T Dog’s Grab Bag: Pas “ici” vous ne le faites pas (Not “here” you don’t)

Chicago BaseballWhen rebranding goes wrong; Cubs, White Sox drop in ratings and Dan Harmon returns to Community.

While the Blackhawks are grabbing the Windy City’s attention, the same cannot be said for the sorry Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Ratings for both Major League Baseball teams are in the toilet, as is their records. According to an article from Danny Eckerd in Crain’s, the Cubs are averging a 1.7 household rating this season on CSN Chicago, down 15 percent from last year (though among adults 25-54, ratings are up 31 percent.) The White Sox are faring worse, averaging a 1.3 HH rating, down 24 percent from last year. Both teams are in last place in their respective divisions. WGN-TV, who carries over-the-air and superstation airings of both teams, refused to release their ratings to Crain’s (translation: the numbers are probably even worse.)

The public’s apathy for both teams – and baseball in general – were on display in the comments section. But since both teams are total jokes on the field, the above photo is pretty much an accurate description of Chicago baseball in 2013. At this point, even Charlie Brown’s team can beat the Cubs and White Sox!

When rebranding goes wrong: a plan by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to rebrand Radio-Canada blew up in its face last week when it renamed the French broadcaster “Ici”, meaning “here” in French. “We want to remake Radio-Canada because more than ever it must be a living space, an open organization, flexible, and agile”, CBC executive vice-president of French services Louis Lalande told the Canadian Press. As for the meaning? “Ici is rooted in our history and in people’s memories, and is true to the personality of the public broadcaster. This term fits naturally with the platforms and reflects on the scope of the services we have to offer,” said CBC execs in a statement.

But the move angered francophone residents, since Radio-Canada (often referred to as SRC) had been a name most have associated the CBC’s french-language radio and TV services for generations.

The move also angered politicians, since CBC is a publicly funded broadcaster – accusing them of spending $400,000 on an unnecessary rebranding campaign as the CBC undergoes budget cuts, as Steve Faguy of the Montreal Gazette put it. Worse, the branding would take “Canada” out of the name, and to top it all off, the CBC is suing a start-up Montreal broadcaster, ordering it to cease using the “Ici” name – despite registering the name first.

Now the plan has been slightly scaled back, as CBC president Hubert Lacroix said the branding would be a mix of both names, as the broadcast TV network would be branded Ici Radio-CanadaTèlè and the radio network Ici Radio-Canada Première. CBC also apologized to viewers for the confusion. Ici Radio-CanadaTèlè trails archrival French-language private broadcaster TVA in the ratings in Quebec, though the once-wide gap between the two have noticeably narrowed in recent years.

But blowing away public money on a botched rebranding campaign that’s still going forward? Needless to say, Le cul de quelqu’un à la SRC devrait être mis en conserve. (Somebody’s ass at the CBC needs to be canned.)

Guess who’s coming back to run Community… none other than Dan Harmon, who was ousted from the show in the late hours of May 17, 2012. Sony made it official Monday, meaning the Milwaukee native will return to the showrunner role for the fifth season, no doubt to the delight of Community fans everywhere. Harmon mentioned he was returning to the show last week on Twitter. For the second straight season, Community has been renewed for only thirteen episodes – those will air on NBC sometime next season. Community enters off-network syndication this fall with a total of eighty episodes.

I guess you can say they’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: Katie is about
to have its third exec producer since began: ABC has brought on Rachel Miskowiec as
the new EP for the struggling daytime talk show replacing Michael Morrison, who left
to join Jeff Zucker at CNN. Zucker was EP of Katie until January, when he left to run
CNN. In fact, don’t be surprised if Ms. Couric herself winds up at CNN when her
contract to her talk show ends next year, as speculation surfaced this weekend. Three
other staff members have departed the show since Morrison announced his departure.
Whatever personnel moves taking place is nothing but resume-padding at this
point, as Katie is unlikely to last beyond September 2014.

New retro TV/lifestyle diginet Cozi has picked up several new markets, airing on the
digital subchannels of WMFP/Boston, KUBE/Houston, and KSHB/Kansas City. With the NBC-owned stations on board and other broadcasters such as WTHR in Indianapolis, the
clearence rate for Cozi now stands at 42 percent, though still far behind rivals MeTV and
Antenna TV.

For those who can’t get to TV set (or don’t have cable for games two and three), WGN-
AM (720) is airing all Stanley Cup Final games between the Chicago Blackhawks and
Boston Bruins, pushing any conflicting Cubs telecasts to WLUP-FM (97.9), according to
CRM. John Wiedeman and Troy Murray will have the call.