In this edition of the Six Pack: The biggest Oprah Winfrey diss ever, Chicago's news media possibly aiding and embedding a cover-up by city officials, and a sequel of a series that turned out not to be a sequel after all:
WFTV and Bob Jordan. WFTV news director Bob Jordan (no relation to WGN-TV's Robert Jordan) gave perhaps the biggest Oprah Winfrey diss ever when asked by Orlando Sentinel's Hal Boedeker about why the ABC affiliate decided to drop repeats of the now-defunct The Oprah Winfrey Show for extended coverage of the Casey Anthony trial:
“We’re here to serve an audience. The market has more interest in Casey on trial than in repeats of a show that has been canceled.”
Burn! Laugh out loud funny!
Of course, other stations and a local cable news channel in Orlando were running coverage at 4 p.m., a time period Oprah once ruled and WFTV was still airing repeats of the now-ended talk show. As everyone knows, Ms. Winfrey decided to end her show to focus more on her new cable network (which is tanking in the ratings.) But the quote Mr. Jordan gave was hilarious and brillant! It just goes to show you how much the local station community "loved" her all these years, especially when those license fees started getting way too expensive and her show's value as a news lead-in declined.
Cable's upfront. Once questioned by advertisers because of questionable content, Cable TV may sweep up in the coming upfront with big price increases, thanks to the growing popularity of reality TV series and the agencies finally tuning out the whining of the likes of the Parents Television Council and Rev. Michael Pflager (each are on rather shaky ground). On the other hand, society's acceptance of these shows means the apocalypse may soon be upon us.
Jane Lynch. The Dolton native and star of Fox's Glee has been tapped to host the 92nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Fox September 18 - certainly a great honor! Hopefully, she'll leave the megaphone at home.
The Chicago news media. Didn't WFLD once have a marketing slogan on "Asking the Questions?" Well, where were the questions by some media outlets on why the city evacuated North Ave. beach on Monday and bought the city's cock-and-bull story about the beach being closed because of people having heat-related issues (isn't the beach meant for escaping the heat?) Callers to WLS-AM and WVON-AM, and the Sun-Times and a news report on CBS 2 pointed out the real reason for the beach closings: an approaching "flash mob" of gang members looking for trouble. Kudos to the Second City Cop blog for calling the media out for their BS reporting on the matter. I hope this is remembered come license renewal time, because local stations are supposed to serve the public interest - not the lying government bureaucrats.
Aqua Unit Whatever. Adult Swim announced last month it was changing the name of Aqua Teen Hunger Force to Aqua Teen Unit Squad 1 and bringing back the detective format it abandoned after three episodes. Instead, the only thing that's changed is the name and theme song, while the format is similar to what it was when it was still called Aqua Teen - akin to Valerie's Family changing its title to The Hogan Family and nothing else. Still love Aqua, but Adult Swim needs to realize this isn't 2003 and this type of "April Fools'" marketing it pioneered years ago is now completely dated. Here's an idea for the next name change: how about Aqua Fraud Hunger Force?
PBS. Tough week for the non-com programming service: your website is hacked by intruders who put up a fake story about the late Tupac Shakur living it up in New Zealand and then the Governor of Florida vetoes the state's PBS funding, and now are considering airing commercials. At the rate things are going, PBS may vanish before The CW does.