Tribune Broadcasting is returning to the syndicated television business. Top brass at the company has given the green light to “The Bill Cunningham Show” following the recent pilot shoot.
The one-hour talker, hosted by Bill Cunningham, will air Monday through Friday in daytime beginning September 2011 on Tribune’s own TV stations. The company said it is currently in negotiations with distribution partners for national syndication of the show.
“Bill’s show represents a great opportunity for Tribune to get back into original programming production,” said Sean Compton, Tribune Broadcasting president of programming. “After a successful test launch we felt ‘The Bill Cunningham Show’ was a strong complement to the existing programs on our television stations,” he added.
“The Bill Cunningham Show” will be produced with a studio audience in Chicago. Even so, he will continue to host his daily radio show on Clear Channel’s WLW-AM Cincinnati as well as his nationally syndicated weekend radio show. Tribune says it will build him a radio studio at WGN-TV to make the dual-city employment work.
“I am proud to be an integral part of Tribune’s new original daytime programming initiative,” said Cunningham. “Chicago soon will be vacant of all existing daytime talk. I am humbled and honored to follow in the footsteps of the great broadcasters that filled the hallways and studios at WGN-TV’s Bradley Place in Chicago, once home to “The Phil Donahue Show.”
Cunningham, an attorney and former Ohio Assistant Attorney General, is a conservative radio talk host, but also a long time fixture and beloved personality in Cincinnati radio. Despite their divergent political views, he is a long-time friend of Jerry Springer, who was Mayor of Cincinnati before launching his TV career.