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 […]

Fox, Ion to hook up?

          The move meant to send a message to Sinclair According to a report in Bloomberg, 21st Century Fox is reportedly in talks with Ion networks about a partnership which would let them operate a large number of Fox affiliates in several markets. Moreover, the move could strip Fox affiliates in many Sinclair markets, including those […]

T Dog’s Media Notepad: Landecker heads to the Radio Hall Of Fame

St. Louis, Milwaukee stations may be spun off by Sinclair sale while John Oliver takes on the company Philadelphia radio station takes a shot a Taylor Swift; changes formats Chicago radio legend John “Records” Landecker is getting a tremendous honor: an induction into the National Radio Hall Of Fame – on the first ballot. Landecker is being inducted into the […]

When Trump had a game show

Trump had a game show? It’s true. His name headlined a flop in 1990-91  These days, real estate mogul Donald Trump is grabbing headlines as a Republican Presidential Candidate – for better or worse, but 25 years ago Trump had his own game show. Yes, he actually had a game show – well, his name was slapped on one. Here […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: Ramonski Luv out at Soul 106.3

WBBM news woes continue; CBS criticized for Mentalist reruns to replace Letterman; former Chicago FM call letters find a new home – As first reported by Robert Feder Wednesday, Soul 106.3 (WSRB) evening radio personality Ramonski Luv was released by the station after only a few months on the air. Luv, whose real name is Ramon Wade, was paired with […]

WMAQ pulls off 10 p.m. news upset

Beat WLS-TV in key news demo for the first time in nearly 20 years Dispute in 10 p.m. news race in Milwaukee The last time WMAQ won the 10 p.m. news race in adults 25-54 demo, Ron Magers and Carol Marin were still anchoring, ER was the hottest show on television, and Jay Leno was hosting the Tonight Show. Nineteen […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: “Monopoly Millionaires'” heads to WGN

Sinclair realigns newscasts downstate; talent shows to hit syndication; No one is “asking America” – Remember back in  October when yours truly asked if new weekly hour-long game show Monopoly Millionaires’ Club would air in Chicago because Illinois was not participating in the related lottery game? Well, here’s your answer: WGN-TV picked up the new Monopoly game  hosted by Mike & Molly’s […]

WLS-TV, WGN-TV big winners in November sweeps

There isn’t really much to talk about in the recently-concluded November sweeps period, since two of Chicago’s most dominant news operations – ABC-owned WLS-TV and Tribune CW affiliate WGN-TV continue to roll along. While sweeps periods are less important to the networks these days – for one, low-rated lame-duck shows (such as Mulaney, Bad Judge, and A to Z) are […]

Tribune buys Local TV LLC for $2.7 billion

    Tribune adds stations from Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Memphis to its stable About a year or so ago, there was speculation on whether or not Tribune Broadcasting, planning to exit Chapter 11, would stay in the broadcast business. Consider this a definite answer. Chicago-based Tribune announced Monday it was acquiring Newport, Ky.-based Local TV LLC for $2.7 billion. The […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: WLS-TV widens lead over rivals

Grab baggin’: – ABC-owned WLS-TV widened its lead over its competitors during the just-completed May sweeps, according to Nielsen. According to CRM, ABC 7 swept all local news time periods in households (25-54 demos weren’t available at press time), with a decisive victory at 10 p.m., surging 11 percent from May 2012 with a 10.0/18, leaving NBC-owned WMAQ-TV (5.9/11, +4% […]

Fallon to succeed Leno as host of “The Tonight Show”

Here we go again. After weeks of speculation, NBC made it official last week: it was handing the hosting duties of The Tonight Show to Jimmy Fallon, replacing Jay Leno in the role. In addition, NBC is moving production of The Tonight Show to New York City, returning to the Big Apple for the first time in 42 years. Excluding […]

Despite loss, Bears still dominate Chicago ratings

While the Chicago Bears (and Jay Cutler in particular) disappointed in their hugely anticipated matchup against the archrival Green Bay Packers, they certainly didn’t disappoint in the ratings department (and for a change, it was Cutler who was nastier than Simon Cowell was.) Last Thursday night’s game locally drew a 31.3/48 household rating/share according to Nielsen. The game aired over […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: “Ellen”, “Dr. Oz” return strong

Hey Katie, the old school’s got a message for you: we can draw an audience, too. That was the vibe sent Monday while Katie Couric posted strong numbers of her debut Monday – but returning talkers also posted good numbers for their season premieres, despite pre-emptions from tennis on some CBS stations. Warner Bros.’ Ellen tenth season premiere drew a […]

Let’s get busy…again. Arsenio Hall returns to late-night

Move over Frank Woolanski, here’s comes someone who packed a lot of bark in late-night back in the day – and is looking to woof again. CBS Television Distribution and Tribune Broadcasting announced today it will launch a new late-night talk show with Arsenio Hall beginning in September 2013, returning him to the daypart that made him famous and reuniting […]