Robservations on the media beat:
If you’re still watching WPWR-Channel 50 with an over-the-air antenna, mark your calendar for June 11. That’s when the Fox-owned CW affiliate will be moving its frequency, requiring viewers using antennas to rescan their TVs. The change was prompted by the channel’s sale in the FCC broadcast spectrum auction last year. (Here is the link for information.) “We’ve been a part of this community for 16 years, and we know that our viewers rely on us for the very best in entertainment and local sports. That’s not going to change,” Dennis Welsh, vice president and general manager of CW 50, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make this transition as easy as possible on our viewers to ensure they can keep watching the programs they love.”
Irika Sargent, the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, gets a bit of national exposure this week. Sargent will make another appearance Wednesday as guest co-host of “The Talk,” the CBS Los Angeles-based talk show airing at 1 p.m. weekdays. The Kansas City native and Cornell Law School graduate no doubt can use the extra promotion. Since Sargent joined CBS 2 alongside Rob Johnson in 2015, the station’s newscasts have continued to lose viewers. Ratings for the recently ended May sweep show CBS 2’s late news running a distant fourth — and down 50 percent in key adult demos from last year.
It’s back home to Aurora for Tom Skilling, who’s headlining a public forum on climate change, hosted by U.S. Rep. Bill Foster. The chief meteorologist for Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 will be among a panel of experts focusing on efforts to deal with related issues since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord one year ago. Free and open to the public, the event will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 1 East Benton Street in Aurora. (Here is the link to register.) Skilling, who was born in Aurora, began there in radio at WKKD and TV at the former WLXT.
Newsweb Radio’s WCPQ 99.9-FM, which aired time-brokered “Polski FM” during the day and “Dance Factory” at night, went off the air last week. Under the new ownership of Bible Broadcasting Network, a listener-supported global Christian network based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the station licensed to Park Forest will return as WYHI with a Christian ministry format. The $5.099 million sale, brokered by Robert L. Heymann Jr. of Media Services Group, was the first broadcast transaction overseen by Catherine Danz, who was named president and CEO of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp. earlier this year. “Polski FM” and “Dance Factory” continue to air on WCPY 92.7-FM, Newsweb’s station licensed to Arlington Heights.
Thursday’s comment of the day: Regine Schlesinger: Working with David Roe has been among the highlights of my career. He could do it all – writing, reporting and anchoring, with one of the most pleasant and comfortable voices and styles I’ve ever heard. Enjoy your retirement, David. And congratulations to Rob [Hart] and Mariam [Sobh], two welcome additions to the WBBM family.