Thursday, January 27, 2011

1.27.11 Bee-otch of the Day: WFQX-TV (for STILL airing The 700 Club)

Age: 21
Occupation: northern Michigan's Fox affiliate
Last Seen: Federal Cadillac, MI
Bee-otched For: being one of a kind in the whole state of Michigan 
Today, I can say this: I love Jerry Springer.
For years, I'll admit that I've been a big fan of what TV Guide has called "the worst show in television history". I loved coming home from school everyday while living in northern Michigan in the 1990's and it would be on at 3 on the local NBC station, WPBN-TV 7&4. There was a reason why it was on that early: it was getting better ratings than Oprah and the fights and weird guests proved it. Tragically, 7&4 moved the show to a dead-end timeslot and replaced it with (ugh) Crook and Chase. Assholes. 

Eventually, I moved to Grand Rapids, and once again, I was reunited with 'ol Jerry at 1:35 in the morning on WWMT Channel 3, our CBS outlet. However, he moved to a more-desirable timeslot, 9 a.m., and eventually 12 noon on a not-so-good station, WXSP, the MyNetworkTV station at channel 8.2 or a bunch of low-powered sticks, depending on your locale. Thankfully, I have a DVR, so once again, I'm reunited with the trannies and strippers that make the show great. 

On Wednesday, Jerry did something I thought he would never do: be a guest on The Howard Stern Show. After all, he's close pals with Mancow and even hosted a special for Opie and Anthony. But now that he tapes his show in nearby Connecticut instead of Chicago, I figured that it would be time to bow to the King of All Media. In the interview, Jerry talked about everything from the fact that most of his family was killed in the Holocaust to his modest upbringing to politics to his infamous TV show. He also talked about his family life and the fact that he has a great relationship with his wife of 37 years and the fact that his daughter overcame being born deaf and blind and with no nose holes to being a great wife and mother. 

Needless to say, I feel less guilty to even love The Jerry Springer Show. Say whatever you want, but it's still on the air after 20 years and it still has a huge audience. Plus, you can watch it anywhere in Michigan...
...Except Marquette and Traverse City. 

In the case of Marquette, he was on the local Fox affiliate, WMQF 19. However, its owner, Equity Broadcasting, bellied-up and the station was sold to a construction company in Wisconsin. Fox ended up giving their affiliation to WLUC-TV 6, who in turn smacked it on their .2 as "Fox UP". WMQF is now WZMQ and is now affiliated with MyNetworkTV, ThisTV and AntennaTV. However, the station doesn't air any synidcated shows, and Fox UP airs mainly shows from America One during off hours. 

As for TC, well, here's the story: 7&4 finally gave up on Jerry in the early 2000's and WFQX Fox 33 took the show. As a matter of fact, they even aired it twice a day, middays and night. However, they canceled the show two or three years ago, right around the time the station was sold to a company called Cadillac Telecasting. Cadillac ended up in a shared services agreement with local CBS station WWTV 9&10. Technically, under FCC rules, WWTV and WFQX cannot be co-owned because of northern Michigan's market size, plus the fact that they only have four commercial TV stations (the other two being 7&4 and WGTU ABC 29&8, which are now run by Barrington Broadcasting). But if James Norris can own The Detroit Red Wings and "own" the Chicago Blackhawks via Bill Tobin, anything's possible. After all, 9&10's parent is a man named Mario Iacobelli and what is now Fox 32's parent is a man from Arizona. Mario owns properties in the Grand Canyon State, so I wouldn't be too surprised if the "owner" of 32 is Mario's puppet.

But bear in mind that since 9&10 is one of the very few independently-owned network TV stations in America - despite being once owned by TV giant Sparton in the 1950's and sports team owners John Fetzer and Ralph Wilson - that they don't have the budgets many stations it size has. So, they're picky with programming. Remember The Howard Stern Radio Show on Saturday nights? Well, they canned it partially due to content concerns even though they aired it a 1 a.m. They were even one of a small handful of stations that decided not to show CBS's 9/11 documentary some years ago, also due to content. Instead, they replaced it with a Robin Williams movie and even sold some ad time to politicians (it was election season). The 9/11 documentary had no commercial slots, so basically put, the station ended up putting money in front of viewers. 

What's laughable now is that on Fox 32, they've decided to put Jerry's sister show Maury - which is beating Oprah on multiple national demos - at the embarrassingly lame timeslot of 3 in the morning, buried in a sea of infomercials. Thankfully, The Steve Wilkos Show - Jerry's old security guard - is seen up north on the cable-only affiliate of The CW during the day. 

So, what does WFQX show in the day that keeps Jerry off the air and Maury on at a time nobody's watching? Yep! The 700 Club. Fox 32 started carrying the show when 29&8 was "sold" to Barrington, which apparently doesn't want anything to do with 'ol Pat Robertson and his doings. But then again, who does? Oh, yes, Heritage Broadcasting, since a whopping chunk of their broadcast schedule is filled with infomercials and religious shows on BOTH 9&10 and 32. Hell, there's a one-hour block of 'em leading into The Price is Right on 9&10! I can't believe that they're the #1 TV station in northern Michigan. 

Even worse, 32 is one of only TWO TV stations in all of Michigan that still carry The 700 Club, the other one being Detroit's MyNetworkTV hub, WMYD 20 (which BTW, carries Jerry, Maury and Steve). And even worser, 32 is the sole station in the whole state that will carry at least some of the infamous 700 Club beg-a-thon that has aired every Sunday before the Super Bowl. Back when 29&8 carried the show, they would even yank important basketball games off the air to carry Pat Robertson's evil dreck. 

Folks, Pat Robertson's the devil, plain and simple. He tells people that he and God are best buddies and convinces sore losers to give him their life savings to make them feel great. Wanna know something? I once dated a girl from Manceltucky-er, Mancelona who lived in a trailer with another trailer in the back yard with its roof caved in. Oh, and I saw an envelope from The 700 Club on the table, probably because her family were smoking Pat's crack. Maybe if they weren't giving their money to his BS, they would be in a nice, site-built home. 

In his interview with Stern, Springer was asked why he quit his radio talk show from a few years ago. The answer is simple: the liberals have won. The conservatives THINK they own the airwaves, but people are smart enough to know the truth. Maybe that's why The 700 Club is on over-the-air in northern Michigan and Detroit: two totally different broadcast areas with a ton of poor people living in dilapidated houses in the projects or in broken-down trailers in South Boardman. Pat Robertson's out there to enter the minds of the most-vulnerable and rob them of their soul. It worked for Scott Roeder, who killed abortion doctor George Tiller. He was a huge fan of Pat's. 

So, here's an idea: instead of donating to Patty Boy and his cronies, here's an organization Springer fans (and everybody) should donate to: It's an organization that makes wigs for children batting cancer and other diseases that cost them of their hair. Go to their website and learn more about this awesome organization. 

Wigs 4 Kids' tie-in with Springer is the fact that its founder, Maggie Varney - a Detroit News Michigander of the Year - is the mother of long-time show producer Rachelle Consiglio-Wilkos, aka Mrs. Steve Wilkos.
While Pat Robertson is in his massive Virginia mansion - complete with a helipad - counting his money from his horses (after all, he owns several horse tracks), Maggie's out in her salon near Detroit building wigs for sick kids. Sorry, but if there's a real angel out there, it's the mother of a woman whose show is famous for fake synthetic wigs flying off a black woman's head during a fight. 

As for Fox 32 and 9&10, they need to feel sad for themselves. Thankfully, Mario - who's in his 70's - can't own his stations forever. Who knows? Maybe he'll sell to Mike Illitch and his family. I hope the next owner of 9&10 and 32 will realize that people come first and not money. But thankfully in the meantime, somewhere on the web, full episodes of Springer are on the web. 

In closing, as Jerry says, "take care of yourselves, and each other". Just don't take care of Pat. 

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Bee-otch of the Day is a production of, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!

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