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mrschimpf

WGN dropping CW affiliation

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Weekend morning ratings are virtually irrelevant, and Bill Cunningham likely wasn't maintaining much of Maury's audience. Combine that with the fact that the 9 o'clock news frequently draws 3 to 4 times the viewers of the 8pm lead-in, and I fail to see how they would do anything less than 'survive'. Outside of the occasional Dean Richards interview with a series star, The CW was already a virtual non-factor is the life or death of WGN.

 

The road ahead is going to be rough, so I don't think things are going to be 'well' at WGN in the short term. That doesn't mean that it will be that way forever. There is going to have to be a large financial investment in programming (excluding news and sports) that I not fully confident Tribune Media is willing to make. I could be wrong.

 

Again, this is a huge risk. The programming/scheduling is going to have to be on point and I'm not 100% confident 3 months is enough time to pull it all together. We shall see.

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This is more of a loss for The CW than WGN, really. WGN will do fine. They did not need The CW before, they won't need it after. As one of the articles pointed out, this move is represents a loss of about $4 million dollars for WGN. They'll make that and more once they go independent and keep all ad/revenues in-house.

 

I do think that they should try and stay away from putting on more evening newscasts. They're already over-saturated as it is. Perhaps they should try a local talk show ala Windy City Live? Or do what KTXL does, and partner with a production company to do a local reality show featuring cops (or in this case, featuring Chicago's first responders).

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I don't think this will be as easy for WGN as some of you make it sound. The last time WGN was independent was 1993. That's an entirely different world from where they are now. For one, the syndication market has totally changed; back then, first run prime-time syndication was still a thing, but not so much anymore. Other services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are the go-to places to watch reruns of stuff, as well as the many "digi-nets" that have sprung up. WGN is going to have to sift through and pick up the leftovers those guys didn't want. Unless WGN finds something other than their sports to draw people to the station, I think they're going to find that people have a lot of other options in TV watching.

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WGN may have the ability to reclaim the games that ended up on WLS when the contract is up in a few years. It always seemed to me like they opted out of those games to begin with.

 

Plus, now that there's zero things to worry about preempting, they can go to the Cubs and say they're as good as a team network without the costs involved.

 

They'd be stupid to not build on the sports programming they already carry.

 

No question WGN will try to build on its sports programming, the issue here is money. How much money are they willing to spend to get more Cubs games, Blackhawks games, etc in the next 5-10 years? Plus, they no longer have a national showcase (WGN America) to help sweeten any deal. I'm not sure they are able to make things work in their favor today as they have in the past.

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Phil Rosenthal for the Trib is basically saying why not bring back a well-known fixture to the station??

 

Because Bozo of 2016 probably wouldn't pass the piss test and background check.

But hook him up with a medical marijuana sponsor and you got pure Bozo Gold!

 

Heck bring back Romper Room with some hot teachers also...Miss Mary Wanna Bee A Good Doobie.....

 

Pur.

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Again, this is a huge risk. The programming/scheduling is going to have to be on point and I'm not 100% confident 3 months is enough time to pull it all together. We shall see.

I have a suspicion that this has been in the works for a lot longer than that... It appears WGN was intent on going independent, regardless of what happened with The CW and Tribune. I do agree with you about the programming; if they take the easy way out and rely on tired old reruns of "Two and a Half Men," "Friends," or movies like they do on the weekend, it's not going to go well for them. They're going to need to come up with some creative, original, local programming. And there is a lot of risk associated with that.

 

All of this also leaves me wondering about CLTV. At best, it's already an afterthought at Bradley Place: it seems like they care somewhat about "Sports Feed," but I'm frankly not sure what they're trying to accomplish with that show. If the new indie WGN is going to place such an emphasis on sports, it seems conceivable that the sports hour could be brought over to channel 9. There's not really much else going on with CLTV, and I wonder if it would be better for them to just end it, so they could free up more staff for WGN newscasts and focus all of their attention on programming the main channel.

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It appears WGN was intent on going independent, regardless of what happened with The CW and Tribune. I do agree with you about the programming; if they take the easy way out and rely on tired old reruns of "Two and a Half Men," "Friends," or movies like they do on the weekend, it's not going to go well for them. They're going to need to come up with some creative, original, local programming. And there is a lot of risk associated with that.

 

Those "tired old reruns" of Two and a Half Men and Friends are still doing really well after all these years.

You might get tired of them, but I don't and certainly a lot of people as well as ratings do tell you. Sure, they're not as huge back in their respective years as other shows such as The Big Bang Theory or Modern Family are now, but they're holding up really well so soon (and are still in great timeslots in some markets), even if Ashton Kutcher and "We were on a break!" hit a nadir in quality for both for a while.

I'm sure they're schedule them both for at least an hour (and maybe even make room for the creative, original, local programming too) and they'll be fine. Easy way out? Maybe. Good ratings? Yes.

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All of this also leaves me wondering about CLTV. At best, it's already an afterthought at Bradley Place: it seems like they care somewhat about "Sports Feed," but I'm frankly not sure what they're trying to accomplish with that show. If the new indie WGN is going to place such an emphasis on sports, it seems conceivable that the sports hour could be brought over to channel 9. There's not really much else going on with CLTV, and I wonder if it would be better for them to just end it, so they could free up more staff for WGN newscasts and focus all of their attention on programming the main channel.

 

If they do plan to shut down CLTV, will they move some or all its programming to 'GN besides Sports Feed alongside possible new local projects?

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If they do plan to shut down CLTV, will they move some or all its programming to 'GN besides Sports Feed alongside possible new local projects?

 

It can also be easily prioritized to a low-priority project for Tribune Media; the Cubs and White Sox could be presented with it as a place to put their proposed self-owned RSN for the next contract without the hassles Charter/TWC have suffered with their LA sports channel. And for now it can easily go back to an overflow if the Sox and Cubs or Hawks and Bulls are on at the same time.

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As long as they don't overcharge for their RSN, then the Cubs will not have distribution issues. SportsNet LA is having issues with distribution because they are charging cable/sat. companies in excess of $5 per subscriber for carrying only one team. If the Cubs model the LA Angels or Texas Rangers tv deals, then they should be fine.

 

Also, it's highly doubtful that WGN or any other local outlet can come close to what the Cubs will get if they start their own RSN or if FOX gets the rights. Plain and simple, WGN/WLS/CSN Chicago are out come 2019.

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This really came as a surprise! I had heard about Tribune and The CW trying to work things out, but this was certainly unexpected. I'll say what was already said in this thread, and that is they will do fine as an independent station. And that this hurts The CW more than it hurts WGN. This might just be me here, but they already look like an independent, so they might as well become one. What they definitely should NOT do is add more news on the weekdays. They already have enough news as it is. 6 hours in the morning is too much, IMO. Even if the newscast is #1 in the market. Also IMO, 2 hours at midday is too much. But other than news, they've got sports too. The bottom line here is that they'll do fine as an independent.

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This really came as a surprise! I had heard about Tribune and The CW trying to work things out, but this was certainly unexpected. I'll say what was already said in this thread, and that is they will do fine as an independent station. And that this hurts The CW more than it hurts WGN. This might just be me here, but they already look like an independent, so they might as well become one. What they definitely should NOT do is add more news on the weekdays. They already have enough news as it is. 6 hours in the morning is too much, IMO. Even if the newscast is #1 in the market. Also IMO, 2 hours at midday is too much. But other than news, they've got sports too. The bottom line here is that they'll do fine as an independent.

 

Every newscast on weekdays at WGN is almost 2 hours or more (exception being 9-10:30pm) and on weekends is an hour each.

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Every newscast on weekdays at WGN is almost 2 hours or more (exception being 9-10:30pm) and on weekends is an hour each.

 

Ya that is true. The only two newscasts that aren't two hours long are the morning news and the 9 and 10pm newscasts. They do need to add more weekend newscasts. Is the 10pm news 7 days a week or just on weekdays?

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Ya that is true. The only two newscasts that aren't two hours long are the morning news and the 9 and 10pm newscasts. They do need to add more weekend newscasts. Is the 10pm news 7 days a week or just on weekdays?

Just weekdays.

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Frankly, they need to focus on the evening newscasts more than anything else. Despite being 6 hours, the morning show is arguably 3 separately-formatted broadcasts (4, 6 & 9am). The midday show is similar, each hour with a different tone. The 11am hour is more conversational, with longer segments and interviews. The noon hour, though, remains as a straightforward newscast as it has for over 30 years.

 

Having the same anchor team for the 4 and 5 to do the same style of show for two straight hours just doesn't feel right, in my opinion. That time of day, when comparing to the other stations, doesn't lend itself to a long block of news, without anything to break it up, be it a shift change or the network newscast in the middle. As for the 9 & 10, I don't think the latter should exist. Unlike the other newscasts, it's a ratings flop and doesn't really bring anything new to the table that we didn't see at 9 (like half the broadcast is sports and weather). Speaking of, the 10 has, for some reason, inclined the producers to mess with the long-established 9 o'clock format.

 

Finally, what is the point of starting the 10 at 9:57? I understand that might be a way to mooch off the 9's ratings, but who are they targeting with the early start time? If they're trying to pick up some network viewers, they'll miss the first few minutes, but if they're trying to maintain the 9 o'clock viewers, they're not really giving them much reason to stick around, outside of the occasional special segment.

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As the 9 & 10, I don't think the latter should exist.

 

I agree with that. They've had a 9 o'clock newscast for years. A 10 o'clock news isn't necessary. I get they're trying to compete with the other Chicago stations, but they should stick with their 9pm news because that seems like the biggest newscast of the day in terms of ratings next to the morning news.

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Finally, what is the point of starting the 10 at 9:57? I understand that might be a way to mooch off the 9's ratings, but who are they targeting with the early start time? If they're trying to pick up some network viewers, they'll miss the first few minutes, but if they're trying to maintain the 9 o'clock viewers, they're not really giving them much reason to stick around, outside of the occasional special segment.

 

It's a common Trib strategy I also see on WITI. Shows like "How to Get Away with Murder" use the full hour for their plot, but you have some shows on NBC and CBS that fade to black around that time and for a procedural, you often don't need to see the "next time on" promo, so they figure those viewers go right to the Trib station. It's a bit odd, but it works a little.

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Frankly, WGN should just can the 10pm news and maybe run a sitcom or two in that slot. As for what to run in the 7-9 timeslot when not airing sports, maybe WGN could run movies (or maybe some of WGN America's original programming) and do something similar to the "Dinner and A Movie" concept on TBS.

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There were some interesting teasers at the bottom of Feder's notes this week... WGN is actually considering Bozo, according to insiders who also indicated that the next year could be "a game changer in more ways than one."

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There were some interesting teasers at the bottom of Feder's notes this week... WGN is actually considering Bozo, according to insiders who also indicated that the next year could be "a game changer in more ways than one."

I probably am in the minority here but I think this is a bad decision and I hope that they flop as an independent station. I wonder if there's some kind of clause that would allow the CW affiliation to revert back to them if independence doesn't turn out so good.

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can they afford to do a reboot when it probably wouldn't get enough kids or will it just be another E/I fulfillment like the final years of Bozo?

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can they afford to do a reboot when it probably wouldn't get enough kids or will it just be another E/I fulfillment like the final years of Bozo?

 

Bozo 2.0 will have to follow some new guidelines.

 

*Bozo will need an app.

*Bozo will have to be LGBT friendly and have a trans "friend named" Bozina.

*No more "whiteface" because some bozo on facebook is gonna make it all racial.

*Bozo will have to change is name to "Alex" or "Josh" because some bozo on Facebook keeps bringing it back to race.

*Bozo will need an in-house band https://www.facebook.com/INSANECLOWNPOSSE/

*Bozo can run as a third candidate this 2016 election.

 

I just hope the Bozo crew won't repeat the tragic events that occurred during the recent Howdy Doody reboot when dozens of children were stricken with allergy's in the "peanut gallery" during a terrible peanut butter & jelly snack time prank.

 

Oh the humanity.

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