Friday, April 3, 2009

Media Notes

Chicago has two major daily newspapers. Both are in bankruptcy.

CBS has canceled "The Guiding Light" after 72 years on radio and TV. Bad ratings. No replacement named yet. The last episode airs in September.

The last "ER" aired last night on NBC. The series had been on for 15 years. I tried watching it a few times, and it never clicked for me. I thought showing a lot of blood and hearing some questionable language was aimed at covering up poor story lines. Clearly, I was in the minority because the show lasted a very long time.

I once worked for a general manager who couldn't figure out how "ER" got huge numbers, and his 11 pm newscast that immediately followed didn't. I wanted to tell him, but I clammed up. I should have said something. I got fired anyway. He got canned a few years after I was shown the door.

I've been reading some newspaper columns complaining about the ABC News "20/20" "coal region" line one week ago. They don't get it. We'd learn more about ourselves and our area if we looked at how outsiders view us.

Good news and bad news: I've found something good on the radio. Unfortunately, you have to go to the internet or satellite to get it because no one around here carries it. Philadelphia native Tony Bruno does a show called "Into the Night." It's a blessing for those of us who are up late at night and early in the morning. "Into the Night" begins at 10 pm. XM picks it up at 11 pm, and carries a rebroadcast until 4 am. Sports and more.

WARM seems to be off the air more than it is on the air these days. The decline of this radio station is nothing short of tragic.

"The Washington Post" is exploring the elimination of its Saturday print edition, and charging for access to its internet site. Those moves come after yet another downsizing.

If you want to get more readers, viewers, and listeners, improve the product. Create something fresh, exciting, compelling, interesting, relevant-- a product advertisers and readers/viewers/listeners want. Unfortunately, that costs money, and money is hard to come by these days. It's a bad situation.

A major drama is playing out in Boston. NBC is giving Jay Leno a 10 pm, Monday through Friday show in September. The NBC affiliate in Boston says it won't run it. There will be a new 10 pm newscast instead. NBC is threatening to move its affiliation to another station in the city. This one will be interesting.

Television line of the week: David Letterman to Bill O'Reilly: "You're too smart to believe what you say."