Friday, January 31, 2014

Media Spotlight--January 31

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Leslie Harris to WCKG
Most recently she's been rockin' at the River in Naperville. WCKG announced yesterday that she will be WCKG's director of community programming. That station (1530 AM) is attempting to focus on hyper-serving the suburbs. I previously interviewed Leslie back in 2011.

~Jim Ramsey Health Update
Robert Feder tracked down WGN Channel 9 weatherman Jim Ramsey to find out why he hasn't been on the air these past few weeks during a terrible stretch of Chicago weather. He had a very strong flu, and will be back this weekend. Details at the link.

Broadcast News

~CNN to Relaunch "Inside Politics"
Another day, another CNN ever-so-slightly-rearranges-the-deckchairs story.

The Pundits

~The Republican Party Boycotts MSNBC
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is behind this boycott, presumably because he's outraged (Outraged!) about a tweet that mocked conservatives (The tweet was: "Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.") In my book "$everance" I tried to point out to conservatives that Fox News isn't the conservative answer to the mainstream media by creating something to show them what the liberal version of Fox would actually look like. It was satire in 2007, but it exists for real now; MSNBC. Now you've got something to balance...and boycott. At least the outrage (Outrage!) is semi-plausible now, even though things are said on Fox News every day that are just as offensive about liberals.
--By the way, MSNBC fired the tweeter, which is something Fox would never do in similar circumstances.

The Radio Biz

~Bob Uecker cuts back on his 2014 schedule
Give the man a break, he's 80 years old. He'll be doing fewer roadtrips this year with the Brewers. When I'm in the car in the summer I can pick up the Brewers broadcasts occasionally. It's always entertaining to listen to Uecker.

~Pandora Stock Surges
Tom Taylor has the info in his NOW Newsletter: " A Goldman Sachs report pushes Pandora stock up 11% yesterday, to a new all-time high of $36.53. The stock went public in June 2011 at $16 a share and soon wilted below $10. Yesterday Goldman analyst Heath Terry suggested that as Pandora gets a handle on content costs and sells more of its short ads, the stock could double over the next couple of years. The one-day stock-price gain was $3.61. Yesterday's action was likely helped by favorable ad-revenues reported by Facebook, which lifted the market in general."

~The Lone Ranger (radio anniversary)
I worked with John Landecker for ten years and he constantly talked about his love of "The Lone Ranger". He grew up near Detroit (where the Lone Ranger began on the radio), and he and his grandfather bonded while listening to it. The full story of the radio origins of that great series is at the link (Indian Country)


~The Tonight Show Move Causes Layoffs
164 positions were eliminated in the move from Jay Leno's Los Angeles to Jimmy Fallon's New York. The article linked here is in the Los Angeles Business Journal. I'm sure there will be a similar number of jobs created in New York. Look for that news in the New York Business Journal.

Social Media

~Facebook doesn't consider itself a media company
It's a conent company, according to Facebook executives. Granted, it's your content and my content, but it is content. Not to quibble or nitpick, but it's called social media, Facebook, not social content.