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Old 06-02-2014, 11:01 AM
Bucky F. Dent Bucky F. Dent is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Westfield, Indiana
Posts: 5,002

If this leads to changes in the MLB blackout restrictions for Central Indiana, I am all for it.
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. - A. Bartlett Giamatti
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:33 AM
jdm2662 jdm2662 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lombard, IL
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Just a few thoughts:

Regarding KBA's question about what the CEO means in certain aspects. My sense is the guy is saying that every single agreement with every single cable and satellite provider has to be renegotiated if WGN / WGN America / Tribune Company makes severe changes to their programming. That could impact where they are placed on systems and what can be charged...therefore every deal has to be redone from the ground up.

I'm not saying this is the case for the majority of operations but just as an example. Cable company in Iowa says, "if you aren't going to carry Chicago sports anymore, we aren't paying X per subscriber to you, if you want us to carry you in the future we'll pay only X..." So Tribune has to work out a new agreement with that company.

One other thought, I won't get into it in detail because I don't want to get into trouble. I found it interesting that the Tribune CEO says, Chicago sports only makes a "250,000" profit per year.


So screw sports fans (not just Chicago sports fans) around the country because a "250,000 profit" a year isn't enough.

We'll see what happens in the future.

A CEO's job is to maximize profits and ROI for the shareholders. When you have cable stations making 9-10 figures and you are making only six, you have a lot of explaining to do. Just because you like something, it doesn't mean the majority of the viewers do. The majority of the country doesn't care about watching Chicago sports and programming. It's also doesn't generate the revenue other cable stations are getting. It's the reality of life, whether you like or not. And, this is coming from someone who will be the first one to tell you about corporate greed and not a fan of senior management in general.
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:59 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Modesto, California
Posts: 17,832

Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post

I can't say what I wish because it's not allowed here so I'll try to state it without getting into any trouble.

I have no issues with profit or a company or individual making them. They take the risk, they earn the right to do so. But when profit turns to greed, when people get screwed over in that process...be they fans, employees, retirees that's wrong.

I may only be in journalism and not a hot shot, high tech, smart individual like many on this site, but I know the difference between right and wrong.

It's one thing for the Tribune Company to make drastic changes because they are losing money, it's quite another because they aren't making as big a profit as they think they should be. BIG difference.

In the end it doesn't matter to this guy, the Tribune CEO, if he's wrong...if in three years his gamble blows up in his face it won't matter...he'll be bought off through a golden parachute and laugh all the way to the bank. Seems like the type of person some around here would call a hero. I wouldn't.

I've said my piece, I'll let it go.

People getting screwed is people losing jobs because of corporate greed. My people-getting-screwed threshold is well above eliminating, what is it? 30 White Sox games on free television over the season. (Free assuming you were going to be paying for cable anyway.)

This wouldn't be much of a gamble for WGN. If with all the millions WGN is paying for the rights to televise Chicago sports they are making only $250,000, this isn't the CEO coming up with a radical idea. He has to be able to do better. In cable television, you don't have to spend millions of dollars to see a return of $250,000. This is the CEO being pressured to do something about an obvious problem. If WGN had been quicker to respond to the changes in cable television, maybe the Tribune company would be healthier. Maybe running Chicago baseball on WGN America is one of the incompetent things the Tribune Company has been doing.

I know corporate greed. The last newspaper I worked for was owned by a company in Texas, thousands of miles away. It demanded cuts because we were only turning a 6 percent profit. I'm not unsympathetic to corporate greed. And maybe I am unsympathetic to the White Sox fans who get WGN and don't want to lose baseball because I live in a place where the cable company doesn't carry WGN. (Maybe more cable systems will carry WGN after they stop being so Chicago-centric. Maybe more carriers will drop WGN if they don't drop Chicago sports -- Chicago sports being reason both for me to want WGN and apparently the reason cable systems in places I have lived have either never carried or dropped WGN before I moved there.)

The bottom line is it looks like you could replace what WGN is giving you and get more White Sox baseball in the bargain for less than $100. Maybe enough die-hard Sox fans already have done so that WGN baseball is becoming irrelevant.

I understand you're upset. I would be upset and disappointed if I were in your position. But this is about the changing economics of cable television. It isn't about corporate greed.
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