Saturday, May 05, 2007

New York v. Chicago - Media Style

As some of you may know I'm on the road this weekend, in New York City. There are so many similarities between the media institutions in the two cities, but there are also a couple of striking differences. In bullet point form I'm gonna go through those similarities and differences as I see them. This is a highly unscientific exploration, but I figured it would be fun.

- Editorial Perspectives: Both New York and Chicago have newspapers that represent both sides of the political spectrum. I think this is a good thing, a little balance never hurt anybody. In Chicago, the Tribune generall can be relied on for a somewhat conservative voice, though that has been moderated recently. The Sun-Times is generally liberal. Here in New York, the Post and Wall Street Journal are strong conservartive voices. While the Daily News, Newsday and of course the New York Times are very liberal. It's so very important to have balance in this area, but in Chicago I get the sense that there is a little less balance. If only because both newspapers endorsed Mayor Daley, despite an amazing amount of legal trouble. One of the two major dailies stepping out and trying to prop up another candidate would have been interesting and certainly more balanced.

- News Radio: WBBM 780 and WCBS 880 are essentially the same, 24 hour news stations that are CBS affiliates. More interesting for me is the sports radio situation in Chicago as compared to New York. More options and competitiveness in Chicago has left the top two stations tied. Whereas in New York WFAN continues to dominate WEPN. Both markets are highly competitive and very balanced.

- Television news: I've decided to pick out an oddball difference between the two markets, but one that deeply bothers me. In Chicago, Bob Sirott on NBC offers a "One More Thing" commentary at the end of the 4 o'clock news broadcast. He also has a background in talk radio and seems to inject opinion into a lot of his stories. I like him, I find him entertaining but I do not think he's anchoring style is entirely journalistically inappropriate. None of the news anchors in New York offer commentary like Sirott does. A number of years ago Bill Beutel was the main anchor at ABC 7 in New York, and he occasionally offered commentary. But that time has passed. And I feel like Chicago is entitled to have its news reported without an anchor's opinion. That kind of stuff wouldn't fly in New York, and I hope it doesn't go on for much longer in Chicago.

And on a non-media related point, New York sports teams are clearly more dominant than Chicago's. Feel free debate that last point in the comments as well.


At Saturday, May 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

about your last point...since we are being subjective, Detroit has better sports than both NY and Chicago!

At Sunday, May 06, 2007, Blogger ji said...

hey i agree that baseball in new york is huge, but you have to consider that new york is the number one media market, serving as the international welcoming points of foreigner and the crux of media. I do not think you can even compare the two cities. It is like apples and oranges.

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