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The Future of WGN America

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#1
Tom Tucker

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logo.png?v=2.0.18
 
Here is the logo we will see on WGN America in the new year. WGN America under new President and GM Matt Cherniss is aiming to change the way we've seen the cable channel, and a total revamp is underway.
 
Instead of relying primarily on reruns and sports, WGN America will finally be utilizing original programming in it's primetime lineup. Here's a trailer for one of their brand new series, Salem:
 
 
 
Based on what I've read on WGN America's website, the new schedule is set to debut on January 1st and I noticed while watching In the Heat of the Night reruns today that the show is moving from it's late morning slots on weekdays to weekends only.
 
According to WGNAmerica.com, the network's new slogan is going to be "Comedies. Dramas. Sports."

Once it fully launches in the Spring, the last great cable superstation in America could potentially cease to exist, and WGN America could become just another cable network like TBS did a few years ago.
 
WGN Midday News will be dropped from the schedule. Guaranteed, once the original programming starts, WGN News at Nine will also be removed from the schedule. Salem is scheduled to debut in Spring 2014. Here's a sample from the network's typical weekday broadcast day until original programming begins:
 

Wed Jan 1, 9:00 AM ET
Law & Order  "Everybody's Favorite Bagman"

Wed Jan 1, 10:00 AM ET
Law & Order  "Prescription for Death"

Wed Jan 1, 11:00 AM ET
Law & Order  "Subterranean Homeboy Blues"

Wed Jan 1, 12:00 PM ET
Law & Order  "The Reaper's Helper" 

Wed Jan 1, 1:00 PM ET
Law & Order  "Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die" 

Wed Jan 1, 2:00 PM ET
Law & Order  "Happily Ever After"  
 
Wed Jan 1, 3:00 PM ET
Law & Order  "By Hooker, by Crook"

Wed Jan 1, 4:00 PM ET
Law & Order: Criminal Intent  "Gods & Insects"  HD  
 
Wed Jan 1, 5:00 PM ET
Law & Order: Criminal Intent  "Abel & Willing"  HD  
 
Wed Jan 1, 6:00 PM ET
America's Funniest Home Videos  
 
Wed Jan 1, 7:00 PM ET
America's Funniest Home Videos  
 
Wed Jan 1, 8:00 PM ET
Rules of Engagement  "The Jeff Photo"  HD 
 
Wed Jan 1, 8:30 PM ET
Rules of Engagement  "The Power Couple"  HD  
 
Wed Jan 1, 9:00 PM ET
Rules of Engagement  "Double Down"  HD  

Wed Jan 1, 9:30 PM ET
Rules of Engagement  "Cheating"  HD 
 
Wed Jan 1, 10:00 PM ET
WGN News at Nine  HD  
 
Wed Jan 1, 11:00 PM ET
How I Met Your Mother  "The Naked Truth"  HD  

Wed Jan 1, 11:30 PM ET
Rules of Engagement  "Atlantic City"  HD  

Thu Jan 2, 12:00 AM ET
Rules of Engagement  "Harassment"  HD  

Thu Jan 2, 12:30 AM ET
Parks and Recreation  "Telethon"  HD  

Thu Jan 2, 1:00 AM ET
Parks and Recreation  "The Master Plan"  HD  

Thu Jan 2, 1:30 AM ET
30 Rock  "Game Over"  HD  

Thu Jan 2, 2:00 AM ET
30 Rock  "The Rural Juror"  HD  

Thu Jan 2, 2:30 AM ET
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia  "Mac & Dennis: Manhunters"  
 
Thu Jan 2, 3:00 AM ET
Futurama  "A Clockwork Origin"
 
Thu Jan 2, 3:30 AM ET
'Til Death  "Sex for Furniture"  HD


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#2
Raymie

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Is the news that much of a hindrance to trying to program the station? I don't get it.


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#3
Tom Tucker

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I can only assume this is their way of distancing themselves from WGN-TV and the superstation by being more of an actual cable network like FX and USA. Still, they will keep the WGN America name.


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#4
CircleSeven

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Did you see the rest of the schedule past January 1st? Like the 2nd, 3rd, The 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th?

 

I think if they would've announced the end of the midday news on WGN America, there would be a press release, but looking at the schedule past the 1st, the lineup states otherwise.


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#5
24994J

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Gee, with this in place... 1472758_10152078621189448_1752349767_a.j

 

And this on the way...logo.png?v=2.0.18

 

 

 

I wonder if this is in for a makeover, as well... 200px-WGN9_Television_Chicago.svg.png

 

 

(Oh, and color me intrigued about the "Sports" part of the new slogan.)


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#6
A3N

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Gee, with this in place... 1472758_10152078621189448_1752349767_a.j

 

And this on the way...logo.png?v=2.0.18

 

 

 

I wonder if this is in for a makeover, as well... 200px-WGN9_Television_Chicago.svg.png

 

 

(Oh, and color me intrigued about the "Sports" part of the new slogan.)

They still air a limited number of Bulls games, correct? and despite the end of Cubs broadcasts on WGN/America, they still have the White Sox. It would be nice if they could come up with some kind of deal with the Cubs to at the very least air a smaller number of games after their deal expires.


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#7
24994J

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That's what I mean. With the Cubs deal up in the air, removing the coverage of those games would likely cut WGN A's sports coverage in half to maybe 50 games between the Bulls and the Sox. I'm only wondering if they might have bigger things in mind than just the limited deals they have now.


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#8
ActionNewsLove

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I'm not a fan of the font of the logo. Although from the looks of the promo, Salem seem to be looking like a very good show. And I will have to miss watching WGN News on TV when not at a computer.

This will be an interesting year for the Network Formerly Known as Superstation WGN. 


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#9
lugnuts6

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For what its worth, here is what I thought up for a logo and slogan & as for the Cubs situation, I read that the ricketts made the decision , 2014 will be the last year for Cubs Baseball on WGN TV/WGN America.. 

u47x.jpg


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#10
24994J

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as for the Cubs situation, I read that the ricketts made the decision , 2014 will be the last year for Cubs Baseball on WGN TV/WGN America.

 

Source, or it didn't happen. At this point it doesn't look great, but nothing's been confirmed. I wouldn't call it yet.


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#11
jmkcool2002

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I think WGN America will make a serious bid for either the NBA, NFL Thursday nighters or Big Ten while also depending on the Bulls/Sox as a major source for sports programming. It would be interesting to see someone else win sports rights other than Fox, ESPN, CBS or NBC.


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#12
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I think WGN America will make a serious bid for either the NBA, NFL Thursday nighters or Big Ten while also depending on the Bulls/Sox as a major source for sports programming. It would be interesting to see someone else win sports rights other than Fox, ESPN, CBS or NBC.

I doubt it. If they would be willing to shell out big bucks for the NBA or NFL why not shell them out for the Cubs rights? Also there are several other networks chomping at the bit to land some kind of NBA or NFL games on their channel and you can bet that they will offer a lot more money than WGNA/Tribune could.


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#13
ShawnieMac

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I've said before that WGN America has to scrap everything left of its Chicago ties, including the name "WGN" if they plan on distancing themselves from the local version, which of course is what they're doing now.  Also, I agree with the above in that Tribune isn't going to spend big money for sports rights, especially the NFL and NBA.


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#14
channel2

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I'm not a fan of the font of the logo. Although from the looks of the promo, Salem seem to be looking like a very good show. And I will have to miss watching WGN News on TV when not at a computer.

This will be an interesting year for the Network Formerly Known as Superstation WGN. 

 

It's Brandon Grotesque. I've always been a bit ambivalent about it myself; it's commonplace due to what I call its "crude chic" appearance.

 

If the WGN newscasts go, I wouldn't be totally surprised. They're too idiosyncratic in their presence for what they want WGNA to be...


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#15
jmkcool2002

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I doubt it. If they would be willing to shell out big bucks for the NBA or NFL why not shell them out for the Cubs rights? Also there are several other networks chomping at the bit to land some kind of NBA or NFL games on their channel and you can bet that they will offer a lot more money than WGNA/Tribune could.

 

Because it makes no sense to pay a premium price for 25 games a year


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#16
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Because it makes no sense to pay a premium price for 25 games a year

who said 25 games? I don't recall ever reading about WGN producing/carrying/or being offered to air 25 Cubs' games a year. For many years, WGN has produced a little more than 70 games a season. Even if they offered the Cubs 2-3 more in rights fees than they are paying now, it would still be cheaper than airing NFL games.


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#17
Thundershock MN

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They are doing the same thing Turner/Time-Warner did with TBS. WGN-A isn't going to instantly change overnight. Just like TBS it will be a slow process. The news simulcasts will eventually disappear. They will slowly rollout original programming around off-net syndicated programs. They might be a little quicker rolling out original programming then TBS just do to how popular original cable programming has become. That wasn't really the case when TBS started their "transition." The Bulls, Sox and (if they re-up) Cubs will hang around on WGN for the foreseeable future. Just like the Braves hung around on TBS for a decade during the "transition" WGN will do the same. I just don't see WGN going after any national sports anytime soon. It took nearly a decade for TBS to transition from Braves to National MLB games. They have their sports bases covered right now as they slowly (and inevitably) reduce those games to become less Chicago centric then and only then will they consider dipping their foot in the national sports pool (if at all.)

 

Basically, If you want to know what's going to happen to WGN-A we already have the template, just look at TBS.


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#18
LoadStar

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I've said before that WGN America has to scrap everything left of its Chicago ties, including the name "WGN" if they plan on distancing themselves from the local version, which of course is what they're doing now.  

I agree. The problem is that without the Chicago ties, the station really doesn't have a clear identity or purpose for being. Their new slogan "Comedies. Dramas. Sports." may as well be the same thing as "WGN America: We show stuff." Thanks, Vaguey McVaguerson. I just don't know what niche they expect to fill.


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#19
jmkcool2002

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Here's my conspiracy theory of how WGN America could possibly win rights to the NBA http://jmanmediazone...h.html?spref=tw


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#20
Asomrjsurf

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WGN News at 9pm will say because theirs people who don't live in Chicago anymore or on vacation still watch it. If could add Daily Buzz Show in the Mornings and 5pm or 6pm Newscast. NFL and NBA Yes.
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