T Dog’s Four Pack

Here’s the recent list of winners and losers of the last week-in-a-half¬† – plus an extra-long rant at the end…

What worked for yours truly…


Conan O’Brien. His final “Tonight Show” drew 10.3 million viewers, with one of the classiest send-offs I’ve ever seen from a host. The result: new found respect from the public, including yours truly.

Chicago raises more than $3 million for Haitian relief.
The recent “Chicago Helps Haiti” fundraiser from our local media outlets was a big success recently. Even though we have a love-hate relationship with our local TV and radio stations, they do a great job when the call comes to help others in need.

CBS accepts Focus On The Family Ad.
Sorry lefties, but CBS made the right call on the Tim Tebow ad. Let it run.

Makers of TiVos and DVRs everywhere.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to end limits on spending on political campaigns – and who can contribute to them – means more political advertising on TV, which means more negative ads – which means a rush to the local electronics store to grab those commercial-skipping devices.

…and what didn’t


Tribune executives get $45 million bonus. Or bailout, if you prefer the term. (wait a minute… I guess they actually are “winners”.)

Jay Leno returns to the Tonight Show. And in his interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday, he admitted he lied about wanting to give up The Tonight Show. Well, now you got it back. Congratulations.

Bill O’Reilly. He’s comparing earthquake-ravaged Haiti to the South Side of Chicago now, isn’t he? The only reason why there isn’t much outrage or surprise about his comments from these parts because we already know how he feels about people of color.

It’s Jesse’s fault. First and foremost, yours truly is no Jesse Jackson fan. With that said, some of the comments on Feder’s blog and a few message boards on the reason why WGN-TV’s Allison Payne – who admitted to problems with alcoholism – and her mini-strokes – and the reason why African-Americans are hired at local media outlets in general – are because of the influence of Rev. Jackson.

Give me a break. In this era of Big Media – which is about to get bigger thanks to the Comcast-NBC Universal deal – does anyone really think one person can wield so much influence on local media outlets? Funny, I’ve never seen the Reverend try to stop any Big Media deal…. And the African-Americans who work in media outlets in Chicago and other markets made it there on their own merits, not Jackson’s.

What some of the bloggers and posters don’t tell you – and won’t tell you – is there was little outrage in the minority community when the lead anchors on the 10 p.m. newscasts slowly became all white. Why? Is it because the household shares of the network O&O stations at 10 are at 40 percent? Or is it younger viewers – especially minorities – don’t watch local news in greater numbers? Or is it the wealth of viewing alternatives in the time period, like The Daily Show and Family Guy and The Office reruns? How about at 9 p.m (when WGN and WFLD has news) where CSI: Miami, The Mentalist, and CSI: NY attract large audiences of African-Americans as does several cable programs (e.g. The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Monday Night Football)?

As I said before, Big Media needs to focus more on attracting the next generation of local news viewers instead of worrying about the racial makeup of the news team – and ignore those who are out of touch with and don’t understand today’s viewing patterns… like Jesse Jackson.