Thursday, February 13, 2014

Media Spotlight--February 13

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

~Bill Applegate Retiring
He hasn't been in Chicago for years, but the former Channel 2 and 7 boss had some success when he was here. Robert Feder has the details at the link above. If you ask me (and I know you didn't), some of his contributions to the business are the very things I now cannot stand about local news. From Feder's column...
He sent millionaire anchorman Walter Jacobson, disguised in beard and tatters, out on the street as a homeless man. He “suggested” that his female anchors ditch their tailored suits in favor of tight-fitting silk blouses. He ran nightly lottery drawings during the news, punctuated with flashing lights and pulsating music. And above all, he emphasized stories about crime, sex and celebrities ad infinitum.

The Moguls

~The Comcast/Time Warner Cable
I can't imagine that this is going to be approved. Watch Comcast CEO Brian Roberts talk right out of his ass during this CNBC interview (CNBC is also owned by Comcast). He calls it "pro-consumer" (Hah!) and "pro-competitive" (bigger Hah!). Even the interviewer, who you have to remember is talking to his own boss on the air, can't let the "pro-competitive" line go without asking for an example. Look for another few million e-mails to flood the FCC inboxes. Consumers have caught on that monopolies are nearly always a bad thing...and in the media they are a REALLY bad thing.

~As the Rupert Turns
Rupert's Tony-Blair-Lusting Wife gets the 5th Avenue Apartment in the divorce. He completed the paperwork yesterday. Details at the Real Deal. I also found this little tidbit about Rupert funny. He took Buzzfeed's "Which Billionaire Are You?" quiz. Turns out, he's Rupert. Don't know why I found that so humorous, but I did.

The Pundits

~Could Joe Scarborough Really Run For President?
He was on Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday and wouldn't rule it out. Sounds like he's seriously considering it. If he's smart, and I know he is, he won't announce until the very last second. As soon as he announces, he loses his gig. You can't be on the air every day while you're running for office. It's an unfair advantage, and will not be allowed by the FCC.

Broadcast News

~Dallas Sportscaster Reacts to News About Gay Football Player
It probably says more about me and my own biases than it does about him, but I fully expected deep red Texas to react differently to the news of the first openly gay football player. Bravo to Dale Hansen. I agree with just about everything he says here...

~ABC Reporter Dan Harris Admits To Drug Use
He wasn't busted, and he was never publicly shamed, but he did once have an on-air panic attack during Good Morning America that made him examine his use of cocaine and ecstasy. He didn't need to tell this story, but I always think it's helpful for those in the same situation to see they aren't alone.

~Soledad O'Brien Teams Up With Google
First Katie went to Yahoo! and now Soledad is going to Google. I must admit I'm not quite sure how all of this is going to work. In my defense, it sounds like they're not quite sure either.

The Radio Biz

~Scott Shannon Didn't Really Retire
According to this piece in the New York Daily News, it sounds like he will be reemerging on the radio elsewhere soon.