T Dog’s Media Notepad: A Tronc war breaks out

Can’t we all get along: With the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, leave it to those idiots at  Tronc to ignite a war between the two cities’ newspapers – given the company runs newspapers in both cities. On Friday, overrated Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke wrote a column bashing Los Angeles, saying the city is a epitome of “smog and failure”. On Saturday, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez fired back bashing Chicago – but someone who runs the paper’s Twitter account sent out a message mocking the city’s murder rate.


The tweet was deemed insensitive – especially in light of a mass shooting that happened Saturday in Los Angeles in which three people were killed and twelve people wounded.

The Los Angeles Times deleted the tweet and apologized.

Is this “the future of content” Tronc keeps yammering about in that bullshit video everyone mocked earlier this year? Inciting columns mocking another city, dragging out old cliches and tropes as if it were still 1982? There is nothing original about neither piece – particularly Huppke’s, whose columns are basically unreadable, as is much of the Tribune (or the Times for that matter.) Sadly, this is what passes off as “journalism” in 2016 -nothing but cheap heat that generates views and brings out morons in their respective comment sections.

Moreover, the intern who operates the paper’s Twitter account who sent the tweet didn’t realize there’s still a major gang violence problem in South Los Angeles and in Watts – if he/she cares to begin with. Many areas in South L.A. still haven’t recovered from the 1992 riots – or the 1965 Watts riots for that matter.

But of course both papers are owned by Tronc – whose CEO is the idiotic Michael Ferro. As the neglective parent they are, maybe Tronc should send Lopez and Huppke into their respective rooms without their supper.

The sooner Gannett takes over this abomination and embarrassment of a company, the better.

woodstockNew show update: The numbers for new shows Conviction and No Tomorrow are in, and they are not encouraging. For ABC, Conviction first two episodes have averaged around a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49, down from its Dancing With The Stars lead-in. Conviction is also down double-digits from last year’s time period occupant Castle, which was canceled in May. Meanwhile, No Tomorrow on Tuesday nights began with a 0.5 and dropped last week in its second airing to a 0.3. If it drops further, look for CW to pull it soon. Too bad – yours truly thought No Tomorrow was quite enjoyable.

On the other hand, NBC’s This is Us seems to be the real deal: the program scored its highest ratings yet: a 4.2 with live-plus-three day (delayed viewing) factored in – and it is improving over its Voice lead-in. Other well-performing shows to look out for include CBS’ Bull and Kevin Can Wait.

la-et-st-harry-connick-is-ready-to-talk-20160802-snapSpeaking of new shows, let’s see how new daytime talk show Harry is doing. So far, not bad: the show is averaging a 1.3 household rating and averaging a 0.7 rating in the key female 25-54 demo, tying for ninth place with veterans Jerry Springer, Maury, and Wendy Williams.

But the real question is: with all the attention focused on the NFL and its ratings declines, how’s daytime holding up? Given the competition from cable news networks with the Presidential race – ratings spike every time Donald Trump takes the stage (like he did numerous times this week) – there has to be some impact in the ratings. Right now, the performance of several series varies – many talkers like Dr. Phil are holding their own but a few courtroom shows have slipped.

This situation somewhat mirrors the same one faced by stations, advertisers, and syndicators in 1995 – many shows – particularly new talkers – stumbled in the ratings due to the waning days of the O.J. Simpson trial – which had viewers flocking over to CNN and Court TV. When the trial finally wrapped up on October 3, 1995, up to six rating points were up for play, according to now-defunct trade magazine Electronic Media. In the end, Phil Donahue retired, all of the new talkers failed, and Rosie O’ Donnell’s show hit it big when it debuted in June 1996.

When the Presidential race wraps up on November 8 – a week into sweeps – will we see a similar shift? Stay tuned.

"I'm so excited..." Really.
“I’m so excited…”Maybe too excited.

Onto the local scene, two iHeart-owned radio stations made changes their nighttime shifts recently: Beginning Monday, Erik Zachary moves from evenings at country music station WBEG-FM (Big 95.5 FM) to Top 40/CHR outlet WKSC-FM (Kiss 103.5 FM) in the same capacity, though his five-hour shift starts an hour earlier (6 p.m. as opposed to 7 p.m.). Replacing Zachery in evenings at WEBG is Emily Bermann, who takes over the 7 p.m. to midnight shift. Also, Bermann has been promoted to Assistant Program Director at WEBG.

The moves comes as iHeart Media is shoring up its jock lineup opposite CBS Radio, who competes with iHeart in both Country and in Top 40/CHR. On Monday, WBBM-FM announced they added a new evening personality (Corey B ) to its lineup as they continue to trail WKSC in the ratings.

With many young people abandoning live, prime-time TV…why not?