Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Leaving Las Vegas

NBC's Las Vegas is returning for season 5, but without James Caan who's leaving, and Nikki Cox, who was let go because of budget cuts.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Congratulations to Jennifer Hudson for her win for Best Supporting Actress in the movie Dreamgirls from everyone here at The T Dog Media Blog. Thanks for making Chicago and the South Side proud! Keep up the great work!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Jennifer Hudson's acting coach

Jennifer Hudson of course, did a lot of things here in Chicago before she hit it big in Hollywood. But what a lot of people do not know that she got her acting start at ETA Creative Arts in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side, coached by a person I got to know while I was taking writing classes there.... (and he is still inspiring young actors today!)

Link: WFLD-TV report from Mark Saxenmeyer

Link: WMAQ-TV report from Art Norman

Univision smacked with $24 million fine

It's not nice to fool with mother nature.. or the FCC - even in Spanish. As a condition of a sale of the company to private investors, Spanish-language Univision is expected to pay a record $24 million dollar fine to the FCC for educational children's shows violations - including passing off an adult telenovela (Complices al Rescate or "Friends to the Rescue") as children's programming.

It's a pothole on a road that's been smooth for the Spanish-language broadcaster this season. The network has outperformed new entities The CW and MyNetworkTV in adults 18-49 and has occasionally beaten one of the big four networks in the demo in head-to-head competition.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's official: Grey's Anatomy has jumped the shark

After the stunt in which Grey apparently drowned while rescuing people from a ferry boat accident, she "survived" on Thursday Night's episode.

Wow! It's a miracle! It's amazing!

It's a bunch of crock. Thursday's episode was about as predictable as Mayor Daley winning next Tuesday's election. We all knew they weren't going to kill off the lead character of a TV show. They could have come up with something better than this.

And further conformation of this shark jump comes from the guys who invented the phrase. Jon Hein and the boys at Jump The Shark report that the Death stunt got the most votes on the Grey's Anatomy page, "jumping" over the "Never Jumped" category, which now is in second place.

Add to that off-screen controversies involving Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey, and volia! You have the next Designing Women or Laverne & Shirley, two shows notorious for off-screen battles (and as a result, the quality of the programs suffered on-screen.)

And TV critics like Diane Werts of Newsday are getting fed up as well.

But what's that you say? Thursday's episode posted the highest ratings for any scripted show this season. So? People aren't necessarily flocking over to Entertainment Tonight to check out Jann Carl's hot body (ha, ha) these days, are they? (It has something to do with one person named Anna and another named Britney.)

It's like that TV commercial for McDonald's, where people do stupid stuff because they didn't eat that new honey mustard wrap. It seems the Grey's Anatomy writing staff missed snack time.

So start writing the obituaries for Grey's people. It's all downhill from here. It's only a matter of time before the Cook County Board takes over the writing staff, and the show will slide even further. Or has that happened already? I hear that next week's episode of Grey's Anatomy is written by Todd Stroger.

Friday, February 23, 2007

T Dog Media Blog Think Tank: Could XM and Sirius merge mean more consolidation?

On Monday, the nation’s two satellite radio providers announced a merger. XM and its only other competitor, Sirius, will get together in a deal that will mean that will be only one satellite radio provider.

XM was founded in 1988 as American Mobile Satellite Corp. and incorporated in 1992. Sirius was founded in 1990 as CD Radio. Both companies beat out others to get the two satellite licenses the FCC made available in 1997.

When both services launched early this decade, listeners paid money for access to commercial-free music, sports, news, and exclusive talk. Then they started shelling out more money for premium talent, giving them exclusive channels. The companies paid oodles to Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg to create exclusive content; while the companies continued to lose money and subscriber growth has stalled. Both services have yet to show a profit – in fact, their losses have only accelerated.

And now, the companies want to merge – but instead of seeing themselves as competition – they see the bigger picture –the larger scope of all music competition: terrestrial (traditional) radio, iPods, MP3 players, Internet radio, CDs, and music you can listen to through your cell phone.

But is this a good idea? While some consumers believe they might wind up being the biggest losers (especially if prices go up), could there be a possibility that all of broadcasting might lose?

A few months ago, the FCC outright rejected the possibility of any merger between the two satellite radio companies. On Monday, FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin stated that the merger faces a “high hurdle” if it ever was going to go through. The merger also faces scrutiny and approval from other various governmental agencies. Not only that, the merger would also have to face approval from Canada’s CRTC (the country’s version of the FCC) since XM and Sirius also operate in Canada (though the companies are structured differently.)

But let’s visualize for a minute if the merger went through and it creates a satellite radio monopoly. Terrestrial radio companies, like Clear Channel will argue that they want to buy more stations. Since the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which allowed media companies to buy more stations, Clear Channel has merged with several radio companies, creating the nation’s largest radio chain, with more than a 1,000 stations, with the company owning as many as eight stations in a single market.

Then television station owners might seek to have the ownership caps thrown out. They might argue, “If the satellite companies can merge, why can’t we own more stations?” And so on, and so on. Then those companies would like to se the cross-ownership rules end, meaning companies can own a newspaper, radio station and TV station in the same market. The current law prohibits such a combo, unless grandfathered in. And so on. And so on.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is the National Association of Broadcasters’ position on the XM-Sirius marriage. The powerful lobby group has been against satellite radio from day one, because they feared that that the new technology would erode radios’ audience share. In a press release, they pointed out that the service would be a monopoly and is a reward for making Howard Stern its poster child. The NAB believes that terrestrial radio and satellite radio should be on the same playing field.

So since when the NAB care so much about satellite radio customers? They don’t. All they care about is basically, if they are free to merge, why can’t any of the companies we represent? Since the 1996 act, we have seen decreases in local programming on television and radio, the creation of mega-companies such as Clear Channel and Sinclair, where the bottom line has become more prevalent, and elimination of jobs.

And what about mentioning Howard Stern as the poster child of satellite radio? Please. We’ve seen a rise in tasteless programming on broadcast television, not to mention on radio, even without Stern. We’ve seen news departments eliminated, more tabloid-like newscasts (where a story on Britney’s head shaved is just as important as a county budget battle), more and more commercials, and the proliferation of garbage talk-radio shows, where attacking someone – especially on race and gender - is the norm. The general public sought and found alternatives – causing an erosion of television ratings and radio shares – some of the industry’s own making. And the NAB wants those FCC rules on station ownership to be either loosened more or thrown out altogether. Never mind it was loosing these rules in the first that made the programming less diverse and blander.

In an era where aspiring artists and indie bands are putting their material on YouTube and MySpace, the NAB still thinks the artist community owes them something. One would think it would be a matter of time before these idiots go after them as well. The NAB could care less about the consumer or the local communities. More mergers for media companies = the more profits for them.

The NAB has a lot of nerve saying that the satellite industry is asking for a government bailout when they themselves are looking for one. What a bunch of hypocrites.

So where do we stand on all this? It’s best to say that this is going to be a long, tedious process. The opportunists are already out there pouncing. It’s up to XM and Sirius to prove that this can work. So go for it. Satellite radio is an emerging technology, and should not be held to the same standards as terrestrial radio. After all, a combined XM-Sirius is still better than the slop terrestrial radio continues to serve us every day.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

NBC Tower top site for "Crosswords"

The NBC Tower (home to WMAQ-TV here in Chicago) appears to be a leading candidate to land the production facilities for the new game show from Merv Griffin and syndicator Program Partners, Let's Play Crosswords, which made a deal on Tuesday with five NBC O&O's, including WMAQ here. Robert Feder in today's Sun-Times has a little more on the deal, including a possible early-afternoon time slot for the show in Chicago, which could air at 1p.m.

Currently, Jerry Springer's talk show tapes at NBC Tower as well as Judge Mathis, and is the home of Steve Wilkos' new talk show, which will debut this fall. Other syndicated programs that were taped there included former daytime talker Jenny Jones, and a late-night comedy sketch show, Kwik Witz.

The last game show taped in Chicago was one for the Illinois Lottery, which ran on local TV from 1989 to 2000.

CBS, YouTube fail to come to agreement

Another setback for YouTube: CBS and Google-owned YouTube have failed to come to an agreement over an extension of an existing deal that would allow clips of the company's shows to be streamed on the popular video-sharing site.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the disagreement was over how long the deal would be.

This comes as big media companies are increasingly becoming antsy about unauthorized clips appearing on the site. The companies want YouTube to develop software to keep pirated clips off the site, which they have yet to do, which is one of the reasons why Viacom walked out on negotiations with Google and asked them to pull all of its clips off YouTube.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The latest on the case of Mencia v. Rogan

This case has taken an odd turn: Remember the video that was posted on YouTube featuring Carlos Mencia being confronted by Joe Rogan and was taken down by Mencia because he claimed a copyright violation? According to Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star, it turned out that the clip was actually taken down by Viacom - Mencia is under contract to Viacom and appears on Mind of Mencia which airs on Viacom-owned Comedy Central. Viacom ordered YouTube to pull all of its clips two weeks ago. But the video is still available on Rogan's MySpace page (as well as this site.)

In a somewhat related note, Viacom made a deal with upstart clips site Joost, to provide clips of MTV Networks programming, and Paramount Pictures.

Meanwhile, Mencia is being vilified by his fellow comics and internet webheads for stealing other comics' material, and Rogan was dropped by his agent (who also represented Mencia ) and was barred from The Comedy Store, the venue where this incident took place.

Mencia appeared in a BudLight commercial (one of the few well-liked) that aired during the Super Bowl.

I don't know about you, but isn't this feud better (and funnier) than Rosie vs. The Donald?

Let's Play Crosswords

And that's what Program Partners, Merv Griffin, and the William Morris Agency will do this fall as five NBC O&O's have agreed to clear the new game show for next fall.

The stations are: WNBC-TV New York, KNBC-TV Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV Chicago, KNTV San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, and KXAS-TV Dallas.

NBC Universal will sell the barter time within the program. (That's the spots to sell to national advertisers.) No word on how many that will be, but it is expected to be a minute-and-a-half a day. The program is sold on a cash-barter basis. No word on what time periods the show will air.

The parties will also jointly develop a broadband offering for the station's websites.

Merv Griffin created many shows throughout his career including Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, two of the most successful game shows on the air. Griffin also created Dance Fever (The Dancing With the Stars of its day), Headline Chasers (a 1985 game show), and hosted his own long-running talk show.

There was a similar crosswords game show called Cross-Wits that aired in syndication during the 1986-87 season, ironically on those same NBC-owned stations in the top three markets (albeit after 1a.m.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

ABC in trouble?

While nobody would notice here in Chicago since everybody (except when American Idol is on) watches ABC 24/7, TV Week is reporting that ABC's ratings nationally have dropped from first to third in thirty-five days. The network is now tied with NBC in the money demo (adults 18-49).

While ABC's core shows are still strong (though Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty are starting to creatively spring some leaks - they are starting to Jet the Blue), ABC has struggled with new shows this season by canceling five of them, the most of any network.

(By the way, Jet the Blue means Jump the Shark... Just ask anyone who had to deal with JetBlue lately...)

It's official: XM and Sirius to merge

If this comes to pass, they'd better hope the Republicans are in control of Congress and the White House in 2008.

XM Press Release

There will be a joint conference call and press conference to announce the deal at 7:30 am (CT) Tuesday. You can listen to it on Sirius Channel 122 and XM Channel 200, and available on each satcaster's website.

He Gone! (and don't hit your butt out the door)

Another one of Mark Shapiro's prodigies goes bust: Michael Irvin is out as analyst on ESPN.

XM, Sirius to merge?

That's what this New York Post article says.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Old rivals square off again

Before there was Fox vs. CNN, there was Fox vs. Tribune - a rivalry on the same level with the Bears vs. Packers, with both entities owning television stations in the top three markets. (Bill O'Reilly is no fan of the Tribune Co., occasionally blasting the company's newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune - I wonder why he doesn't blast its rival, the Chicago Sun-Times. Hmmm....)

Anyway, the Tribune Co. has filed a lawsuit against News Corp. , owner of the Fox News Channel, telling them to stop using the name Red Eye as the title of its new late-night television show, because the Chicago Tribune claims copyright over the name because it uses it for its daily free paper distributed here in the Chicago area.

Marv Dyson's Legacy

Former WGCI mogul Marv Dyson was profiled by WBBM-Ch.2 on their newscast Saturday Night, detailing his 40-year career in the business - which included his start at WJPC-AM and moving on to WVON and later FM market leader WGCI. During his time at those stations, he helped groom personalities who later became urban radio's biggest stars -a list that includes Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, and Howard McGee. Dyson now is director of operations at WKKC-FM, Kennedy-King College's urban radio station on Chicago's South Side, where he's grooming radio's next generation of stars.

To read the article and to watch video of the report, click here.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Celebrity Comedian Smackdown

No punches were drawn (rats), but comedians Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia) and Joe Rogan (Fear Factor, The Man Show) square off at The Comedy Store in L.A. over Mencia stealing Rogan's jokes...

And Rogan's agent dumped him because of it... (not to mention he is now banned from The Comedy Store)

But wait... This gets better. Video of this event was posted on YouTube.....

Only to be taken down because Mencia claimed a copyright on the video....

On a video that clearly shows him stealing other people's material.

In other words, Mencia pulled a V of Doom.

L O mother f'n L. Can't wait to see how this one turns out....


Photo courtesy of WMVP

Chet gets cocked! Local sportscaster Chet Coppock was attacked outside the Allstate Arena Wednesday night after the DePaul-Marquette basketball game. An arrest has been made in the case.

NBC moves Jordan

She thinks can fly.... to another day and time. NBC is moving Crossing Jordan from Sundays to Wednesday where it will air at 8pm (CT). The late winter moves also affect the second airing of Deal or No Deal and The Apprentice. To see NBC's press release on the changes, click here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Idiot fest 2007

Or, more likely put it, Donald Trump appearing on WWE Raw with the head of the WWE, the only other billionaire just as clueless as Bill Wirtz - especially after that stupid wrestling match he put on between "Donald Trump" and "Rosie O'Donnell" a few weeks ago, not to mention letting Kevin Federline -yes, that Kevin Federline - pin WWE champ John Cena. (I'm sure glad I bailed on the WWE years ago like I did on the Hawks - both are worthless pieces of shit, run by pieces of shit...)

And to the guy who wrote this review of Raw... I think it would be a good show too, if I only spent all my free time masturbating while looking at photos of Paris Hilton or Bea Arthur....

(To all you remaining WWE fans, I know the show didn't air yet, so don't click on the link if you haven't... Wait a minute. What the hell do I care if you do or not?)

CoCo's gone, too

I guess the wicked weather isn't the only thing hammering Chicago... another person got canned today which scores the hat trick - this time it's CoCo Cortez's afternoon show at WLIT-FM.

These things do come in threes...


CBS Corp. has sold its last remaining small-market station: It dealt WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wis., and its satellite station WJMN-TV to Liberty Media Corp. for $170 million in cash and 7.6 million shares of CBS stock. This comes after CBS sold a bunch of medium-market stations to Ceberus Capital Management, including KUTV in Salt Lake City and KEYE in Austin, TX last week.

Liberty Media also announced that they have purchased the Atlanta Braves from TimeWarner, and also purchased three regional sports channels from News Corp. - FSN's Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain, and Northwest channels, as well as DirectTV.

The CBS affiliation will stay with WFRV. When CBS bought the station in 1991, the station was an ABC affiliate owned by Midwest Communications. The station was a NBC affiliate from 1959-83, and was with ABC from 1955-59.

Emmis fires PDs at WLUP, WKQX

Mike Stern of Q101 (WKQX-FM) and Tim Dukes of the Loop (WLUP-FM) are out, and Radio & Records is reporting on their front page that the positions are being combined into one.

The alternative and classic rock formatted stations, respectively, have struggled in the ratings in the last few years - to the point that both stations have fallen out of the competitive loop. Q101 isn't even in the top 25 anymore. And this is a station that was in the top 5 a dozen years ago.

In the words of Mediaweek's Marc Berman, Q101's format is "waiting for the axe to swing".

And as for Cara Carriveau, who was canned from The Loop last year for writing a letter to Feder's column criticizing the radio business (and now has since landed a gig at WTMX) - she's got to be feeling good right about now.....

Updated at 3:15pm on 2007-02-13.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Picture of the day

Taken from the Trib's website: The 1st annual Tractors On Parade Over the Eisenhower.

Jammin' Oldies is back (updated)

I guess you can't keep a bad format down for so long.... WILV, 103.5 The Beat, oops... I mean 100.3 LoveFM launched a new ad campaign and website designed to boost its sagging numbers... That's a great "what worked in 1999 can work in 2007 approach." Yeah, and there was a dot-com bubble then too.

On the bright side, former WLS-AM personality Tommy Edwards (and current Bulls' home game PA announcer) has been named new morning personality.

updated at 11:53am on 2007-02-13

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Enough already!

Ah, the rare Sunday post...

Can anyone tell me why NBC is airing a Blackhawks-Blue Jackets hockey game this afternoon? (Given the NHL's stupidity, it's no surprise.) Can anyone tell me why the Bulls have three straight national TV appearances in which they lost two in a row and will likely lose tonight at Phoenix? Haven't our city's image suffered enough with the Bears in the Super Bowl last week?

Oh, do I long for the days when the Cubs and Jim Belushi were the lone embarrassments...

But at least we're not Boston... You can bet your Lite-Brite on that.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Good Survivor, Bad Survivor

Much like Chicago Bears QB Rex Grossman, many are wondering which Survivor will show up - Good Survivor - the one that's a money demo powerhouse and a program that genterates plenty or buzz. Or it is Bad Survivor - a program that continues to fall in the ratings each time it premieres and erodes from tougher competition, including NBC's sitcoms and ABC's Ugly Betty.

Last night, both showed up.

Good Survivor - the program won its time period with a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49, and had the most total viewers (16.7 million viewers to Ugly Betty's 14.3 million.)

Bad Survivor - the program also scored its lowest ratings ever, was beaten by Ugly Betty in the overnights (9.9 to 9.6), and Betty did not show any erosion in adults 18-49 from the previous week. Plus in New York City, Entertainment Tonight on WCBS-TV drew more viewers than Survivor did (thanks to the death of Anna Nicole Smith.)

But one thing is certain: Survivor will return next fall to CBS, which may be not the case for Rex Grossman of the Bears.

New links on the right

We're adding two new media news links on the right: TVNewsday, a new website that mixes in original reporting and linked stories from other sites. The editor and publisher of the website is a familiar name to Broadcasting & Cable readers: Harry Jessell, who was a reporter and editor at the magazine from 1978 to 2004, is editor and publisher of TVNewsday. The website is updated continuously updated, twelve hours a day, every business day. Registration is required, but it's a good site, so it is more than worth it.

Also, we're adding Media Life Magazine, which reports on all kind of media including television, newspapers, radio, new media, research, and billboard advertising.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

DaVinci's back for more

The series may have ended in its native Canada some time ago, but the program continues to roll on in the U.S.: DaVinci's Inquest, the former CBC drama featuring Nicholas Campbell as Vancouver's coroner, is returning for a third season in syndication. Program Partners has cleared the procedural drama in 98 percent of the country including all top 20 markets.

DaVinci's runs locally at 1:30am Mondays on WGN-TV.

The program was inspired by the life of Vancouver real-life coroner-turned-mayor, Larry Campbell (no relation to Nicholas.)

The third season in the U.S. also includes the short-lived DaVinci's City Hall, a spin-off which featured Campbell as the mayor of Vancouver. That program ran for only thirteen episodes on CBC during the 2005-06 season. It'll run under the title of DaVinci's Inquest.

Running canceled spin-off series under their parent's names in syndication is nothing new. In the 1980's, reruns of former first-run syndicated Ted Knight Show ran in cash syndication as Too Close For Comfort, the series the Ted Knight Show spun-off of (actually continued as) in 1986. Knight ended that year after series star Ted Knight (who also headed Too Close For Comfort and of course, was an Emmy winner as Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show) passed away.

Anna Nicole Smith Dies

The former model and Playboy Playmate and reality TV star (E!'s The Anna Nicole Smith Show, 2002-04) was found dead in a hotel room in Hollywood, Fla. this afternoon. She was 39.

Link: Chicago Tribune

Link: Entertainment Tonight

Touchtone Television becomes ABC Television Studio

In a move that will also likely mean the end of the Touchtone and Buena Vista names (as far as television is concerned,) The Walt Disney Co. has renamed its network TV unit ABC Television Studio and its Buena Vista Games video game unit to Disney Interactive Studios. This comes as Disney wants to streamline its media properties to fall under the core brands of Disney, ESPN, or ABC.

This may also mean a possible name change for Buena Vista Television, the Walt Disney Co.-owned syndication unit. It is clear that the networks want their network names back in syndication (as in CBS Films, NBC films, and ABC films, the syndication units the networks operated until fin-syn arrived in 1970.) Already, CBS ditched the King World and Paramount names for CBS Television Distribution, and Universal Television became NBC Universal Television Distribution after General Electric, which owns NBC, purchased Universal Studios in 2004. It would make sense for Disney/ABC since the other nets have done it already.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Super Bowl Ads: Super Duds

More on the Super Bowl ads, which became a super joke:

- Phil Rosenthal wrote in the Tribune that the like the Bears, the ads fell short of goal, especially the ad, which ditched the popular monkeys for workers in the jungle. (Personally, I wish they would put more effort into making a better connection between job seekers and employers, instead of focusing on cutesy gimmicks like monkeys, workers in the jungle, and the "Age-O-Matic.")

- Lewis Lazare of the Sun-Times also expressed disappointment with the ads, stating that cheap is in (pointing out it cost only $12 for that consumer-generated Doritros ad to make) and quality is out. (Also in that article, Lazare explains how Frito-Lay's other spot - one focusing on the first African-American coaches in the Super Bowl was made on the South Side of Chicago with little time to spare.

- While that consumer-generated ad for Doritros on YouTube won the SuperVote content, Tivo users said something different: Carlos Mencia's Bud Light ad was tops, followed by another Bud Light ad, Rock Paper Scissors, and FedEx's moon ad.

- That same Doritros ad also placed first on IAG Research's list of best liked Super Bowl ads, while Bud Light's ad featuring a guy with an ax and another guy with a chainsaw was the most-recalled.

- And now, they're scanning your brains: FKF Applied research studied which brain regions were most effected by the Super Bowl ads, and this year, anxiety won out. The research company also pointed out that advertisers "went overboard" in capturing viewers attention this year. (Well, duh...)

I guess Snickers really doesn't satisfy you

- And now, it's getting worse. Because of complaints by gay rights activists, Mars, Inc. has pulled a Snickers ad that ran on the Super Bowl and torpedoed the website related to the ad, and now GM is under pressure from a suicide prevention group to pull an ad featuring a robot who kills himself after he gets laid off.

I guess those two ads alone sum up this year's Super Bowl ad experience.

Super Bowl Ratings Box

Interesting observations about the Super Bowl XLI ratings:

- The game averaged a 42.6 rating and 64 share, according to Nielsen - the highest rated Super Bowl since 2000. The game itself pulled in 93.1 million viewers - the third most-watched television broadcast of all time - behind the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983 (The all-time champ with 105.9 million viewers and a 60.2 Nielsen rating and 77 share) and Super Bowl XXX, where the Cowboys-Steelers drew a smidge over 94 million viewers.

-The game averaged a 50.2/77 in Chicago and a whopping 55.5/79 in Indianapolis- highest rating ever for any event in the Circle City. Ratings peaking at 8:15 in Chicago with a 51.9/76, while in Indianapolis, ratings peaked there at 9:45 with a 61.6/84. (in the Mediaweek article, the story incorrectly states that Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals featuring the Bulls was the highest rated Chicago program of all-time ratings wise, when it was the Bears Super Bowl XX victory - 63.1/87.)

- Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder reports that the Bears' appearance in the Super Bowl this time around, fell short of the 1986 ratings when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. However, what he didn't mention is that the event pulled in more viewers and more homes than Super Bowl XX and the way homes are measured now are different now than they were back then (Ed Sherman pointed that out in the Trib.)

- The ratings will be a windfall for CBS' WBBM-TV in Chicago and LIN's WISH-TV in Indianapolis. Both set rating records for its stations with the Super Bowl, and both adding millions to its ad revenue coffers thanks to the big game and the special programming surrounding it. CBS affiliates in both Illinois and Indiana will also benefit from the success of the Super Bowl.

CBS sells TV stations

CBS Corp. announced today it is selling seven of its owned and operated stations to equity-firm Cerberus Capital Management for $185 million dollars. The deal includes CBS affiliates in Austin TX, Salt Lake City (and its satellite station), CW affiliates in Providence and West Palm Beach, along with two low-power stations in the latter market.

Surprisingly, CBS did not sell its station in Green Bay, Wis.

Official CBS Corp. press release

And the YouTube Supervote Winner Is....

Best Super Bowl Commercials

[This was originally posted Monday night, but was taken down because of technical and editing problems - but it's back up now -enjoy! :0) ]

A little footnote : This isn't the most creative batch of commercials to come out this year. The effort -much like the game - was sloppy. On that note, here are the The T Dog Blog's Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials (counting down, of course):

To see these ads, just click on the links:

10. Live the Flavor (Doritos): Guy gets into fender bender while looking at girl and eating Doritos. Girl goes and help guy. Girl slips and falls while trying to help guy. The rule: Don't Doritos and Drive.

9. Orange County Chopper (HP): Cool animation in this one, which features (the body at least) of one of the stars of American Choppers, which airs on Discovery.

8. GM-We're obsessed with quality : Yes, even a robot isn't immune to the layoffs at GM. (This commercial has since changed - click on the link and play ad from AdAge website)

7. Boogeyman (Emerald Nuts) : Remember, several Emerald nuts a day will keep old washed-up performers away. That means you, Eddie & JoBo.

6. Hard To Say Goodbye (NFL): Great ad with Brett Favre at the end, though it probably would have been more effective if he'd actually retired.

5. Dalmatian - Spot Week (Budweiser): The dog that didn't get any respect finally gets some - by being at the right place at the right time.

4. Bank Robbery (E* Trade): So... that's what the banks have been doing to us for years... Down on the floor. DOWN ON THE FLOOR!

3. Rock Paper Scissors (Bud Light): A hilarious new twist on the old game.

2. Fist Bump (Bud Light): Hilarious ad, but let's hope people slapping each other in the face like they did on Fashion House isn't the new hot trend.

And the number one ad - the best of the Super Bowl, according to The T Dog Blog, is:

1. Coca-Cola Videogame

Bad guy in one of those video games unexpectedly goes good - great spot start to finish.

But the best ad wasn't even a commercial. It was a promo for the Late Show with David Letterman featuring Dave and Oprah Winfrey on the couch watching the game with Dave wearing a Colts jersey and Oprah Winfrey wearing a Bears jersey. Classic. (You can view the promo here.)

As for the Prince halftime show, it was very good - His royal badness still knows how to get on stage and do his thing. Best halftime show since U2 a few years ago. The reviews were also surprisingly good -except for the washed-up DJs and the bimbo reality TV show rejects on the B96 morning show who trashed it. I would rather have Prince headline a halftime show than any flava-of-the-month hip-hop "artist".

Ads for the Super Bowl cost $2.6 million dollars per 30-second spot. And the best one was a CBS promo. Sad. I guess this is what happens when copywriters go to Rex Grossman for advice.

Other facts:

USA Today's annual Super Bowl ad meter showed the Dalmatian - Spot Wink spot for Bud was tops with a 8.56 score and marked the ninth year in a row that Anheuser-Busch has taken the top spot in the poll. Anheuser-Busch also took seven of the top ten spots in the poll. (The Coca-Cola Videogame ad ranked 21st.) The worst? SalesGenie, which ranked last with a 4.03 score. (That spot finished 2nd in the worst ad category.)

Bob Garfield reviews the ads on Advertising Age, where he dissed the Snickers' Brokeback Car Repair Shop ad.

YouTube is asking viewers to vote on the SuperBowl ads. The winning ad will be displayed on the website on Tuesday. As soon as the results come in, they'll be posted here on T Dog Media Blog.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Worst Super Bowl Commercials

Later today, We'll post our top ten best Super Bowl commercials (along with video of the winner), but for now - here is the top ten worst (I suppose if Rex Grossman's performance was an ad, it would easily top the list....)

Here's the top ten (we'll do the Casey Kasem style from 10 -to-1 - in the best SB commercials.)

1. Beat Your Risk (American Heart Association) - All those bad guys beating up on that heart - kinds of remind me of what the Colts did to Rex Grossman.

2. - Who and what is Anyway, the commercial sucked.

3. Car Wash (Chevrolet) - This ad, which featured topless guys washing a car with women inside, was created by a college student. I think that student should find another major.

4. The Office - Marketing (Go - This website is still around? Plus, that chick isn't hot anymore.

5. Rollin VIP (Nationwide) - Eddie & JoBo's best friend Kevin Federline is in it. All too real.

6. One Finger (E*Trade) - I would like to give the finger to the ad agency who came up with this lame commercial.

7. A Man's Work (Van Heusen) - If you want to look and dress your best - don't buy Van Heusen.

8. Not What It Seems (FedEx) - This commercial is Not Who We Thought It Was!

9. Biking (Flomax) - I rather listen to Sailing (Christopher Cross).

10. Meet The Robinsons Trailer (Walt Disney Pictures) - THIS should have been the promotion that caused that bomb scare in Boston last week. If it were, I'd be laughing my ass off.

You can view the ads at either Ad or YouTube.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bears lose

Bears lose to the Colts 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI. A Chicago team loses in a Championship game for the first time since in 15 years (Blackhawks lost to Penguins in Game 4 of Stanley Cup Finals at Chicago Stadium.)

Congrats to the Colts, and hats off to MVP Peyton Manning for playing a good game, and especially to head coach Tony Dungy (and Bears coach Lovie Smith) for their extraordinary amount of class they showed. Mr. Dungy becomes the first African-American to win the Super Bowl.

Cheer up Chicago. At least Warner Bros. canceled Dr. Keith Ablow's talk show today (see below.)

Time's up, you quack. Now get the hell off the stage.

Another one bites the dust: As expected, Warner Bros. has mercifully pulled the plug on the worthless Dr. Keith Ablow Show (And I use the term "Dr." loosely here.) This bastard, who apparently got his PhD from one of those Sally Stuthers TV commercials (The earn your degree at home one, not the starving children spot), will lose his loser talk show at the end of the season.

America stayed away from this quack, who national rating average never made it above 1.0. The program was downgraded in a few markets, including Chicago, where it was moved from 2pm to 8am.

That's three and out for syndicated talk shows this year, with The Megan Mulually Show and Greg Behrendt already canceled earlier this season. Plus, don't forget the demise of Geraldo At Large.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bears Super Bowl Fun Facts

Here how much has changed since the Bears last went to the Super Bowl:

Number of broadcast networks:

1985: 3

Today: 7

Format of 94.7FM:

1985: WLS-FM (Rock/Top 40)

Today: WZZN-FM (Oldies - the format and call letters of this frequency would change numerous times between 1985 and 2005)

Cost of a candy bar:

1985: 39 cents

Today: 89 cents

Top Sitcom:

1985: The Cosby Show

Today: Does anyone even know?

Song that was No. 1 on the pop charts:

1985: That's What Friends Are For by Dionne and Friends (Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder - proceeds from sales of this single went to AIDS research)

Today: Irreplaceable by Beyonce

Show ladies were talking about the the hair salon:

1985: Dynasty, Dallas, Knots Landing

Today: Desperate Housewives (some things never change)

Top contest show:

1985: Star Search

Today: American Idol

World Series Champions:

1985: Kansas City Royals (beat the Cardinals in seven)

Today: St. Louis Cardinals (beat the Tigers in five)

Super Bowl Champions:

1985-86: Chicago Bears

2006-07: Chicago Bears (We hope)

Friday, February 02, 2007

UFC Series cleared on Fox-owned MyNetworkTV stations - except in Chicago

The newly formed Trifecta Entertainment has sold its new syndicated martial-arts series, UFC Wired (based on the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship franchise) to all Fox-owned MyNetworkTV stations with one notable exception - WPWR-TV here in Chicago.

The deal coincides with the upstart network landing the rights to air International Fight League's Total Impact ultimate fighting series, which airs in primetime on Mondays, beginning next month.

No reason was given on why a deal could not be reached with WPWR. No word on when -or if - the program will cleared on another Chicago station.

The V of Doom smacks down YouTube

After failing to come with terms with YouTube, Viacom has ordered the popular video on-demand/upload site to remove all of its clips. YouTube is honoring the request, which will take effect immediately. That means no more clips of South Park, Daily Show or MTV content on YouTube. Tensions apparently increased after YouTube was bought by Google a few months ago, and it appears that the two companies want nothing more to do with each other.