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The [Thursday] Papers

Let's interact with the news.

1. The Jesus And Mary Chain: 'Pop Is Dreadful. Switch On A Radio, I Guarantee It'll Be Garbage.'

I always hate seeing this familiar refrain, as if what gets played on the radio hasn't mostly been garbage for decades. That's never where the best music is found. It sucks, but it's true. If only the complainers in the industry would do something about it, like buy a chain of radio stations or put some dollars behind efforts like our local CHIRP Radio, which is pretty excellent. We could five more stations like it in the market - if we should even care about over-the-air radio anymore. (CHIRP is planning to launch terrestrially at 107.1FM sometime this year.)

2. Greatest Rise In Heroin Use Was Among White People, Study Says.

Therefore, we should have empathy with these addicts, and treat them medically, instead of angrily punishing them criminally like we do black people.


I don't deny the rising use of heroin, but I'm also a bit immune to (and skeptical) of media coverage thereof, because I've been reading about it for so long it's hard to discern the proper context. I worked on a Newsweek cover story about heroin in the 1990s - this one? - and I worked hard interviewing a cross-section of recovering users, including a suburban plumber, for example, amidst pledges from the editors, which I passed on to my subjects, that we wouldn't do the "heroin chic" thing, and instead were making a sincere effort at understanding the issue.

Then the editors did the heroin chic thing. Every reporter knows that sick feeling in their stomach when their bosses have sold them - and their subjects - out.


Long a media favorite: "Heroin Plague, Newsweek, 5 July 1971. This article criticizes, but takes part in the media frenzy resulting from the spread of the heroin plague out of black neighborhoods and into white suburbs."

3. Michael Irvin investigated in sex battery case

I can't help but be reminded of my national scoop on a Michael Irvin sexual assault allegation. My chief reporting tool was knowing how to work a bar:

4. This one's too easy, but here we go: But there are plenty of bad times, and this is one of them.

Plus, I find it hard to believe Soldier Field's capacity (whose fault is that?) is preventing the McCaskeys from making a profit.

5. Chicago Light Overhaul To Cost Double That Of New York's.

I really don't know if that's meaningful because the story doesn't dig into City Hall's explanation. But I do know this is meaningful:

"The mayor also said the four-year switch to 270,000 energy efficient LED lights will be managed by city's transportation department, not the privatized infrastructure trust he once touted as central to innovative public works plans . . .

The infrastructure trust, which has had the lighting overhaul on its to do list since 2013, acted as a procurement manager for the project and helped the city select Massachusetts based Ameresco as the lead contractor. The deal still requires City Council approval.

That role for the infrastructure trust is far different - and reduced - from how Emanuel proclaimed it would be when he launched the initiative 2012 with former President Bill Clinton by his side.

Hailing the trust back then as a model of out-of-the-box thinking, Emanuel said it would find innovative ways to attract private investors to pay for infrastructure projects. The idea was to free taxpayers from cost and risk.

Instead, as the Better Government Association has reported, the street lighting project will be financed with city bonds and other public financing - the traditional way of paying for infrastructure.

Leslie Darling, the trust's executive director, said at a press conference Tuesday that the trust helps the city "do major initiatives that wouldn't be possible otherwise."

Name one.


See also:

* BGA: Trust Or Bust? Emanuel's 'Breakout' Infrastructure Plan Delivers Little.

* BR: The [Infrastructure Bank] Papers (Or, Smells Like Teen Parking Meters).

* BR: Infrastructure Bank Critics Have A New Villain And His Name Is Joe "Proco" Moreno.

* BR Item (2013): Rahm's Trust Is A Bust.

And so on. Peruse the Beachwood archives at your leisure.

6. Proposed Museum Wants To Use Sports As 'Bait' For Learning.

"Lapides wants a site for the museum fairly accessible for tourists staying downtown."

What was I just saying?


For a Chicago magazine article in the oughts suggesting a to-do list for Mayor Richard M. Daley, I including an item called "Build Comiskeyville," and I'm almost certain I included locating a Chicago baseball museum there, I'm just too tired to dig out the print piece right now to confirm my memory; it's not on the Web.

7. Biggs: As Content As Bears Sound With QB Situation, They Must Draft One.

"We're going to draft the best players available, wherever that may be," Pace said. "And if it's a quarterback, it's a quarterback. But we're going to take the best players available. Right now, I like the way Sanchez blends with Glennon and with Connor."

I know I'm hardly the first or only one to make this complaint, but really? Who kidnapped the Ryan Pace who came here saying his philosophy was to draft a quarterback every year, and who is the guy banking on Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Connor Shaw?

8. So The Last Two Years Haven't Been What He Thought They Would.

9. Which Chicago Reporter Asked This?

I couldn't find a name in any of the accounts I reviewed (the question got international play). We sure protect our own. (And apparently it was the first question out of the gate.)

UPDATE: Awful Announcing identifies the reporter as Derek Henkle of AFP, who is possibly also an engineer at WGN?

10. Media Slims Down: Publishers Are Building Audiences In Discrete Verticals.

This has been what I've preached from day one; the only problem now is how many vertical/niche opportunities are being missed - particularly by newspapers - from lack of imagination. I've still got about a dozen in my back pocket that I couldn't find funding/partners for - and some of them are pretty killer, I'll go to my grave saying!


The Beachwood Tronc Line: Whistling past graveyards.


Posted on March 30, 2017

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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