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WSI News - News Watch

Bias be damned:  Cubune CEO says keep Cubs!

filed by George Bova

April 8, 2006

As with any failed effort, the worst possible news is getting a vote of confidence from the folks in power to cut bait.  For good reason a vote of confidence is well known as the kiss of death, and the Chicago Cubs just got a big wet one laid on them by Cubune CEO Dennis Fitzsimmons.  Of course he isn't going to admit it.  As Sox Fans we can just laugh a little harder at the Cubune's latest charade.

"The Cubs are not for sale," Fitzsimmons told his corporate radio arm. 

Translation:  Selling the Cubs makes perfect sense.  It's only a matter of time now...

If the Cubune media empire is failing, you only need listen to Fitzsimmons' ridiculous reasoning for why he won't sell the Cubs.   The Cubs are programming... the Cubs have a high payroll... the ballpark generates enough revenue... blah blah blah.  

This is the guy Cubune shareholders trust with their investment? Hey Dennis, if the Cubs are such a great strategic fit for the Cubune, why not buy up 20 other baseball teams, too?  In fact, why not buy up the Bears and all the NFL teams plus any other professional sports franchise that isn't tied down?  You could buy 30 more TV stations and have programming for all of them.  Using your logic, Dennis, the Cubune would make a fortune, right?

Dennis is a lousy businessman if he truly thinks his outfit, bleeding red ink, should keep the Chicago Cubs.  He certainly isn't this stupid.  What he is really doing is preserving the value of the Cubune's asking price to sell the Flubs and use the resulting capital to fix what has Cubune newspapers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and countless other cities losing circulation, advertisers, and Cubune cash by the truckload. 

The Cubs aren't for sale?  Dennis, you'll be shown the door long before the Cubune board of directors let's you trash the entire company.  Wall Street is already howling for action.  Have you seen your stock price lately?

And what about that circulation issue, Dennis?  You've been getting quite a bit of unsolicited advice on this matter, including some from your own hired shills printing their thoughts in the daily Cubune.  At least some of them acknowledge what the hired shills at WGN-AM clearly didn't have the temerity to confront you with on the air:  Owning the Flubs puts your media empire into what your own public editor called "an inherently conflicted situation."

Just last August Fitzsimmons' own public editor offered this advice:  Let the buyer beware.  Does this sound like a successful strategy for fixing your media empire's financial problems, Dennis?  What a fool you are...

I'm guessing apologist-in-chief Rick Morrissey saw nothing wrong with his fellow radio station Cubune staffers letting Fitzsimmons spew unchallenged silliness about keeping the Cubs.  And I'm guessing Morrissey has no issue with the guy in the cubicle down the aisle from him, Paul Sullivan, dutifully repeating the same silliness in today's Cubune Sports section.  Maybe Rick can take up this matter head-on in his blog... at least there he can always revise and extend his comments to fit whichever way the wind is blowing... but just remember Rick, some of us know how to cache the earlier versions of what you wrote before you change the substance of your thoughts... like those surrounding the life-threatening heart attack of Kirby Puckett versus the revised version you wrote after he died.. 

We're not as dumb as Dennis Fitzsimmons.  I'm talking about the people who know the Cubune far better than even the Cubune knows the Cubune: subscribers, advertisers, Wall Street investors, and most of all Sox Fans.

Why are the Cubs so inept?  Look no further than the Cubune's CEO.  It's in all the papers.

 


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