Univision (branded locally as Univision Chicago) and the non-profit Chicago Reporter are teaming up to cover more of the area’s Hispanic community. As first reported by Broadcasting and Cable, the duo is forming a multi-platform news service named Latintext, and plans to cover important issues […]

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 […]

“90210” to return on Fox (updated)

In a surprising move, the much-talked about reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210 has been picked up by Fox for a six-episode run this summer. But in a bizarre twist, in what could be described as It’s Garry Shandling’s Show meets Curb Your Enthusiasm, the six actors who starred on the show are playing fictionalized versions of themselves. You heard that […]