The Fox follies continue

The official Fox Chicago News mascot.

Remember when I wrote a think tank on WFLD’s news ratings struggles earlier this year? Well, you’ll be happy to know that things haven’t changed – if fact, they’ve gotten worse:

During a report on how the struggling economy was affecting gift-giving during this holiday season on Tuesday night’s 9 p.m. newscast, WFLD co-anchor Robin Robinson obviously blurted out there was no Santa Claus:

Robinson continued on, saying children needed to be told about Santa Claus as soon as possible (great way to destroy a child’s innocence.) The following night, Robinson apologized to the station’s viewers (I know what you’re saying… what viewers?)

Of course, this comes after many angry phone calls and e-mails.

And you thought WFLD’s lousy newscasts couldn’t get any worse. News flash: they actually did.

In an item in Robert Feder’s column at Time Out Chicago on Thursday, WFLD was besieged with technical problems during Wednesday’s noon newscast.  Among them: a satellite interview with TMZ’s Harvey Levin (whose TMZ on TV airs on the station weekdays at 5:30 p.m.) was abruptly cut off shortly the interview began. Co-anchors Patrick Elwood and Jan Jeffcoat (seriously, why is she still here?) spent the end of the newscast apologizing for the errors. With ratings for its noon newscast down 42 percent from last year – and the rest of its newscasts doing no better, one would wonder why boobs Mike Renda and Carol Fowler still have jobs.

Meanwhile, the Fox follies weren’t limited to Chicago. On the same night Santa-gate gate broke here in Chicago, Fox’s KTTV in Los Angeles was dealing with something much more serious: the station’s live coverage of the LAPD’s raid on an Occupy LA encampment in downtown Los Angeles was roundly criticized, particularly on Twitter. A tweet from a Variety editor Staurt Oldham noted KTTV anchors were slamming the occupy protestors of not voting and lacking education (nice to see the Fox News style has finally made its way to the O&Os.) Whether it may be true or not, this is  something you shouldn’t say on the air – especially on a local newscast.

And that’s not all: In Boston, Fox-owned WFXT is feeling backlash from viewers over a story involving a local teacher’s alleged appearance in three gay porn videos. The clip below from WFXT seemed very one-sided:



WFXT made the story seem quite sleazy and tabloidish with the predictable “outrage” from parents – and failed to mention the teacher had support from other parents and the school’s students.

With Santa-gate and KTTV’s journalistic debacle on Tuesday night, one could wonder if the braintrust at Fox Television Stations have the lights on. The station group is among one of the worst-run in the industry – the recent renewals of very low-rated Anderson Cooper’s and imbecile Jeremy Kyle’s talk shows are proof of that, not to mention mismanagement of the ten My Network TV stations (does My Network TV even still exist?)

But hey, what else you expect from a network that foists such pretentious crap on us in prime-time such as Allen Gregory, The Cleveland Show, Terra Nova, and I Hate My Teenage Daughter? And thanks to its outright refusal to cancel ratings loser Allen Gregory, Fox’s Sunday night animation block has sprung a ratings leak. As I stated last week, Fox is known for keeping underperforming properties – and people. If it weren’t for American Idol, The X Factor, and the NFL, Fox would be right in the cellar with NBC (yes, I know Fox beat everyone else in the adult demo by two-tenths of a ratings point over CBS. Big frickin’ deal.)

Out of this, we have a nifty programming block for WFLD  on Wednesday nights: I Hate My Teenage Daughter followed by Fox News Chicago at 9 p.m. Station management can market this as The Programming Block From Hell. Who knows? In fact, just change the name of WFLD’s 9 p.m. newscast to I Hate Fox Chicago News, and turn it into a sitcom , since the elements of WFLD’s newscasts are sitcom-like anyway. Just add a laugh track and replace Robin Robinson with Jim Belushi and no one would know the difference.