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TV Heads Begin Rolling

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 17, 2006 3:13PM

2006_17RollingHeads.jpgWhenever we pick up on a story about “cost-cutting” we always pause to ponder the ultimate usefulness of most cost-cutting strategies, namely, slicing off a thin sliver of fat at the bottom rather than the thick fat at the top. So it’s bemusing to read in the Trib that NBC 5 is slicing, dicing and shuffling its news programming in an effort to slim down. Changes include Michael Sneed’s snarky celeb gossip (discontinued), WSCR-AM 670 sportscaster Mike North's contributions to the morning news (axed), and a new morning anchor (Zoraida Sambolin). The latter move is necessary because the 11 a.m. weekday newscast has been dropped entirely; Sambolin had been co-anchoring the show along with Art Norman. Insert Art Norman cutting-the-fat joke here. Norman will now become a “showcased feature reporter.” Nice work if you can get it.

In another story that’s been tugging at our heartstrings, cost-cutting at the Trib might lead to syndication impotence. In other words, since the Tribune is pinching pennies it may not want to pony up the long green necessary to retain the syndication rights for such hard-to-find-on-the-dial shows as Sex in the City, Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends. Heaven forbid any of those should cease to to be on the air, somewhere, at any given moment, ever. If this compulsive weight loss really materializes, Tribune's 25 stations (14 of which are part of the new, underwhelming CW network) may have to go back to Bozo reruns.

Experience demonstrates that there are two classes of people into which humanity is divided: those who think Seinfeld is funny, and those who think Friends is funny. You may draw you own conclusion into which category we fall.