CBS 2 announces Joe Donlon as new co-anchor

Teams with Irika Sargent for newscasts Former WGN-TV and NewsNation executive Jennifer Lyons has landed another Nexstar alum to join her at CBS-owned WBBM-TV (CBS 2). As first reported by Robert Feder, Joe Donlon is joining Irika Sargent as co-anchor of the station’s 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts starting May 2. This is the second NewsNation alum to join […]

Merri Dee dies at 85

Trailblazing woman worked at WGN-TV, WCIU, and WSNS Longtime media personality Merri Dee – one of the first Black television personalities in Chicago, passed away at the age of 85 Wednesday. This is a tweet from her official account, posted the same day: Merri loved connecting with people anywhere, everywhere — in-person, on-air, often in the airport, & always online. […]

The Media Notepad: Winter Olympics’ lackluster ratings performance drags down NBC 5’s news ratings

Also: All CHGO launches; two network TV shows canceled; restaurant with a sitcom connection burns down Much has been made about the lackluster Winter Olympics ratings, but one angle wasn’t talked about much – their effect on NBC affiliates – or lack thereof. And no one experienced a bigger disappointment than Chicago’s NBC 5 (WMAQ.) As reported by Robert Feder […]

Remembering Bill Jackson

Jackson’s puppeteer work spanned two decades and five local TV stations   Even though his profile was a bit lower than other Chicago TV children show hosts, Bill Jackson made an impact nonetheless.  Jackson died in his Paso Robles, California home Monday at the age of 86. Jackson appeared on local television during the 1960s and 1970s, fondly remembered by […]

Report: The CW is up for sale with Nexstar the leading suitor

Possible sale could reunite network with company’s WGN-TV  According to a Wednesday night report from The Wall Street Journal, AT&T and ViacomCBS are exploring a sale of The CW and according to sources, Nexstar is the leading suitor to buy the network. As of an owner of 197 stations, Nexstar owns more CW affiliates than any other group, including the […]

Rewinding media in 2021: You just can’t explain it

  Popularity isn’t exactly overrated as 2021 ends a wild year in media Like mystery of the sphinx or crop circles, you just can’t explain the continued popularity of certain things despite questionable changes. After the firing of Mark Giangreco and seemingly public disdain for one of her former co-anchors, ABC 7 remains on top of local Chicago news ratings, […]

Welcome to the New Year’s Eve Battle Royale

Local stations, broadcast and cable networks battle it out to ring in the new year I think the question we should be asking is who isn’t doing a New Year’s Eve show this year?  The major networks and local stations are throwing their hats in the New Years’ Eve ring as they look to capture their share of an audience […]

The Media Notepad: WGN-TV’s new “Daytime Chicago” a hit

Also: Paramount Plus adds new streaming channels; Pictionary gets green light for full-time series; Jussie Smollett found guilty Newsflash: There is a new hit on linear TV not named Ghosts or Law & Order: Organized Crime. In fact, it’s not even in primetime – and it’s local.  It’s WGN-TV’s new morning show Daytime Chicago, and it pulled out a ratings […]

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 Sinclair 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 […]