Friday, February 5, 2010

Monsters & Money -OR- WTF?

WBBM TV, the Chicago affiliate of CBS has unveiled a new news show. "Monsters and Money in the Morning" breaks the newsroom/anchor desk mold. Four semi-iconic Chicago personalities instead gather around a Charlie Rose table and bandy words. Dan Jigetts, Mike North, Terry Savage and Mike Hegedus bring their respective games to the table.
Jigetts, offensive lineman with the `85 Super-Bowl Bears cum TV sportscaster. Mike North, Chicago sportsradio's brash and borderline deranged mouth that roared. Terry Savage, long time financial reporter and advice columnist. Mike Hegedus, late of CNBC coverage. By serendipity or design, the mash-up of their collective egos and long slog of working outside of the conventional morning fare is jarring to say the least.

A little bit Morning Joe, a little bit Bozo's Circus. Talking morning news as it affects sports and your checkbook mixed with a bit of weather and traffic?

You may laugh, but if this catches on, it will be in every market, every day.
from the Tribune's Tower Ticker w/ Phil Rosenthal

4:59 a.m. Dan Jiggetts introduces Mike North, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Terry Savage and CNBC alumnus Mike Hegedus. So much for needing caffeine. That high def picture will wake you up. These people look so much better in person. Jiggetts, who seems to be first among equals as the show's host of hosts, introduces Susan Carlson, who was part of Channel 2's previous morning show, and weathercaster Mary Kay Kleist, another refugee from WBBM's actual news teamrew. They seem awfully happy for not having seats at the table yet. Especially Kleist, who's literally standing in Carlson's shadow.

5 a.m. "This is like a big table here, Jiggs, as you know," North says to the others seated around the big table. "I'm going to tell you something right now. I'm going to go against the grain. I know you three want to make a lot of money for the show. I know you want advertisers for the show. You want us to so-called prostitute ourselves for the show, but I'm not going there. I'm going to tell you straight out and out, we just got to do what we got to do. Don't encourage sales or anything like that." Holding a box of Raisin Bran with slapdash sign on it that says Cereal Sponsor Needed, he adds, "Just pour the cereal in the bowl and enjoy yourself."

Still 5 a.m. "For anybody who's listening not watching, it says 'Cereal Sponsor Needed,' " Savage notes, either anticipating a radio simulcast or a distracted audience. North says: "If you're not watching, you're not seeing us. No. 2, I think the people out there can read, otherwise we're in trouble."

5:01 a.m. Jiggetts: "What about the milk?" North: "I can only go so far on the first day." Time to go to weather with Kleist, as Carlson takes a seat at the table.

5:02 a.m. Carlson says she's "excited to be here" and that it was an "exciting night in Chicago so to speak" with a "a lot of things going on while you were catching your Zs." Those things? Two fires.

MUST see TV? Train-wreck TV? I'm a little sadder today.

While I appreciate the "outside the box" thinking that brought this on, I must question the value this offers the viewership. Once the novelty wears thin, (approx. 5:02 am) I'm off to reruns of the Andy Griffith show to regain my tenuous hold on sanity.

This much perk and bombast to start one's day is sure to appeal to someone. somewhere.

If you don't believe me, take a quick peek...

(note: I refuse to join in the Scott Lee Cohen hysteria. To me, who better than a pawnbroker to play back-up to Blago's replacement?)

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