8:56 a.m. Network headquarters.
"Good morning, everyone. Turn off your cell phone and take a seat. Now, I won't beat around the bush. Our programming is getting creamed by everything, including village board meetings. If things don't turn around soon you'll all be working at Radio Shack. And I don't mean to point the finger at any particular department, Dave, but the P/L on your operation would look better if we signed off."
"I resent that, Larry. I know our numbers haven't caught up with our product yet, but we have some real comers on the air now."
"That newsmagazine with the weird length?"
"An Hour and 12 Minutes. It's tested very well."
"Dave, the program grid is starting to look like that game where you have to match up the odd shapes before the buzzer goes off."
"All the networks are doing it now. It's called Super Sizing. We're in virtual time."
"Speaking of that, did you really think you could sustain a three-part special on new McDonald's menu items?"
"It was a 'News You Can Use' series."
"It was stuff they had around from before. Would you order a Pancake McRib Burrito?"
"And that hypey story about the urban guerrillas. These are two kids with a can of spray paint, Dave. 'If you remodel this garage we'll blow it up.' They used two 'W's in 'blow,' for God's sake."
"But the news is keeping us going! The election was a juggernaut."
"Was. It's politics again. By the time they get to confirming the Deputy Undersecretary for Salad Forks, you'll be screaming for Ralph Nader. And another thing: I think we need something better opposite the Super Bowl than a movie."
"It's not just 'a movie,' Larry! It's a blockbuster film event with a youth-appeal host who asks trivia questions every three minutes to keep our attention-span-challenged viewers from looking for the remote."
"I can't believe you did Citizen Kane as a pop-up video."
"And made a jumble out of ROSEBUD to give away a car! Tight budgets, Larry. It's either that or another biography of Howie Mandel."
"Too late, Dave. You're out. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I want you to welcome Dave's successor, a fellow who's as well-known in the television industry as he is to the IRS, ha ha. He's been on the beach for a while, but he's making his comeback now and is going to be consulting us until we get back on our feet. Say hello to Skip Kovacs."
"Thanks, Larry. It's great to be back, and just in time to introduce our new 'extreme news' anchor team. They'll be delivering the headlines while giving each other a massage. And to keep things simple, they're both named Mel."
"Sounds great, Skip. I can't wait."
"Then, we bring on our new show, Temptation Situation. Couples win cash if they have a menage-a-trois on their honeymoon with the guy who brings up the champagne."
"I love it."
"Then, for sweeps, we unveil another meaningless awards show, and Jennifer Lopez dazzles America by showing up completely naked."
"It's Can't-Miss TV!"
"Just a minute, Larry! This all sounds like the same junk everybody else is doing!"
"It is, but we're also taking on the tough issues."
"'Is nine years old too young for breast implants?'"
"Us too. Three cosmetic surgeons said 'no.'"
Copyright 2000 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and wgnradio.com. Coming: newsjunkie.net.