T Dog’s Six Pack: Picking up the slack

A record-breaking finale for "The Walking Dead".


With Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman ending his business of sports blog, T Dog Media is now the only place to get your weekly winners and losers fix. Only there’s six items – three winners and three losers. And mostly doesn’t deal with sports. Okay, sometimes it does.

Incidentally, credit for T Dog’s Six Pack should also go to Kansas City Star TV Critic Aaron Barnhart

(where’s he been lately?), who did a weekly “What’s Working/What’s Not Working” column on his TV Barn website for a few years.

So to continue the tradition, here’s this week’s winners and losers in the world of media:


The Walking Dead. The season finale of the AMC zombie fest blew away the broadcast network competition Sunday night with a series-high nine million viewers, with six million of them in the prized adults 18-49 demo. (Dead’s 4.7 rating in adults 18-49 beat every Big four network program Sunday evening.) The program was up 32 percent in total viewers, adults 18-49, and adults 25-54 in its second season. Impressive!

Monday night fights. So the broadcast networks got whopped by the zombies the night before. But Monday night, CBS, NBC, and ABC drew more than 30 million viewers Monday night with diversified choices like The Voice, Dancing With The Stars, 2 Broke Girls, and Two And A Half Men. Too bad every night can’t be like this.

WGN Radio. Okay, it’s still the oldest skewing station in town. But its still on top – finishing first overall, with the new Jonathan Brandmeier morning show scoring a 91 percent increase from what Greg Jarrett earned last year in adults 25-54, according to the February 2012 Arbitron PPMs. Other local PPM winners include WTMX, WVAZ, WDRV/WWDV (all three tied for first in adults 25-54), WLUP, WKSC, and WLS-FM (and the lone loser is – well, yours truly won’t mention them or their call letters because of Prop 101 – named for the frequency this outlet is on. Besides, you know what station I’m talking about… remember “winning radio”? And with the exception of any major news regarding these guys, or an uptick in ratings, Prop 101 is in effect.)


Chicago Police. You can read my latest Think Tank for more on the detainment of two local television journalists (WGN-TV’s Dan Ponce – whose father is Chicago Tonight host Phil Ponce – and WMAQ videographer Donte Williams). And this on a weekend where ten people were murdered and over forty were shot.

Survivor. It seems like they’re changing the format every week now – and viewers aren’t responding. Since the controversial episode where Colton Cumbie forced Bill Posley out two weeks ago, ratings have dropped 13 percent in the adults 18-49 demo, finishing with a 2.8 rating this week. With Colton thankfully out of the game (due to a medical condition), ratings may pick up. However, the constant changes (switching the tribes last week and merging them this week) sends a message that Survivor producers don’t know what they’re doing, and they are doing nothing but confusing viewers at this point. Next week, look for Survivor: One World to change locations from Samoa to Seattle.

Sh*t Geraldo Rivera Says. On Friday’s Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel, the longtime “journalist” said the reason for Treyvon Martin’s death was the hoodie he wore when he was gunned down by a “neighborhood watch captain” in Sanford, Fla. last month after he came back from a convenience store in the rain. Rivera said that parents shouldn’t let minority kids wear hoodies out in the street (Treyvon Martin was African-American.)

This idiotic statement came as no surprise from a person who practically invented “tabloid journalism” and earned a living exploiting people on his daytime TV talk show in the 1980’s and 1990’s (Geraldo is a proud member of the T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame.) How ironic I mentioned his show in a recent Think Tank regarding the media business, race, and Survivor.

I guess Geraldo and Colton have something in common after all.


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