Chicago public TV station WTTW's latest super-sized "whoopsie" can be found in Robert Feder's 9/21/05 Chicago Sun-Times column which is excerpted here:
"Under terms of a three-year 'exclusive broadcast partnership,' Channel 11 will air all home games of the (Women's National Basketball Association team) Chicago Sky, starting in May. Several commercial broadcasters with experience in sports production earlier had talks with the team about a deal. A spokeswoman for the station said Channel 11 would not be paid a fee to produce and broadcast the games. Instead, all revenue would come from underwriting (public TV-speak for advertising), split between the franchise and the station."
Though a broken clock is correct two - or in WTTW's case somehow sometimes even three times a day, we now must ask: what's next - pro wrestling? With this WNBA deal, WTTW appears to have signed itself into its most profoundly lame financial - and perhaps regulatory - hole yet. Unless Channel 11 can negotiate itself out of the contract, this may well prove to be station President and CEO Dan Schmidt's dumbererest deal to date. And that's saying a lot.
Systemically, public broadcasting is a woefully under-funded and exclusionist failure. But many of WTTW's worst "dots" lead inexorably back to Dan Schmidt and the station's elite Trustees. The departures of top executives Randy King and Mike Liederman earlier this year (and soon maybe Bob Sirott too) are not enough. Schmidt must also go. But not by resignation, like FEMA director Mike Brown. And after fifty years of Trustee self-election, the station must be fully and democratically restructured.
It's about time, isn't it?
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this
website are those of the individual members of Chicago Media
Action who authored them, and not necessarily those of the entire
membership of Chicago Media Action, nor of Chicago Media Action
as an organization.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.