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"Monsters & Money" to end its run as Channel 2 plans new early morning show

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WBBM-Channel 2 's early morning show "Monsters & Money in the Morning," will end Aug. 27. The station is developing a new, as yet untitled early morning show that will debut Aug. 30. Steve Bartelstein, a Chicagoan who had been working in New York for WABC-TV and then WCBS-TV, will relocate to Chicago to front the new newscast, a WBBM station spokeswoman said. Bartelstein left WCBS in 2009, and had been looking for a new assignment since then. The rest of the early morning team that will work with Bartelstein is still to be determined.

WBBM's new early morning show will be more traditional in format than "Monsters" was, but still different enough to offer an alternative to what is currently available, station sources said. And Channel 2's new early morning show will start at 4:30 a.m., the start time that is now the new norm in the Chicago market for early newscasts.

The fate of the four "Monsters" anchors, including Sun-Times columnist Terry Savage, Mike Hegedus, Dan Jiggetts and Mike North, is unclear, but sources said it's possible one or more of them will continue to work at the station.

"Monsters" lasted just seven months. Its ratings were abysmal, about half of the already minuscule numbers WBBM was pulling in the early morning time slot before "Monsters" debuted.

WBBM general manager Bruno Cohen and news director Jeff Kiernan hoped they could give Chicagoans something different, but most viewers rejected the roundtable format with hosts discussing finance, sports and other news of the day. If nothing else, Cohen and Kiernan may have learned a valuable lesson about how far from the traditional news formats Chicagoans are willing to venture. There were also complaints from viewers that one or more of the hosts were missing from the show too often during its brief run.

8 Comments

I'm sorry to see the show get cancelled. I really started to enjoy watching it. I will especially miss Mike North and his sports analysis.

I personally enjoy the traditional news format. While watching "Monsters & Money in the Morning" I really felt out of touch with what was happening in the Chicago area and elsewhere in the world. I did not enjoy the occasional 30 seconds or so that was presented as "news". I felt overwhelmed by all the "sports" news. I miss seeing Don S. in the morning ... can't he be brought back on a regular basis?

I look forward to seeing the new format on 8/30/10.

Good riddance to this awful show. Hasn't Mike North outstayed his welcome in Chicago by this time? Who exactly enjoys watching/listening to this guy and his clownish comments and abrasive demeanor? Given his level of patience over the years dealing with this buffoon, Dan Jiggetts should consider a career in diplomacy.

What a loss. I never have watched TV in the morning until Monsters and Money. I have really enjoyed the information and analysis, as well as the interactions of the panel. Bad choice to cancel!!!

This is a great loss I learned a lot from your staff that did this program. They will be greatly missed you can get the regular news on any channel like your putting on now!!

What a disappointment to wake up to the same old same old this AM - I will miss M & M - it was a very enjoyable way to start the day! Since the programming on 2 is now the same as EVERYWHERE else I might as well head to 7.

I agree "professor" North during BB season was reason for me to turn the set off a bit.

How does Mike North continue to get gigs in Chicago? And why does Dan Jiggetts still agree to be his partner? I don't get it.

Why is anyone surprised north can't read so how can he discuss money? What a joke that this moron still gets work!

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on August 12, 2010 11:48 AM.

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