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Guest NewsHound

The Future of WGN America

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And didn't Bloomberg discontinue the Business Report at the beginning of the year?

 

I went to McDonalds this afternoon and they had TWC News 14 or whatever it's called now on and I could have sworn they had the business report on then. I have DIRECTV at home so I'm not sure if they're still airing that or if the anchor is just reading the day's reports.

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Are there any other syndicated segments on local news nowadays besides the Bloomberg Business Report? I know Mr. Food passed away a couple years ago, so not sure if some stations are running classic segments or if it just went away altogether.

 

They have that AT&T U-Verse Tech Report with Rich DeMuro. I can't think of anything else they have, though.

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if they want to watch the 9PM news stream (or news from other Chicago stations) on a big TV, they could just buy a Roku without having to buy a new TV instead of complaining on facebook about watching on a computer

 

too much work for a 70 year snowbird, they feel entitled to watch news from a town they left yet still feel loyal to

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too much work for a 70 year snowbird, they feel entitled to watch news from a town they left yet still feel loyal to

 

Yeah, that pretty much sums up "younger" retirees these days. But remember, our generation is spoiled and entitled. ;)

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In fairness, if one watches a WGN-TV newscast online, you don't really get the complete newscast. The video during sports segments is blacked out; during streams of the 9 p.m. newscast, the title card noting this is shown even after the on-duty sports anchor (Dan Roan, Rich King or Dave Eanet) tosses to the news anchors. It does kind of take you out of it. Some of the people protesting the removal of WGN News at Nine from WGN America are probably doing so for this reason. Maybe they tried watching it online once or a few times, discovered that there are restrictions on sports segments, and figure that watching it on WGN America is a better option.

 

Unfortunately, clearance rights to sports highlights haven't caught up to the prevalence of newscast streaming that occurs today (compare two years ago to today, when WGN seemingly was the only Tribune station that didn't clear sports highlights on the web, I discovered recently that KTLA no longer does either; a lot of stations that stream newscasts online also have stopped showing sports highlights over the past couple of years, like WABC and WPVI, only allowing you to hear the audio portion or blocking it out entirely). If the sports leagues changed their policies to allow broadcasters to stream highlights, it would make watching newscasts online a bit more bearable.

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In fairness, if one watches a WGN-TV newscast online, you don't really get the complete newscast. The video during sports segments is blacked out; during streams of the 9 p.m. newscast, the title card noting this is shown even after the on-duty sports anchor (Dan Roan, Rich King or Dave Eanet) tosses to the news anchors. It does kind of take you out of it. Some of the people protesting the removal of WGN News at Nine from WGN America are probably doing so for this reason. Maybe they tried watching it online once or a few times, discovered that there are restrictions on sports segments, and figure that watching it on WGN America is a better option.

 

Unfortunately, clearance rights to sports highlights haven't caught up to the prevalence of newscast streaming that occurs today (compare two years ago to today, when WGN seemingly was the only Tribune station that didn't clear sports highlights on the web, I discovered recently that KTLA no longer does either; a lot of stations that stream newscasts online also have stopped showing sports highlights over the past couple of years, like WABC and WPVI, only allowing you to hear the audio portion or blocking it out entirely). If the sports leagues changed their policies to allow broadcasters to stream highlights, it would make watching newscasts online a bit more bearable.

 

most of the people on the group are complaining they can no longer keep in touch (or think they can't) with news fromn Chicago

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Guest Former Member 207

New news in regards to WGN America, and it shouldn't be a surprise to any of us, but they're planning dropping the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls telecasts by the end of this year. This will certainly accelerate the process of converting WGN America from superstation to basic cable network.

 

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140530/NEWS01/140539978/wgn-america-to-drop-chicago-sports

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New news in regards to WGN America, and it shouldn't be a surprise to any of us, but they're planning dropping the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls telecasts by the end of this year. This will certainly accelerate the process of converting WGN America from superstation to basic cable network.

 

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140530/NEWS01/140539978/wgn-america-to-drop-chicago-sports

 

Interesting decision to give up something that's non-DVR friendly, even if it's tilted heavily to Chicago.

 

Ends of eras, boys...

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They might as well drop the remaining news simulcasts at 4am & 12pm, rename the channel and place it on Chicago systems, since they want to go this route. Sad Indeed. :(

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Guest Former Member 207

A few new developments in regards to WGN America...

 

  • The final (Chicago-centric) sporting event to ever air on this channel took place this past Saturday night (Dec. 6), as the Bulls hosted the Golden State Warriors at the United Center. When WGN America's Bulls schedule first came out, they originally had seven games on the schedule, the final of which was going to be a game at Indianapolis on December 29th, where the Bulls will face the Pacers. However, there was no mention at all by the announcers that this was indeed the final Bulls game to ever on WGN's national signal.

  • In what would be considered a sign that Tribune is furthering the conversion of WGN America as a full-fledged basic cable network, Time Warner Cable will move WGN-A from its Starter TV tier (basically, the "lifeline" service) to its Standard TV tier (which contains most of the popular basic networks) by January 15th on its systems nationally. For those Time Warner Cable systems that don't already carry WGN-A, the channel will be added, also by that January 15th date.

  • The channel will debut two new original series in the near-future, both of them reality shows--"Wrestling with Death" (about a family who runs a mortuary and are also pro wrestlers on the side) and "Outlaw Country" (about two sets of brothers, one in law enforcement, the other pair are involved in some type of criminal activity in their town). I saw extended promos for these shows during the recent Bulls telecast; personally, the former looks something that the A&E Networks (whether it be the mothership or History Channel) rejected, and WGN-A just picked up the scraps. The latter show looks like a perfect Spike TV show.

The Hollywood Reporter recently interviewed Matt Cherniss, the new head of WGN America, about transitioning the channel from superstation to basic cable network, working on carriage issues (the most glaring of which, of course, that it's not available on the Chicago-area cable systems due to local WGN), and developing new series going forward.

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"Wrestling with Death" (about a family who runs a mortuary and are also pro wrestlers on the side)

 

What the crap?

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Could there be further separation between WGN-9 and WGN-A such as a name change for the latter? I propose that WGN America be renamed TribNet unless there is an ABC Family-like clause saying that WGN America has to have WGN in its name.

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If the station undergoes a name change, I would suspect it would be to something wholly unrelated to either WGN *or* Tribune.

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Guest Former Member 207

Looking at programming listings (as well as someone bringing this up on the 506 forums), it looks like tomorrow (Friday 12-12) will be the final airing of the Noon (CT) hour of the WGN Midday News on WGN America. All next week, WGN-A is running marathon block of their shows between 9am-4pm Eastern (Monday & Wednesday-In the Heat of the Night; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday-Walker, Texas Ranger).

 

As result of that, they're (possibly) adding another hour of the WGN Morning News to the national signal--the 5am CT hour. I say possibly because the channel's own listings indicate "WGN Morning News or Paid Programming" in the time slots.

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Could there be further separation between WGN-9 and WGN-A such as a name change for the latter? I propose that WGN America be renamed TribNet unless there is an ABC Family-like clause saying that WGN America has to have WGN in its name.

The ABC Family fiasco was a unique case. Disney failed to do their homework when they bought the channel.

 

More likely, WGN America will probably remain "as is" because "WGN" represents a brand not unlike "TBS." Remember that TBS took nearly 20 years to differentiate itself from WTBS 17.

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Feder stated this morning that starting tomorrow, WGN America is going to be carried on Comcast systems in CHICAGO!!!!!

 

It will also be in carried this week in systems in Boston, Philly, DC & Seattle.

 

And as they continue its conversion from superstation to basic cable channel, they stated that they could eventually add a second feed for the West Coast viewers in the future.

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If WGNA become basic cable channel, than the station may gain same situation of TBS in Canada. TBS still isn't carried in Canada.

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TBS still isn't carried in Canada.

And it may never be carried in Canada.

 

But that's because Ted Turner never had the TBS network cleared in Canada - it was always the direct WTBS-TV feed from Atlanta.

 

Remember that WTBS-TV basically became a repeater of TBS back in 1981, with WTBS-TV airing local commercials, Headline News simulcasts, and public service programming, and that's how they operated until the WPCH spin-off. The CRTC would have probably had a problem with switching over the feeds to carry an American cable network, thus, the WTBS-TV feed was retained up north.

 

That reverse engineering also spared TBS and WTBS-TV from having massive amounts of their schedule white-listed when Syndex took effect, since all cable systems in the USA were carrying TBS and not WTBS-TV.

 

What Canadians have with the WGNA feed will not change, unless Tribune opts to create a separate feed for Canadians in partnership with either BellMedia, Shaw, Rogers or whomever.

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The ABC Family fiasco was a unique case. Disney failed to do their homework when they bought the channel.

More likely, WGN America will probably remain "as is" because "WGN" represents a brand not unlike "TBS." Remember that TBS took nearly 20 years to differentiate itself from WTBS 17.

What was the ABC Family fiasco?

 

Nevermind I found this article.

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What was the ABC Family fiasco?

 

Nevermind I found this article.

 

That doesn't really touch directly on the issue. Read this.

 

For the TL;DR crowd: ABC didn't do their research. They discovered they couldn't do what they originally wanted to do, re-air reruns of ABC shows, because they didn't own the rights to be able to do so. They then discovered that they couldn't even change the channel name to what they wanted to due to a covenant in place that requires "Family" to remain in the channel name for perpetuity.

 

Essentially, ABC got stuck with one heck of a white elephant.

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One has to wonder why Disney just doesn't sue Robertson to get the clauses removed or something; after all, Disney is WAY more powerful than Robertson, so they could easily sue him into nonexistence (it's surprising that he's retained his power base as long as he has, considering the age of televangelism has long since ended; it pretty much went out with Reagan).

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That doesn't really touch directly on the issue. Read this.

 

For the TL;DR crowd: ABC didn't do their research. They discovered they couldn't do what they originally wanted to do, re-air reruns of ABC shows, because they didn't own the rights to be able to do so. They then discovered that they couldn't even change the channel name to what they wanted to due to a covenant in place that requires "Family" to remain in the channel name for perpetuity.

 

Essentially, ABC got stuck with one heck of a white elephant.

 

Also, that covenant states that his program The 700 Club be aired twice a day (one in morning and another at night; ABC Family has aired it 3 times since then)

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Back to WGN America's future, it seems that WGN is taking a BBC America approach and schedule it's news only in the morning until a certain time. Something to appease the snowbirds, somewhat.

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