NBC shines network spotlight on Rahm’s ‘sensitive side’
Harry Smith and Rahm Emanuel
Robservations on the media beat:
- The national media's fascination with Mayor Rahm Emanuel shows no sign of letup. On Monday, it's NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams serving up the star treatment. Billed as "the first in-depth profile of [the] former White House chief of staff in his new role as mayor of Chicago," the report by Harry Smith follows the reliable narrative: "The famously-foul-mouthed political operative is making big changes in the 'City of Big Shoulders' and making news as he takes on Chicago's municipal unions and the city's problems. But the reputed political tough guy is also showing [a] surprisingly sensitive side." In the interview, Emanuel insists he has no interest in becoming the first Jewish president. “Not interested. Not going to do it. No. I’ll do it in Hebrew, Lo,” Emanuel tells Smith. Still benefitting from the buzz after this week's Bob Costas interview with Jerry Sandusky, Rock Center airs at 9pm Monday on NBC 5.
- If you think November 9 was too early for WLIT-FM (93.9) to flip to all-Christmas music this year, blame yourself. "This year we allowed our listeners to vote on when they wanted us to launch into all-Christmas music," Tony Coles, operations manager of the Clear Channel adult-contemporary station, said when he flipped the switch. "We received an overwhelming response with over 100,000 votes in favor of starting this holiday tradition today." It's all about the ratings, which invariably go through the roof. (In 2002, The Holiday Lite kicked off on November 22, prompting some to complain that even that was too early for the nonstop Holly, Jolly business.)
- Wait Wait. . . Don't Tell Me!, the witty comedy/quiz show produced by NPR and Chicago Public Media, could become a regular television series. BBC America will tape a year-in-review edition in Chicago December 2 to air as a one-hour special on the cable channel December 23. "The comedy panel show has been a staple of British television and Wait Wait. . . Don't Tell Me! is the gold standard of the format on radio in the U.S.," BBC America's general manager of channels Perry Simon said in a statement. Asked about rumors of a weekly series on television, host Peter Sagal told the New York Times: "No comment. (I've always wanted to say that to The New York Times.)"
- Two-time winner Team Tribune will be defending its title Saturday at the sixth annual Trivia Bowl sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Starting at 1pm, the scholarship fundraising event will be at the offices of Jenner & Block, 353 North Clark Street. Teams from more than two dozen local media organizations and related institutions competed last year.
- Everything you need to know about syndicating content across all media platforms — radio, television, Internet and print — is available in book form for the first time. Syndication Nation, written by Chris J. Witting, veteran syndicator and CEO of Chicago-based Syndication Networks Corp., has been published by Harmony House. "Now may be the best time ever for anyone to get their content in front of audiences nationwide," Witting said. "My hope is that the book will open the door for those who have the dream of being nationally syndicated." The 282-page guide is for sale at SyndicationBook.com and Amazon.
- It's over and out for Chicago radio veteran Kevin Matthews after five years as morning personality at WLAV-FM in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His last day at the Cumulus Media station was Thursday. (As alter ego Jim Shorts might say: "That's bad!") In a message to fans on his Facebook page, he wrote: "I love you Kevheads so very much, thanks for the love back. What a wonderful group of human beings you are. We sure have had some laughs." In 2008 Matthews disclosed his battle with multiple sclerosis.