Former WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne dies

Was part of WGN’s dominant 9 p.m. anchor team in the 1990s Chicago’s journalism community – and viewers like myself – are mourning the loss of former WGN-TV anchor Allison Payne, a nine-time Emmy winner who helped lead the then Tribune-owned station to ratings dominance in the 1990s and 2000s. Payne died on September 1 at the age of 57 […]

Jennifer Lyons named president and GM of CBS 2 and CBSN Chicago

Former WGN News and NewsNation exec succeeds Derek Dalton Also at CBS 2: Drew Barrymore, Let’s Make A Deal swap time slots In hopes to turn around its moribund ratings, CBS-owned WBBM-TV hired WGN-TV and NewsNation veteran Jennifer Lyons as president and general manager, effective Monday. She will also oversee local news streaming channel CBSN Chicago. “We feel extremely fortunate […]

Poll: Chicago viewers split over media coverage of crime

Cook County State’s Attorney blasts Nexstar’s WGN-TV over poll A poll released by Nexstar-owned independent WGN-TV on Tuesday showed how Chicago-area residents felt about their local political leadership and pressing issues like crime. And let me tell you – it wasn’t pretty as people seem to have it in for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, […]

The Media Notepad: NBC 5’s Andy Avalos retires; Alicia Roman promoted to morning shift

Also: Young Sheldon adds TBS home; Rick Dees becomes voice of RewindTV; Dish and Nexstar avoid blackouts – for now  Veteran meteorologist Andy Avalos announced his retirement on Friday after 33 years on Chicago television. Starting on August 30, fellow NBC 5 (WMAQ) meteorologist Alicia Roman is taking over Avalos’ spot on the morning newscast from 4-7 a.m. She’s been […]

“Windy City Live”, “Chicago’s Best” to end runs

Cancellations a blow to local TV production The pandemic has thrown a wrench into local TV revenues and the latest reflection of the tough times came within the last few days as two well-known local TV shows are ceasing production. ABC-owned WLS-TV/ABC7 announced the end of local talk show Windy City Live as a weekday strip after ten seasons Wednesday, […]

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 […]

ABC 7’s Mark Giangreco in trouble – again

On-air comment has top sports anchor off-air  It looks like we’re going to need not one but two new hosts for annual New Year’s Eve special Countdown Chicago.  Viewers of ABC 7 (WLS-TV) have noticed top sports anchor Mark Giangreco’s absence for the last few weeks and now we know why he’s been off the air – and it isn’t […]

The Media Notepad: Dish, Nexstar settle differences

Also: Trump Country concedes; Rock 95.5 drops to a ratings low; DMA update On Christmas morning, Dish subscribers received an unexpected present: the return of WGN-TV and WGN America to their systems. A deal was reached late Thursday night between the satellite provider and Nexstar, owners of both the local Chicago television station, the cable network, and other local stations […]

Everybody Loves Ray: Indy anchor comes home to Chicago

Dolton native heads to WGN-TV to anchor evening newscasts For the second time in two days, a local TV Chicago station has announced a new anchor taking on a key position. Current WXIN Indianapolis anchor Ray Cortopassi will take over as anchor for WGN-TV’s signature weeknight newscasts beginning September 28 at 5, 6, 9, and 10 p.m. alongside Micha Materre. […]

Remembering Regis Philbin

Iconic television personality dies at 88 Television fans are mourning the loss of Regis Philbin, who was one of the most beloved hosts in the medium. Not only he successfully re-invented morning television with his Live franchise with Kathie Lee Gifford and later Kelly Ripa, but also “saved ABC” as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He holds […]

Media Notepad: Sony pulls “Police Patrol” from syndication (updated)

Also: Amy Jacobson gets her press cred back; WGN Radio may bring back Garry Meier; NewsNation hires Joe Donlon and two WGN-TV vets  [Editor’s Note: This post was updated on June 27 at 8:50 p.m.] In a move not unexpected, local stations have dropped episodes of Cops and Live PD: Police Patrol from their schedules as protests have flared across […]