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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

It's hard to ignore anything about Number 4, whatever colors he's wearing.

OnMedia: Brett Favre, his crocs and modern "news"


Last week, when OnMilwaukee.com linked to Deadspin.com and its report on Brett Favre's supposed e-mailing of naughty pics to Jenn Sterger, so many clicks came in that it crashed the site.

That was dramatic proof of the public interest in this story. But is interest enough to make the salacious report from the sports gossip site worth transmitting?

I think it does, and said so in my segment Wednesday on "Lake Effect" on WUWM-FM (89.7). It's a rule of thumb around these parts that news that the Packers is our biggest continuing story. And Favre is part of that overall umbrella of Packers news.

Probably the only story that yields as much interest -- and griping -- is the weather. It wasn't important news. But it sure was a major topic of conversation around Wisconsin last week.

Favre's reported "sexting" was, for the most part, an Internet news story, although some traditional news outlets picked it up, including the detail that Favre was wearing Crocs. That little factoid is the kind of trivia that makes a story like that seem true -- whether it is or not.

And the fact that the sexting story died quickly owes to the fact that Sterger hasn't gone any farther and no other women have come forward saying they got similar photos sent to them.

Both New York City tabloids, the Daily News and the Post, went with it. But it wasn't just tabloids. The Minneapolis Star Tribune's gossip columnist, "C.J." devoted space to it, as well.

Here, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't appear to have mentioned the story. I e-mailed the newspaper's editor, Marty Kaiser, to ask his thoughts on the story, but he didn't respond.

But the Journal Sentinel's corporate sibling, Channel 4 did carry a story on the Favre-Sterger matter.

ESPN didn't.

By the way, none of the news outlets that linked to Deadspin.com was saying the story was true. Without independent reporting, it's impossible to say anything one way or the other. But carrying the story is acknowledging that it's out there.

Ignoring one of the most talked about stories of the week, at a time when traditional news organizations are challenged on many fronts, seems like a mistake -- a business mistake.

On the air: It's now looking like the deal for Jennifer Lopez to join the "American Idol" judging panel is falling through. This is turning into a serious problem for the biggest show in television.

  • Tony Lorino, the assistant program director of WMYX-FM (99.1) -- and part of the morning show -- is heading to another Entercom station, KGEX-FM in Kansas City, Missouri, to do mornings and handle assistant programming duties.
  • Former Channel 12 reporter Ryan Schulteis' story on Boston's WHDH-TV about a guy who had a pea plant growing in his lung has been getting a lot of talk around the country.
  • Milwaukee Public TV producer/director Jack Abrams is the only working inductee into the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, honoring lifetime achievements. The rest of the 2010 class of inductees are retired Channel 4 photojournalist and Wisconsin Black Historical Society founder Clayborn Benson, former Channel 4 executive Ed Hinshaw, former Channel 6 anchor and consumer reporter Tom Hooper, and Bunny Raasch-Hooten, former who spent time in front of and behind the camera at Channel 4 and at Channel 12, where she was news director.
  • Speaking of awards, Everett L. Marshburn, producer of Milwaukee Public TV's "Black Nouveau," received a National Association of Black Journalists "Salute to Excellence" Award for the show's "Soultime at the Apollo" segment.
  • The National Radio Hall of Fame has named its 2010 class of inductees: country music icon Ralph Emery, Chicago rock DJ Terri Hemmert, public radio broadcaster Carl Kasell, Music and the long-running "Spoken Word featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," Radio One executive Cathy Hughes and the late Sam Phillips are set for induction. Neither Howard Stern nor Steve Dahl made it in. Both should be.

I'll have a burger with a side of Twitter: Here's the video of my recent OnMedia TV segment with Joe Sorge, the owner of AJ Bombers and one of Milwaukee's masters of social media. New episodes post Friday's on Time Warner Cable's Wisconsin on Demand Channel 411:


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