Thursday, October 26, 2006

No Cable Required

Law & Order: Criminal Intent -- Coming soon every night to a broadcast television station near you.

For the first time in a long time, an off-network hour-long drama is being sold in broadcast syndication for airing in daily (strip) syndication. (That’s right! You heard me!) NBC Universal announced it was selling Law & Order: Criminal Intent to Fox-owned stations in top markets (including WFLD/WPWR here in Chicago) on a barter basis beginning in September 2007 in a unique cable/broadcast hybrid.

This marks the first crime drama to be offered in daily syndication since 21 Jump Street and Matlock were sold to broadcast stations in 1990, and the first overall drama to be sold since Paramount took 7th Heaven to broadcast stations in 1999.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, before cable became a major player, hour-long shows of all sorts were sold into syndication, including programs like Perry Mason, Star Trek (where it became a phenomenon), Gunsmoke, The Rookies, Little House on the Prairie, Quincy, Barnaby Jones, and Magnum P.I.

In the mid-’80’s however, reruns of serialized soap operas -- Dallas, then later Dynasty, Knots Landing, and Falcon Crest -- faired poorly in strip syndication. Then, stations started choosing off -net sitcoms over dramas. Programs like The Cosby Show, Who’s The Boss? , and Married… With Children filled up key early fringe, prime access, and late fringe time periods on broadcast stations. Meanwhile, cable networks like USA, The Family Channel, and A&E started snapping up rights to hour-long shows such as Murder, She Wrote, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, McGyver, and The Equalizer.

This doesn’t mean that hour-long shows didn’t prosper in syndication. Hunter, which debuted in syndication in 1989, performed well for local stations, particularly in Los Angeles where during the first few years it beat all local competition (including local news) at 6p.m. Matlock continues to perform well for stations who air it, especially in the South, where star Andy Griffith is still popular. Other hour-long programs such as Highway to Heaven , Beverly Hills 90210, In The Heat Of The Night, and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman also performed respectably. Three of those four shows were sold on a barter basis (90210 was sold on a cash-barter basis), with the syndicators keeping half of the commercial time to sell to national advertisers, and stations got the other half to sell. They didn’t have to pay for the shows, and thus, the risk was low.

However, cable stepped up its game in the mid-’90’s, and started acquiring exclusive rights to hour-long dramas, as stations turned to first-run talk shows and more off-network sitcoms. Then a decade ago, Twentieth Television became one of the first syndicators to sell off-net hour long programs to a cable/syndication hybrid: The X-Files, NYPD Blue, and The Practice were sold to cable for Monday-Friday runs and to broadcast stations for weekend runs. This has been the standard ever since with dramas such as Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel, CSI, The West Wing, 24, and Without A Trace all getting similar treatment.

USA will continue to air the program next fall. If this cable/broadcast hybrid works for a stripped version of the show in syndication, we’ll see more deals like this for hour-long shows.

Meanwhile reruns of another hour-long show which was syndication in the ‘90’s, Baywatch, will return as a syndicated strip next fall handled by Litton Syndication. Baywatch, which ran on NBC in the 1989-90 season, and in first-run syndication from 1991 to 2001, was stripped from 1995-97 by All American/Pearson Television.

Link: (Broadcasting & Cable)

Don't feed the morons

This guy would be better qualified to run a radio station than some of the "professionals" on these radio message boards. Or to become governor of Illinois.

Click on this link here:,52168.0.html#top

Yep. A Story that's not true. (yet, anyway.) A post that's on the front page of this website. Considering the poster is probably some in-bred redneck idiot from Wisconsin. (Or better yet, some guy working on the local GOP campaigns.) No sources quoted or links. Yep, this site is to radio as the National Enquirer is to news. When is Larz coming back? His board is better this drivel from radio "professionals" on this stupid board, many of which wouldn't know how to operate a Burger King let alone a radio station.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Changes

Change No. 1: NBC resurrects Thursday Must see lineup

From 7 to 9 (Central) Thursdays beginning next month, all the network's comedies will be on one night. Except "Twenty Good Years". This shitcom, which hasn't had one good episode, is on indefinite hiatus:

Change No. 2: New Syndicated talk shows shift slots

The Greg Behrendt Show and Dr. Keith Albow have shifted time slots in several markets (not necessarily downgrades though):

I know what you all about to say. Who?

Like The Megan Mulually Show, Greg and Keith have also struggled to find viewers for their flapfests. At least these shows haven't been drop-kicked into a 2 or 3 am time slot(yet), as this would have been the case several years ago.

Can't wait for "The Judy Baar Topinka Show" next fall. Oh, that's right. Joan Rivers already had a daytime talk show. (LOL)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Megan Mulually downgraded in N.Y., L.A.

I'm back....

Syndication Watch:

In what qualifies to be the kiss of death of any new show, NBC Universal's new Megan Mulually talk show has been downgraded at NBC-owned KNBC-TV in Los Angeles yesterday. The program, which features the former Will & Grace star, lost its key 4pm time slot and has been moved to noon. A local newscast which aired at this time, has now been moved to 4pm. This marks the first time since 2002 that KNBC has carried news at 4pm.

Between 2002 and 2005, Dr. Phil aired in that time slot, but in September of last year, the show moved to crosstown KCBS-TV.

Earlier, fellow NBC-owned counterpart WNBC-TV in New York City moved Megan from an afternoon slot to a late morning slot. The show was also downgraded at Media General's Columbus (Ohio) NBC station, WCMH-TV.

A downgrade in either New York or Los Angeles or both pretty much kills any syndicated show, as both markets are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in market size, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Ratings are clearly the culprit. In Los Angeles over five weeks, Megan dropped 27% from its Ellen lead-in, while it was off 60% from Ellen year-ago ratings performance.


Nationally, the program trails other freshmen syndicated talk shows, including Rachael Ray.

Here in Chicago, the program airs at noon on WMAQ-TV, where it is being hammered in the ratings by soap operas and noon newscasts.

More info here:

TV Week

Broadcasting & Cable:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Finally! A network that the NHL can beat in the ratings

Remember MyNetworkTV? That groovy new network that all the square cats are watching? No? Neither does anybody else! With Maureen Ryan of the Trib is busy slamming the CW for their moves, and Marc Berman of Mediaweek ignoring it all together, Advertising Age apparently remembers there's a MNT: [subscription required]

I have also found that here in Chicago (and San Diego) from Sept. 18-Sept. 22, MyNetworkTV was outdrawn by reruns of Becker. That's right. A fourth-rate sitcom beating a seventh-rate network in the household ratings.

Ted Danson hotter than Bo Derek and Morgan Fairchild. Make sense to me!

[P.S. Posted on 10-24-06. I meant to post this last week, but forgot. The Ad Age free link expired, so if you click the above link, you'll only get an abstract. In other words, take my word for it. Word. Word to your mother. Word Up. ]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TBS wins League Championship series

With declining audiences for sporting events (particularly baseball) on broadcast TV, a move to cable was bound to happen:

This is on top of a deal that gives Turner exclusive rights to the divisional playoff series beginning next year and Sunday afternoon games in 2008.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Steve Lyons, meet Lamar Thomas. Lamar Thomas, meet Steve Lyons.

It was not a good weekend for sports analysts:

Fox fired Steve Lyons for insensitive comments regarding fellow analyst (now Cubs manager) Lou Pinella and his use of Spanish during Game 3 of the ALCS Friday night, while Comcast SportsSouth (not related to Comcast SportsNet) canned former Cane Lamar Thomas for thoughtless comments during that big brawl in Saturday's broadcast of the Miami (FL) - Florida International (FIU) college football game.

Meanwhile, 31 players have been suspended for their part in the brawl, and one player from the U of M (Anthony Reddick) suspended indefinitely. Also, 16 FIU players have also been suspended indefinitely and two players are gone for good.

Both teams play 9 miles apart from one another in Miami. Sounds familiar Chicago baseball fans? Remember the Michael Barrett - A.J. brawl in the Cubs-Sox game last June? Eerily similar, as the Cubs and Sox play 8.1 miles apart.

Anyway, the Miami-FIU brawl was completely crass. Both teams showed a complete lack of sportsmanship. Next time if you guys want to do stuff like that -- go into politics.

What are the posters saying? Check out this link on Radio-Info (and get a good laugh):,51232.0.html

And look over there! Speaking of firings:

Ken Macha will soon likely run to Art Shell in that same Oakland unemployment office.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ugly Betty Is Beautiful

As expected, ABC picks up Ugly Betty for a full season: (Way to go, ABC!)

Although the show is losing to the increasingly bland Survivor in the key adult 18-49 demographic, it is beating the reality show in total viewers and households. (This is what happens when you divide the tribes by race and merge the teams too early. You got what you deserve, Mark Burnett! Viva Betty!)

"Shark" jumps one

Ripped from the headlines:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Biggest waste of space since Skip Bayless' column

Just wondering... Does the Chicago Tribune really need an Internet critic? Given the fact that the guy writing the column is a complete, utter moron:

Another waste of space in the Tribune's Tempo section.

It's October 13th. Time to get out the Christmas Decorations.

I guess it snowed here in Chicago yesterday for a reason:

Look at this way... Soon, we won't have to put up with any more of those f****n' Flashback Weekends for awhile.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Girl Who Everyone Thinks Is A Nut

Monique Calhoun, who was eliminated on America's Next Top Model last week, would fit right in working for either Rod Blagojevich’s or Judy Baar Topinka’s gubernatorial campaigns:

If Monique ran for governor, this loser would probably gather more votes than those other two losers.

(P.S. I hope Monique’s a Cub fan…)

Friday, October 06, 2006


If you read Robert Feder’s column yesterday, or logged on to radio-related message boards on the Internet, you probably know by now that Cara Carriveau was fired from WLUP-FM (97.9), “The Loop” -- all because she wrote a letter to Mr. Feder decrying the state of radio in Chicago. (The story actually broke last night in the Chicago Tribune courtesy of Phil Rosenthal):,1,1580100.story?coll=chi-news-hed

So, in Feder’s column today, Marv Nyren, vice president and general manager of WLUP explained his reason for firing Ms. Carriveau… (From Chicago Sun-Times):

“I don’t think Cara is a fan of what’s happening here”, Nyren said. “I have no problem with my people talking to you, but I want to have people here who believe in our industry and believe what we’re doing is right.”

Yep, good luck finding those type of people. And as for believing what you’re doing is right -- You guys are doing about as much right these days as Cubs management. (I wonder is that the new model for the radio business?).

Then in the article, Nyren stated that he and program director Tim Dukes felt that there were more talented individuals than Ms Carriveau. Like Turd.

You’ve got to be kidding me… Turd? Turd? More talented? That’s like saying the Oakland Raiders are more talented than the Bears. Certainly, you can see why the broadcasting business is in decline. You can see why listeners and viewers are fleeing to alternatives to radio and television such as satellite radio, YouTube, Internet radio, DVDs, etc., and as a result, their ratings go down, and so does revenue. And so, instead of winning back the public, what do they do? Go crying to Congress and try to have the rules changed -- like the FCC getting rid of fin-syn and loosing the rules so more irresponsible corporate nitwits can own more radio and television stations in a single market to make more money -- and guess what -- the Republican-backed Congress -- is willing to give these guys anything they want -- never mind they haven’t served the public in years.

So what do the remaining loyal listeners and viewers get for their years of faithful service? A shitload of crap, in the form of more commercials, bland chatter, annoying personalities (using the word “personalities” is a stretch because some of these guys don’t seem to have one), more tabloid-like news reporting, more reports on crime in the hood, dumb reality shows, According To Jim, etc.

Remember people, this is Emmis we’re talking about -- yes, the same owners whose hip-hop radio station in New York ran a tasteless Tsunami parody in 2004 and recently flipped a successful Country station in Los Angeles to another format. You think Emmis and their fellow corporate clowns give a damn about Chicago? Instead of dealing with worthless topics like foie gras and microchips in dogs, the Chicago City Council should investigate the sad state of radio in this market and these questionable moves these so-called “executives” are making. Even more strange, part of this decision to fire Ms. Carriveau was made by Mr. Dukes -- a former DJ himself (WFLZ -- The Power Pig in Tampa, Fla. in the early ‘90’s --). Man, talk about being a sellout.

It’s a shame that a talented long-time veteran like Ms. Carriveau was shown the door because she spoke out what basically is the truth in Chicago, and around the country. Apparently, she has more class than these jackasses who run our media outlets.


Robert Feder's article:,CST-FIN-feder05.article

And posters are talking about it on this fine message board: