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Weigel Broadcasting To Rearrange Channels/Schedules For Its 5 Chicago TV Stations

Weigel Broadcasting has announced its plans for this busy month of December. Those plans involve delaying its national launch of the brand new Me-TV Network by one week. For Chicago, it also means the launch of "U Too" and a complete revamp and reshuffling of its stations shown here and their schedules.

The new Me-TV national network, previously thought to kick off on December 8th, will now kick off on December 15th. Chicago's Me-TV will now be the same as the national feed. That will set off a chain of events and needed changes here, all beginning on December 15th.

The only station that will not see any major changes be WCIU-TV, aka "The U." It will still be seen on Channel 26.1 and for now, its schedule remains basically the same. It has a new group of subchannels below it, however.

Making its debut Wednesday early next month will be the brand new "U Too" station, seen on 26.2. This new station will air a lot of the same programming that is found on "The U" and some that was previously on "Me-TV," but at different times. Syndicated shows such as "The Steve Wilkos Show," "Jerry Springer," "Punk'd," "America's Court with Judge Ross," "Judge Karen," "Judge Hatchett," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "Reba," "The Gossip Queens," and "The Doctors" will become staples of weekdays. Weekends will see some old favorites airing, along with a back-to-back Saturday afternoon scary movie presentations by Svengoolie & Elvira. Weigel has picked up a Canadian talk show called "Steven & Chris," as well as the Discovery Channel's "Cash Cab" (although "Cash Cab" will not start until January 10th). Disappointing, but not unexpected, is the amount of infomercial time carved out on "U Too," most of which is overnight. The "U-Too" station will not be seen on DirecTV, Dish, or AT&T U-Verse.

UPDATE 12/13/10: The "U-Too" channel will not be making its official debut until January 5th. Until it is ready to launch, channel 26.2 will just be a simulcast of channel 26.1. The only difference will be the airing of some DePaul basketball games this month on channel 26.2, including a pair of games this week, on 12/14 and 12/18.

This now pushes Me-TV down to channel 26.3. As previously mentioned, Chicago's Me-TV will air the same national feed that the rest of the country sees. Chicago's Me-TV used to be primarily comedies, with "Me-Too" airing mostly dramas. This split began in September 2009. The new national Me-TV is a mixture of the two, though.

"Me-Too" will now be seen on 26.4. This channel will have the local shows previously seen on Me-TV, such as Rich Koz's "Stooge-A-Palooza." Many of Me-TV's comedies, which are not part of the national network, will now be seen here. The revamped "Me-Too" will no longer be all-drama. In fact, except for some hours in evenings and on weekends, the station will be primarily showing half-hour comedies. The "Me-Too" station will not be seen on DirecTV, Dish, or AT&T U-Verse.

"Me-Too" has access to much of the Sony and NBC Universal programs that Me-TV used to show, but no longer can once it goes national. Tribune Broadcasting's "Antenna TV" - a new competitor to "Me-TV" - has the agreement to show those programs nationally. With "Antenna TV" set to air next month on channel 9.2, that means some of the same programming will be shown on two stations in Chicago, 26.4 and 9.2, but at different times. Shows such as "The Three Stooges," "All In The Family," "The Cosby Show," and "Rosanne" will be able to be seen on both stations.

"This-TV" now shifts down to 26.5. The classic television show channel will continue to show classic movies, specials and shows, not seen on television in many years. The "This-TV" station will not be seen on DirecTV, Dish, or AT&T U-Verse.

Essentially, with the new "U-Too" being placed on 26.2, shifts Weigel's other subchannels of WCIU-TV down by one. Back in early October, Weigel announced it was going to place it's new "U-Too" station on subchannels 26.5 and 26.6, and removing the brokered foreign language channel FBT. Instead, "U-Too" moves to the logical location of being directly under "The U," causing the other shifting of subchannel locations. Weigel Broadcasting will no longer use the digital subchannel 26.6. FBT has ended its broadcasting on the Weigel subchannel this month.

Starting December 15th, the schedules for these stations will be all new. To see the programming & times, click on the links below to view and/or print PDF versions of the schedules:
The U's schedule
U-Too's schedule
Me-TV's schedule
Me-Too's schedule
This-TV's schedule

On December 15th, those watching these channels via an antenna will need to rescan their converter boxes or digital televisions in order to see all of the new stations in their new locations.

Those who use cable or satellite systems will need to contact their providers to find the correct channel locations for their area. In some cases, especially for those who use satellite, some of the channels will not be seen at all, although that could change in the future. Many of the new channel locations can be found on this handy PDF chart which can be found HERE. Also, for those with Comcast Cable, most of the channels will be shifting to new locations on January 20, 2011, when Comcast rearranges its line-up. The stations will be found then in the mid 350s.

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If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!