T Dog’s Grab Bag: ChicagoSide shuts down

Also: Fox swaps for San Francisco’s KTVU. Seattle next?

Indianapolis TV station under fire for interview

Wil Wheaton’s new show fails to find an audience

chicago-side_logo_1575x225 In a shocking (and sad) move, it appears sports website Chicago Side has closed its doors after just two years. Founded by author/journalist Jonathan Eig and Sol Liberstein, ChicagoSide featured long-form articles about the local sports scene.

In the beginning, ChicagoSide hired former Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti among others (leading to a scathing review of the site from yours truly), but he only wound up writing two articles. The quality of the site did improve, and became one of the better local sports sites. Later, ChicagoSide entered into partnerships with the Sun-Times and other local publications.

But a lack of advertising revenue doomed ChicagoSide, and Eig sold the site to a New York-based ticket broker in March. Shortly thereafter, the site stopped updating and was taken offline a few weeks ago. Eig hopes to retrieve the articles from the site, for archival purposes.

KTVU_2 Fox made another station purchase recently, acquiring San Francisco affiliate KTVU and independent KICU in a swap with Cox Communications for Boston’s WFXT and Memphis’ WHBQ. The deal, no doubt was made so Fox can own a station in another NFC market – this time home of the San Francisco 49ers.

This is the second time Fox has sold WFXT – the Boston Celtics bought the station in 1990 because Fox’s owner at the time (News Corp.) also owned the Boston Herald and owning both wasn’t permissible under cross-ownership rules. After unloading the Herald, Fox reacquired WFXT in 1996.

WHBQ was purchased in 1995 and switched to Fox on December 1, ending a 39-year affiliation with ABC. WHBQ was once owned by RKO General.

There is no doubt Fox wanted a station in the Bay Area – home of the 49ers and Fox has rights to NFC games. With the swap for KTVU, Fox now owns stations in fourteen markets (including WFLD here) where NFC teams reside. Next target is likely Seattle, where KCPQ is owned by Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting and home to the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.

Cox has owned KTVU since 1963; the Oakland, Calif.-based station was best known for carrying San Francisco Giants games and having one of the highest-rated Ten O’Clock news in the country among independent stations. Fox has been affiliated with KTVU since 1986.

sCzXz3oT A local TV station in Indianapolis is in hot water over interviewing family members of a murder suspect. CBS affiliate WISH-TV ran an interview Sunday night featuring the family of Major Davis Jr., who is accused of murdering IMPD officer Perry Renn in the line of duty Saturday night. The family talked about how Davis’ father was gunned down by police when he was a kid, and said Renn should have stayed in his police car when Davis was waiving is gun.

As you would guess, viewers were up in arms over the piece; many voiced their disapproval on social media and in comments sections of WISH’s website.

On Monday, WISH news director Steven Bray addressed the negative comments on the station’s website, saying it was the station’s job to present a balanced view and both sides of the story. His remarks were greeted with guess what? More criticism. Judging by the comments, one would think WISH’s news department was run by Bonnie Franklin and Dwayne Schneider.

WISH is/was owned by Indianapolis-based LIN Broadcasting, which recently merged with Tampa-based Media General.

Look, covering urban violence isn’t easy – ask any journalist here in Chicago where its a fucking daily occurrence and then some. WISH did what they had to do – even if the family’s comments were beyond idiotic (and they were.) Their job isn’t to put out a news product to please people. If that were the case, WISH and other news stations would be out of business.

A talk of a boycott by whiny commenters isn’t likely to move the ratings needle – despite falling out of first place a few years ago, WISH is still a strong news station in the market, finishing only behind NBC affiliate WTHR. We’ll see how many of these “boycotters” stick around when the Colts return to WISH this fall.

This tweet made my day when it was posted on July 2:

The Wil Wheaton Project obviously stalled at the starting gate and earned the same 18-49 rating Mancow (another waste of an individual) usually gets locally.

Isn’t revenge great?

Grade A AssholeIf you recall, yours truly and Wheaton got into it during the Stanley Cup Playoffs resulting in him blocking me on Twitter. I retaliated by blocking him and trashing him in this post.

It is so satisfying to see this self-appointed “King Of The Nerds” knocked down a few notches. This isn’t a show about nerd culture – its nothing but Bloopers and Tosh.0 all spliced into one.

The golden rule is this: it always pays to be nice to your Twitter followers – a concept a fucktard like Wil Wheaton doesn’t seem to grasp.