Welcome to the 2021 T Dog Media Turkey Awards! For the 16th consecutive year, we celebrate the worst in media, sports, politics, and life. We have 22 entries this year and the qualifications to win an award are simple – make bad decisions, make stupid comments, stage a political coup, or just simply be a jerk. And there was a lot of this in 2021!
And the winners/losers are:
Sony, Mike Richards, and the Jeopardy! host search. Sony’s effort to replace the late Alex Trebek as host of the iconic game show turned into a farce with a ridiculous on-air guest-host search conducted by executive producer Mike Richards resulted in… Mike Richards appointing himself as host. But after comments he made on a podcast surfaced – not to mention lingering sexual harassment allegations against him when he was the showrunner of The Price Is Right, Richards was replaced not only as host but EP as well.
ABC 7 Chicago. It is unusual to see one of the nation’s best-run TV stations on this list, but bungling the firings of Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco – not to mention double-digit ratings drops in several local news time slots and cancelling Windy City Live, can land you here.
Nexstar and NewsNation. The very low-rated Chicago-based news network saw much of its staff – including president Jennifer Lyons – leave as there seems to be no direction whatsoever at the channel. For example, on Wednesday when practically all news networks had live coverage of the verdicts being announced in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial, NewsNation was airing a rerun of In The Heat Of The Night.
You Bet Your Life. Only Fox can revive a classic show – perhaps the best comedy game show ever made with Groucho Marx – and turn it into an unwatchable, boring snooze fest with youth repellant Jay Leno as host.
Money Court. This new CNBC show with Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary was basically Hot Bench with financial disputes. And look, the panel wears the same outfits every week! At least we know the show doesn’t have a clothing budget.
CNN’s History Of The Sitcom. Was it a true history of the sitcom or a criticism of it? Either way, this unneeded miniseries was a complete waste of eight hours of a subject everybody else has done before.
AT&T. While the South Side neighborhood this writer lives in suffers from inadequate internet service from AT&T (DSL in 2021!), they obviously decided to invest tons of money in right-wing news network One America News. More proof their commitment to the African-American community (similar to most statements corporate America made after George Floyd’s killing) is about as empty as the shelves were at Toys R Us during the height of the Cabbage Patch Kids doll craze.
Eric Ferguson. One of the most overrated radio personalities in Chicago radio history finally gets his comeuppance after sexual harassment allegations by several female co-hosts and staffers gets him booted by Hubbard-owned 101.9 The Mix. Good riddance.
Hubbard Chicago. And speaking of Hubbard, of course they tried to cover up the allegations of sexual harassment.
Buffalo radio personality Rob Lederman. And you don’t have to be accused of sexual harassment to lose your job in radio as Cumulus-owned WGRF-FM Buffalo personality Rob Lederman demonstrated when he compared the skin tones of black women – particularly Serena Williams and Halle Berry to – toast. As a result, he and the staff of his radio show were…toast.
Sinclair Broadcasting. A ransomware attack crippled most of their 100+ television stations nationwide, forcing local news stations to do without graphics, pre-empting syndicated programming, losing commercials (and ad revenue), and putting up with numerous technical glitches. If they only invested more in cybersecurity than in the GOP…
Bally Sports Network. Another Sinclair blunder: The regional sports network chain is in danger of going bankrupt as they are in serious debt and unable to get carriage on Dish and unable to come to terms with streamers as NBA, NHL, and MLB teams they’re affiliated with watch helplessly from the sidelines.
Tegna. Outside of Sinclair, can’t think of a crummier, poorly-run, pathetic station group than this company, who CEO once mistook a black person in a key management position at the company as a valet. And of course, the CEO IS STILL EMPOLYED. Please Byron Allen (or anyone) buy this joke of a broadcaster and put them out of their misery.
Alden Global Capital. Congratulations on destroying the Chicago Tribune, or what’s left of it.
Any Chicago politician. From Mayor Lightfoot on downward to the 50 morons in the city council, you’d wonder if the city is better off without leadership from these buffoons because basically, there is none.
The GOP. After staging a near coup on January 6, the party once defined by Eisenhower and Reagan is now some kind of right-wing militia, hell bent on destroying democracy.
The Democrats. The party’s popularity managed to plunge within a year’s time thanks to infighting and not getting things done in Congress. You’d think the party was run by Matt Nagy.
Rob Manfred, Gary Bettman, and Roger Goodell. If you want to know why sports is in decline in our country, point to these three commissioners for the reason why.
Chicago Blackhawks. Let’s see…mishandling a sex scandal, tarnishing a 2010 Stanley Cup Championship, worst season start in franchise history…it’s as if Bill Wirtz returned. The only thing missing is the blackout of home games.
Chicago Bears. What happened Tuesday regarding head coach Matt Nagy’s future explains why The NFL Lakefront Team keeps landing here year after year after year. Now they’re talking about moving to Arlington Heights. How about the Arctic Circle?
Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace. And speaking of Nagy, why is he and Ryan Pace still here? Given Nagy appeared in a McDonald’s commercial touting their employment opportunities, don’t be surprised he’ll be a shift manager at The Almighty Clown Head come January 10.
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski. And speaking of McDonald’s, a CEO specializing in serving crappy fast food to the masses is all of a sudden a sociology expert, blaming a lack of parenting for the well-publicized deaths of two children. McDonald’s should preparing to welcome Matt Nagy to their organization soon since he knows as much about football as Kempczinski does about social issues – or edible food.