The [Friday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
1. This has been making the rounds, so maybe you've already seen it, but an example of the complete and total ignorance we're up against.
2. "ESPNChicago.com only has a counter and a promotional video up, but on Monday, the site will go live for the Chicago Cubs home opener," paid Content reports. "The sites will be aligned with the expanded ESPNRadio.com and will also have a mobile version as well. The site will be staffed by a mix of former Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times sports reporters and columnists, as well as existing ESPN (NYSE: DIS) staffers. The Disney-owned sports publisher has been very aggressive lately about refining its web presence, including allowing for ad insertions for live college basketball videos streams last month. In January, ESPN.com completed a year-long overhaul of its website, with improved video and search functions."
"Orlando Sentinel sports editor moves to ESPN.com: Lynn Hoppes, who has been at Tribune's Orlando Sentinel for 17 years, becomes ESPN.com senior director of Page 2 and columnists. Hoppes writes: 'Someone on a website already has ripped me by saying I'm abandoning newspapers. What people fail to understand is that I got into this business because of journalism, not because of newspapers'."
3. Sun-Times marketing, advertising and broadcasting columnist Lewis Lazare writes today that he (though he always uses "we"; perhaps he has multiple personalities) would like to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra record an Olympic anthem to accompany the city's bid for the 2016 Games.
"This could be used in so many ways to inspire Chicagoans, truly separate our city's bid from the rest of the pack and help ensure Chicago's Olympic dream comes true."
As I've written before, Lazare is vehemently against the bid in his private life, but you'd never know it from what he writes for the public.
"Jim and Greg explore rock's literary side and talk about the best lyricists in pop music. Plus they review new records from rock vet Neil Young and Toronto indie band Metric."
5. Drugs and violence in the stables taint this year's trail to the Kentucky Derby, our man on the rail Thomas Chambers writes in this week's TrackNotes.
7. Motorola 90210.
9. "If the Bravo television network needs a new reality series, I've got a suggestion: At Home with the Ritas," writes Kristen McQueary.
"The theme song would be a heavy metal tune, perhaps some AC/DC, as Robert 'Bobby' Rita steps out of his car and smashes a cigarette into the pavement. He flings his arm around his live-in girlfriend. They join his mother, 76-year-old Rose Rita, in the family kitchen where she pretends to shoo away the camera with an oven mitt but really loves the attention.
"The reality show would revolve around Bobby Rita, Blue Island native. He's the local kingmaker: state representative, Calumet Township Democratic committeeman, Cook County Highway Department adviser and, for a few more weeks, a Calumet Township trustee (he didn't seek another term on the township board)."
10. "Daley Says CTA Fare Hikes Are A Last Resort."
Someone please FOIA the mayor's "last resort" file and see what else is in there.
11. "Four months and a couple of Freedom of Information Act requests later, we were given documentation (which we've posted along with the story) showing that a year ago ten firms submitted packets showcasing their financial and management 'qualifications' to lease the meters - but that only two of them followed through with bids a few months later," Mick Dumke writes at Clout City.
"Why? Did the city find the others 'unqualified'? Did the firms decide on their own not to proceed? And if so, was it because they decided they weren't interested after all or because they realized there was no point in trying?
"I called the half-dozen U.S. firms that didn't end up submitting bids. None got back to me.
"On Monday I also called the city's budget office and asked spokesperson Peter Scales. He said he'd have to find out from those in the know. Tuesday morning he told me he hoped to have answers by the end of the day. I've left a couple messages since and still haven't heard back.
"Maybe the answers are more complicated than I can imagine."
12. Premium M&Ms.
15. Caraoke, Chicago Auto Show
The Beachwood Tip Line: Okey dokey.
Posted on April 10, 2009
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