Chicago’s ABC Station Braces For Loss of Oprah, AMC and OLTL; Recalls How Frons Destroyed At The Movies

ABC’s decision to cancel All My Children and One Life to Live isn’t just impacting fans.  According to the Chicago Tribune, WLS-Ch 7 has been the city’s most watched news operation since the 1980s, but with The Oprah Winfrey Show ending in May and AMC and OLTL canceled, the station is being forced to adapt to its new reality. However, it is taking the upheaval in stride.

"I'm not sure this is any bigger than some of the other challenges we've faced, certainly if you look at my tenure here," said Emily Barr, who this month marks her 14th anniversary as WLS' president and general manager. "We had to make changes early on when I first got here. The whole anchor team changed. Think about that."

The article then goes on to point out one of Brian Frons’ other blunders.

Some might recall it was Frons who, in the announcement of Disney's 2008 "At the Movies" divorce from the film critics Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, said that "with the addition of Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz as our talented, charismatic new co-hosts, and exciting new segments planned, we're confident that audiences will be enjoying 'At the Movies' for many years to come."

Lyons and Mankiewicz were canned a year later. Disney's syndicated version of "At the Movies" was axed the year after that.

11 Responses

  1. Profile photo of GLTURNS70

    They are not saying that Fron’s said that. They are saying that Fron’s assisted in the break down of their local station. I will maintain that ABC daytime will never recover from this shakeup. CBS had the good sense eto break their shows up a year apart local Affiliates are Losing their mind and rightfully so Its no easy being the Number One Network when those faithful viewers run away.

  2. Profile photo of met

    Wasn’t it Oprah’s decision to pull the plug on her own show?
    Or was it Frons’ who decided to end Oprah’s show.
    I can’t see Frons telling Oprah that she has to go.

  3. Profile photo of keanna

    LIving here in Chicago, Oprah was a lead-in for the VIew, now when Oprah ends a talk show that will be hosted by a former ABC 7 Chicago sportscaster Brian Chavilrini and former WGN TV traffic reporter Val Warner at 9am in the fall, then the View, then the local news, then after the daytime line-up, it’s Inside Edition at 3, Jeopardy, at 3:30, and then the local news. I think that AMC and OLTL consistently won its time slots here in Chicago. So I don’t think it will hurt their line-up that much, I think most of us will end up switchng over to cable and not the local competition, so I don’t think WLS has too much to worry about.

    As for at the Movies, it was a Chicago main stay, and if it was Frons who pull the plug, well karma will get him in the end.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Oprah is not an ABC show. It’s a syndicated show. It may air on an ABC AFFILIATE in Chicago, but in other cities, she could also be on a CBS, NBC or other affiliate. Frons has no control or authority over Oprah.

  5. Profile photo of RealityCheck 33
    RealityCheck 33

    Brain Frons: The Man Who Killed ABC TV Daytime and Local News! Just you wait and see. This will be a disaster for ABC, a total disaster and Frons will be out in a year. ABC will regret this insane move for many years to come.

  6. Profile photo of maxsmom

    On the View this morning Barbra Walters said that Frons was near tears in making the announcement about the end of soaps when the ladies were lamenting the fact that both soaps had been neighbors and Sherri was talking about growing up with her grandma watching AMC. I may be cynical on the matter but it felt like Barbra supporting Frons because of his constantly stating that the View is the blueprint for the new shows.

  7. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    I think she was just being a loyal ABC employee. Frons gassed Barbara’s “male View” pilot idea, so she can’t be his biggest fan right now.

  8. Profile photo of Thomas

    Oprah leaving to on her own she focusing more on Own her new network I don’t think Mighty O is what Jamey on here calls would listen Frons told she was Fired she would probably look at him a laugh at him.

  9. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    Yeah here her syndication happens to come on ABC Channel 7 Oprah, The View, All My Children, OLTLive, GH, is the line depends on who picks it up where my Mom lives she comes on NBC I think but its not ABC.

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