23 May WGN-TV/Chicago To Become Independent Station Featuring Local News, Live Sports, High-Quality Syndicated Programming
Station To Carry 150 Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Hawks Games Without Pre-Emption
May 23, 2016 — Tribune Broadcasting today announced that WGN-TV in Chicago will become an independent station in order to feature its strong local news, unique live sports inventory, and high-quality syndicated programming during primetime. The change is effective September 1. WGN-TV has been the Chicago affiliate for The CW Network, which will be moving to WPWR-TV
“As an independent television station, we’ll have the opportunity to bring more primetime baseball, basketball and hockey games to Chicago sports fans on weeknights, add some popular syndicated programming, expand our weekend morning news, and take control of all of WGN-TV’s primetime advertising inventory,” said Larry Wert, President of Broadcast Media for Tribune Broadcasting. “Importantly, we’ll also avoid having to move any games off of WGN-TV to accommodate network programming.”
Known as “Chicago’s Very Own,” WGN-TV is the broadcast home of the Chicago Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Hawks, and has the rights to carry more than 150 live games of the city’s local sports teams annually. The station produces and airs more professional sports games than any other local station in the country. Due to network programming commitments, however, the station has had to move more than 30 games to other Chicago stations in years past.
“WGN is the heartbeat of local news and sports in Chicago,” said Greg Easterly, the station’s Vice President and General Manager. “We’re very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and the freedom of being an independent station in the nation’s third-largest market.”
WGN currently delivers more than 60 hours per week of local news, sports, and weather. In the last 18 months, WGN launched weekday newscasts at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. and a weekend newscast at 5 p.m. The station’s morning news show ranks #1 in the Chicago market.
Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching more than 50 million households, national entertainment network WGN America, whose reach is approaching 80 million households, Tribune Studios, and Gracenote, one of the world’s leading sources of video, music and sports metadata, powering electronic program guides in televisions, automobiles and mobile devices. Tribune Media also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM and the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV. Additionally, the Company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds other strategic investments in media. For more information please visit www.tribunemedia.com.