Friday, February 28, 2014

Media Spotlight--February 28

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

~Tributosaurus Led Zeppelin show
I'm going to this WXRT show tonight with my 18-year-old son Tommy. It's an all ages show at the Copernicus Center. Looking forward to it. The band is led by WSCR's Matt Spiegel.


~The Oscars Will Be Streaming Live
This is the first time they are doing it. USA Today has the details at the link.

~Minecraft, The Movie
Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to make a movie based on the video game, Minecraft. I have no idea how it will turn out, but I predict everyone walking out of the movie theatre will have glazed looks on their faces and will take several hours to reacquaint themselves with the real world around them.

~Michelle Obama to Appear on Parks & Recreation
I had a feeling this was going to happen when I saw Amy Poehler at one of her events yesterday. It will be a cameo, and yes, she is appearing as herself. (Joe Biden appeared on the show last year)

The Moguls

~As The Rupert Turns
On today's episode, Rupert's right-hand woman Rebekkah Brooks admits under oath that she did pay off public officials "a handful of times". But, cue the violins, she only did this to help the public. Here's the quote:
“My view at the time was that there had to be an overwhelming public interest to justify payments in the very narrow circumstances of a public official being paid for information directly in line with their jobs. Public interest – I and everyone else always finds this a very difficult subject to address because it's very subjective depending on what newspaper or media organisation you're in. Each newspaper has its own interpretation.”

The Pundits

~MSNBC Signs Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
He's a Democrat and has been intimating that he might challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Joe Scarborough, the morning host on MSNBC, is also thinking about running in the Republican primary. MSNBC really is turning into Fox News. One of outrageous things about Fox "pundit/potential candidates" was that they were using the platform of Fox to launch their campaigns, and that's clearly skirting the spirit of the equal time rules. It's a gigantic loophole. As long as they don't officially announce, they can have as much free airtime as they want to campaign. Actually it's worse than free. Fox and MSNBC are paying them to campaign on television. Ah, but nodody seems to care, so I'll just move along now.

~Martha Raddatz To Host "This Week" Every Other Week
That's a good call by ABC. They risk killing George Stephanopolous if they don't do this.

The Radio Biz

~Jim Lange Was A Radio Guy
The RAMP Newsletter this morning reminds us that although most of us knew him as a game show host, he started and ended his career in radio...
Lange was a 15-year-old kid from St. Paul, MN who was bitten by the bug after winning an audition at a local radio station. In the early '60s Lange worked at KGO-AM and KSFO-AM/San Francisco. His big TV break came in 1962 when he was hired as the announcer and sidekick on The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. In 1965, The Dating Game debuted and Lange's fame exploded, and he hosted the show for nearly 15 years. He later went on to host Hollywood Connection, $100,000 Name That Tune and The New Newlywed Game. After more than two decades on KSFO, Lange segued to KFRC (in its "Magic 61" days) from 1987-1994 and KABL-AM from 1996 until 2005. Bob Hamilton worked with Lange at both KFRC and KABL and shared his thoughts, telling RAMP, "Jim was a talent and a superb human being. No PD could ask for a better talent. The line he used at the end of each show was, 'Always say please and thank you.' He will be missed."