By Alan Pergament
There won't be a second season of "The Arsenio Hall Show," which is carried locally at 11 p.m. weeknights on WNLO-TV, the LIN Media station that also goes by CW 23.
The trade publication The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reported the end of Hall's syndicated show, a reversal of an announcement in February that it would get a second season.
THR blamed the cancellation on the decisions of station groups LIN Media, Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune to give Hall's show less desirable time slots on their stations in the fall.
LIN Media, which also owns Channel 4, had originally wanted to carry Hall's show here last fall at 10:30 p.m. after WNLO's popular 10 p.m. news. But that plan was rejected by the syndicator, CBS Television Distribution, which meant Hall's show got a weaker lead-in than it would have received from the news.
In January, WNLO expanded its 10 p.m. news to an hour, which also gave Hall a weaker lead-in for his 11 p.m. show than it would have had if it started at 10:30 p.m. because the second half-hour of news gets a much smaller audience than the first half hour.
At 11 p.m., Hall had to compete with local news on three network affiliates that collectively get higher viewership here than local news in many markets. It also competed at 11 p.m. with "Conan" on TBS and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Comedy Central.
And then at 11:35 p.m., it competed with the network shows fronted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman, as well as "The Colbert Report" on cable's Comedy Central. With Stephen Colbert replacing Letterman some time in 2015, Comedy Central plans to replace his show in January with "The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore."
Needless to say, all the late-night competition would have been a tough challenge for anyone here and nationally.
The decision on what will replace Hall's show on CW 23 won't be made here. LIN Media will make the decision for all the stations in its group if it hasn't made it already.