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Horrors! Could Local Emmy Awards Really Be ‘Little More Than a Moneymaking Enterprise’?

Jeff-Hoover-2006-1024x677Sure, those statues are lovely to look at, and the phrase “Emmy Award winning…” does roll off the tongue, doesn’t it? But Jeff Hoover, producer at Chicago CW affiliate WGN, has had enough. “I’m done. No more. That’s it,” he writes on Facebook.

Hoover, an Emmy winner, concluded the categories are bizarre, the costs are high, and the significance of the award is questionable. And Chicago media writer Robert Feder clearly agrees, giving the illustrious “Academy” one of the strongest body checks in recent memory:

Local Emmy Awards have always been an exercise in self-congratulations, to be sure, but somewhere along the way they lost their luster — and their relevance.

Today they’re little more than a moneymaking enterprise for the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which rakes in thousands in membership fees, entry fees, dinner ticket fees, program book fees and additional statuette fees under the dubious claim of recognizing “excellence in our industry.”

It’s nice to win one, I suppose, but don’t forget that Larry Mendte won 27 during just four years in Chicago. (Altogether he claims to have 90 regional Emmys.)

Zing! Do you still enter the Emmypalooza every year? Is it truly all about honoring excellence, or more of a wine-soaked and high-priced back-slapping party?

After 66 Years, Could the Chicago Cubs Break Up With WGN?

Picture 2Few relationships in local television have been as enduring as that of the Chicago Cubs and WGN, Chicago’s CW affiliate. WGN aired its first regular season Cubs game back in 1948, and the two iconic Chicago brands have been together ever since. But now, there’s talk this weekend’s games on WGN could be the last, as the Chicago Tribune reports:

With one week left in the season, and its expiring agreement with WGN-Ch. 9, the team has yet to announce broadcast plans for 2015 and beyond. Sources say the Cubs are exploring everything from a private equity partnership to a new regional sports network, but a long-term deal may not be imminent.

History aside, the finances had not been happy for the partnership of WGN and the Cubs, with TV viewership way down–the station losing an estimated $200,000 per game, according to the Tribune.

‘Nobody f#@king Likes You,’ WGN Tries the Anti-News Promo

After celebrating “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” on Friday, Chicago CW affiliate WGN seems to be attempting to launch “International Talk Like a Sailor Day.”

After this morning’s “Viewer Feedback” segment, where viewers continued to vent on facebook about about Paul Konrad calling dolphins “a-holes,” the anchor team tossed to a promo they made seemingly without the help of the station’s creative services team.

Saying his anchor team “sucks the happy out of happy talk,” anchor Larry Potash read some thoughts from WGN viewers. “F#@k you,” wrote viewer Anish Kapoor. “You guys suck in the morning. Nobody watches WGN.”

[FTVLive]

WGN’s Robert Jordan Named ‘Journalist in Residence’ at University of Chicago

Robert-JordanRobert Jordan, the veteran news anchor and reporter at Chicago CW affilate WGN, has been named the first journalist-in-residence at the University of Chicago’s Careers in Journalism, Arts, and Media program, reports Chicago media reporter Robert Feder:

While continuing his full-time anchoring and reporting duties for the Tribune Media station, Jordan will spend much of the fall quarter on campus, where he’ll conduct a series of workshops, lead panels with other Chicago producers, editors and news directors, and meet with students who hope to pursue journalism and media careers. He also plans to work with staffers on the Chicago Maroon, the university’s student newspaper.

WGN Celebrates ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’ Just Like it Always Does

We turn our spyglass this morning to Chicago CW affiliate WGN. Every year the Tribune owned station celebrates September 19 with a visit from Long John Johnny Johnson. For those landlubbers among us, September 19 is also known as “International Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

This morning’s pun filled segment featured, who we’ve been told is, morning producer Jeff Hoover doing his best pirate schtick. After a nod to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Hoover left because, as he said, “There’s a big sale at the farmer’s market. All the corn is a buck an ear.”

In case you want to see how far the bit has come, click here to see Hoover in 2012.

Allie Mac Kay Leaves KTLA

mac KayKTLA morning feature reporter Allie Mac Kay has left the Los Angeles CW affiliate.

She told viewers the news on her facebook page, “So….some news. I’ve left KTLA Morning News,” wrote Mc Kay. “If I made you smile along the way, then that made my 2:30 am wake up worth it. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for allowing me be a little part of your morning routine these last 6 years.”

According to her station bio, Mac Kay has worked “all over the country–from Salt Lake City to Sacramento to New York City.”

Dayton Station to Air Local Reality Show About Teens


WBDT, the LIN Media owned Dayton CW affiliate, has announced it’s airing a reality show about local teens called The Valley.

The locally produced show follows six local high school grads who are “preparing for the next big step in their lives and tackling important issues along the way, including drinking and driving, self-exploration, peer pressure, etc…”

The Valley isn’t your typical reality show. This is reality with a purpose,” said Joe Abouzeid, president and GM of WBDT. “The show is enlightening and entertaining for viewers of all ages. It really captures what teenagers are going through during this important right of passage and helps deepen our connection to the local community.” Read more

Sharon van Zwieten Leaving WPIX After a Little More Than One Year

wpixlogo_304Sharon van Zwieten, one-time senior executive producer at WPIX, is leaving the station today.

A Tribune spokesperson confirmed the move with TVSpy, but didn’t provide any details.

van Zwieten was brought on last year as senior executive producer under news director Mark Effron. In April, she was moved to a news talent project management role after WPIX hired Chuck Carter as managing editor. Carter worked at WTIC in Hartford, Conn. with WPIX GM Rich Graziano before Graziano moved to WPIX.

Two weeks ago, WPIX news director Mark Effron announced he was leaving the New York CW affiliate.

WGN Names Mike Frydman National/Regional Sales Manager

wgn-logoMike Frydman has been named national/regional sales manager at Chicago CW affiliate WGN. Frydman joined the Tribune-owned station in 2006 as an account executive. Prior to that, he was an account executive at CBS Station Sales.

“His National background and eight years of success at WGN-TV as one of the senior AE’s will be a great factor in the growth of this position,” Errol Gerber, WGN director of sales, said in a statement. “Mike will work closely with national sales manager Robert Breen to develop a great national “one-two” punch.”

Frydman’s new position is effective September 29.

Sunbeam Confirms New GM at Boston Stations, Makes Changes in Sales Management

sunbeam televisionSunbeam Television has announced sales management changes at Boston NBC affiliate WHDH and CW affiliate WLVI prompted by naming Robert “Bubba” Burns, VP and GM of both stations.

Sunbeam announced Paul Magnes will replace Burns as Director of Sales for WHDH-WLVI. Magnes was the local sales manager at WHDH. WLVI local sales manager Marcy Burt McCauley replaces Magnes as local sales manager of WHDH. WHDH account executive Jennifer Howe MacDermott was named local sales manager at WLVI, replacing McCauley, while WHDH account executive Charles Shiebler was named national sales manager for WLVI.

“As I move to the corporate offices of Sunbeam Television, I am excited that we have Bubba Burns and a strong management team leading the Boston stations into the future,” Chris Wayland, executive VP and GM of Sunbeam Television Corporation said in a press release.

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