By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jul 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

There's no way of predicting where Rupert Murdoch's mess will end.

The global media mogul has publicly apologized in a full-page ad in his British newspapers for the phone-hacking part of the scandal, where reporters for now-defunct News of the World hacked into the phones of news subjects.

The ad was headlined, "We are sorry."

But the hacking scandal is only part of the story – and we'll likely found out soon if any of that was done in the U.S. The bigger story has been Murdoch's influence over British politics.

And the even bigger story could be a domestic one. I know Fox News Channel fans are going to be up in arms even with a mention of this, but the channel has an undeniably strong connection to the Republican side in the nation's political divide.

From possible presidential candidate Sarah Palin to Mike Huckabee (who announced on his Fox show that he wasn't running for the GOP presidential nomination) Republican leaders are commentators on the channel. Really, it's not fair and balanced, it's a one-sided soap box.

And, no, I don't think the conventional media is lined up on the other side, as mouthpieces for the Democrats. It's clear Murdoch is interested in political influence.

There's nothing illegal, of course, with trying to use media to influence politics. But for many people there's an unsavory feel to it.

Most news operations are interested in journalistic influence, not political power. The New York Times wants to be the top newspaper in the country, not a political kingmaker.

As Murdoch's crisis unfolds across the Atlantic, and it spreads to this country, expect more eyes focusing on Murdoch's U.S. empire, including Fox News Channel.

The latest to join Twitter: He said he wouldn't, but he did. Jerry Seinfeld has joined Twitter. His first tweet: "Greetings Tweetarians! I have just landed on your Planet. This could be my last Tweet."

His second tweet: "Second Tweet! Am I done yet?"

"Men of a Certain Age" gets the ax: Word came down late last week that TNT has decided against a third season of Ray Romano's "Men of a Certain Age." As good as it was, it just didn't have the ratings it needed to survive.

On radio: Former WSSP-AM (1250) morning guy Doug Russell reports that he's doing fill-in work for his old employer, Sporting News Radio. He'll be filling in for Todd Wright at 9 p.m. Friday. You can hear it on-line at, Sirius Channel 94 or over-the-air, if you have access to a Sporting News Radio station.

  • Fuzz Martin says he's ending his 11-year run at West Bend's WBWI-FM (92.5) to become PR manager/senior writer at EPIC Creative. He'll sign off on July 22.
  • Michelle Rutkowski has been named music director at WLUM-FM (102.1). She'll continue as 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekday host.
  • Steve Dahl returns to terrestrial radio for a day Tuesday afternoon on Chicago's WLS-AM (890), filling in for Richard Roeper alongside Roe Conn. You can pick up WLS in the area (although reception can be spotty. Dahl, whose CBS contract has just expired, has announced plans to start charging $9.95 a month for his daily podcast.
  • Speaking of Chicago radio, word that WKQX-FM (101.1), is flipping from music to an all-news format has led to venerable "Newsradio" WBBM-AM (780) to flip sister station WBBM-FM to a simulcast of the AM signal. No, it really makes little sense to try and launch an expensive and personnel-intensive news operation in this climate, so I'm betting on WBBM winning this one. And, no, there's no chance of an all-news station on Milwaukee radio. None.

Is "Dexter" on the side of good? An interesting new Showtime promo for the next season of "Dexter" raises the question of whether he's killing for the forces of good. Season six begins this fall.

Here's the video:

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.