By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Oct 07, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Although I wrote earlier this week that only Fox owned-and-operated TV stations could drop off the screen for Dish Network subscribers, it turns out that the owners of Milwaukee's Channel 6 are, indeed, part of the fight with the satellite company.

That's a big deal for Dish subscribers, since it means that unless a deal is reached between Fox and Dish, a lot of Packers games and Fox network shows could disappear.

Generally, I'd consider the threat to be less than real. With so many services carrying TV program, these contracts come up regularly. But Fox has already dropped regional Fox Sports Network channels, FX and the National Geographic Channel.

And the end of October is the deadline for the loss of Fox network affiliates like Channel 6.

Channel 6, by the way, had been owned by Fox. It was sold in 2007, along with 17 other Fox affiliates, to a company called Local TV LLC. That company has its own negotiations going with Dish, and Channel 6 general manager Chuck Steinmetz tells me the group has given Fox its proxy to handle the talks.

"If the agreement isn't signed, we would come off Dish here in the market," Steinmetz says.

By way of perspective, Dish is the smallest of the program providers in the Milwaukee market, behind AT&T's U-Verse, DirecTV, and Charter Cable -- and far behind Time Warner Cable.

But if Fox pulls out at the end of the month, it will still affect tens of thousands of southeast Wisconsin households, and some Packers fans may have to dust off the rabbit ears in hopes of picking up Milwaukee's biggest TV draw.

On TV: Fox has given a full-season pickup to Tuesday night's "Raising Hope," with ratings help from the "Glee" lead-in. It's the first new series certain to stick around.

  • While it's still on the schedule, NBC has halted production on Jimmy Smits' "Outlaw." If ratings don't improve, it's toast. Consider it toast.
  • ABC is working on turning "Awkward Family Photos" into a series, after CBS' Twitter-inspired "$#*! My Dad Says" didn't flop.
  • Michael Ausiello reports that there's a new version of "Wild, Wild West" in the works, showing TV is full of fresh, new ideas. Yes, it looks like CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" will last out the season, which may inspire more remakes.

Rick Sanchez is sorry: Five days after his CNN job ended following some radio comments that sounded anti-Semitic, the bombastic Rick Sanchez released a statement apologizing for his "tired and mangled words," that included calling Jon Stewart a "bigot" for having fun at Sanchez's expense.

For the record, there's been lots of chatter about Sanchez -- who has already worked for MSNBC -- now moving on to Fox News Channel. I called Fox News and asked, and no, there's no interest there in hiring Sanchez.

My best guess is that he'll end up anchoring a local newscast in a big-size market.

Here's Sanchez's full statement:

"On October 4th, I had a very good conversation with Jon Stewart, and I had the opportunity to apologize for my inartful comments from last week.  I sincerely extend this apology to anyone else whom I may have offended.  
"As Jon was kind enough to note in his show Monday night, I am very much opposed to hate and intolerance, in any form, and I have frequently spoken out against prejudice. Despite what my tired and mangled words may have implied, they were never intended to suggest any sort of narrow-mindedness  and should never have been made.  

"In the aftermath of these comments, CNN and I have decided to part ways. However, I want to go on record to say that I have nothing but the highest regard for CNN and for my six wonderful years with them.  I appreciate every opportunity that they have given me, and it has been a wonderful experience working for them. I have tremendous respect for everyone there, and I know that they feel the same about me.  There are no hard feelings – just excitement about a new future of opportunities.
"I look forward to my next step with great anticipation.  In the meantime, I will continue to promote my book, Conventional Idiocy, in the hopes of broadening the discussion to get a better understanding between all Americans, regardless of race, creed or religion."

And before we move on, here's a little something to remember him by:


Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.