Ron Magers goes out a winner in ABC 7 ratings

Ron Magers (May 25, 2016)

Ron Magers (May 25, 2016)

Ron Magers delivered a pitch-perfect farewell and a larger than usual audience to close out the May rating sweep on a winning note for WLS-Channel 7.

The veteran anchorman’s final 10 p.m. newscast Wednesday easily won its time period for the ABC-owned station, with a 10.0 rating (347,520 households) and 18 percent share — up 28 percent from its average for the month. Magers retired after 35 years in Chicago television news, including the last 18 at top-rated ABC 7. Continue reading

Robservations: ‘You & Me’ loses an hour

Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow

Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow

Robservations on the media beat:

Starting next week, there’ll be less of “You & Me” on WCIU-Channel 26. Weigel Broadcasting is trimming its weekday morning talk-and-entertainment show from three hours to two. “You & Me” will air from 6 to 8 a.m., with the syndicated “Dr. Phil” returning to the 8 a.m. slot. The move is part of an effort to realign programming on The U in advance of the fall season, according to Steve Farber, senior vice president of operations at Weigel Broadcasting. Hosted by former Chicago radio personalities Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow, “You & Me” debuted in 2009 and expanded to three hours in 2014. In the May Nielsen sweep, the show averaged a 0.2 rating (6,950 households) — half the audience it had two years ago. Continue reading

The best man

Ron Magers

Ron Magers

“I hope that what I do is without pretension . . . the most straightforward, understandable way. I also hope that I think on my feet in breaking situations. I also hope that I will hold our staff’s work up for view in the best possible light. I hope I’m here for the long run.”

With those prescient words Ron Magers described himself to the Chicago Tribune in 1982 — less than a year after he arrived from Minneapolis to join WMAQ-Channel 5. Continue reading

WTTW cited for ‘serious’ safety violation

Window to the World Communications

Window to the World Communications

Chicago public television station WTTW-Channel 11 has been slapped with a fine for violating workplace safety requirements at its North Side headquarters.

Following up on an employee complaint, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited parent company Window to the World Communications for what it called a “serious” violation involving four scaffolds in Studio D of the Chicago Production Center at 5400 North St. Louis Avenue. Continue reading

Eric & Kathy nominated for Radio Hall of Fame again

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart

Will this be their year? Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart, Chicago radio’s most successful morning team for more than 20 years, have been nominated again for the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Twenty-four nominees in six categories were announced Monday, including a second appearance by the durable morning duo from Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary WTMX FM 101.9. Last year Eric & Kathy lost out in the balloting to Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander of Los Angeles. Continue reading

‘Chicago’s Very Own’ WGN declares independence from CW Network

WGN studios

WGN studios

Tribune Media flagship WGN-Channel 9 declared its independence Monday by dropping its affiliation after 10 years with The CW Network.

Starting September 1, “Chicago’s Very Own” will return to its roots as an independent station with a fully local programming lineup. Additional news, sports and syndicated programming are expected to replace the network shows in primetime and on weekends. Continue reading

Robservations: CW Network losing WGN affiliation, moving to WPWR

The CW Network

The CW Network

Robservations on the media beat:

In a rare change of network affiliations in Chicago, the CW Network will move this fall from Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9 to Fox-owned WPWR-Channel 50, sources said Sunday. The switch, expected to be announced Monday, will return “Chicago’s Very Own” to an independent station with a strictly local programming lineup, starting in September. Tribune Media still owns CW affiliates in 12 other markets, including New York and Los Angeles. Formed in 2006 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS, the network includes such primetime shows as “The Flash” and “Jane The Virgin.” In addition to two hours in primetime each weeknight, CW also programs five hours of children’s programming on Saturday mornings. Sources said the move to WPWR, low-rated sister station of WFLD-Channel 32, is expected to mean a shift of less than $4 million in revenue. Continue reading