The Rundown: Why we didn't cover sticker-gate on 848 (yet)

February 9, 2012

Man, busy show today. Live radio! We added a segment this morning based on the news that Art Chicago is done at the Merchandise Mart. I could've also put in something on sticker-gate, but you know, I find that story to be a product of a new media world order. I'm not sure that story has the legs it had and the reaction it had if it weren't for media giving it full top-story treatment all day yesterday.

Here's the rub: The new way media works is to give the people what they want. In the case of this sticker story, I'm sure analytics and Web traffic played a major role, as both the Tribune and Sun-Times kept the story on their home page from Tuesday night to this morning. That's a long time for a story about a sticker controversy. And I know on our site that the very small story we put together dominated pageviews yesterday. Far and away the number one story of the day. So if it was number one on our site, I'm pretty sure it was number one on others. This traffic kept the story up and out there and put pressure on the news producers to make more news. Calls out to the kid. Calls out to the family. Calls out to gang experts. Repeated calls out to the City Clerk's office. So the pressure was applied and all of these newsmakers played their role in extending the story. CLTV went LIVE with Mendoza's press conference announcing they were yanking the sticker. Live, thus probably being the first time ever that a City Clerk was live on TV. Follow-up stories aplenty, the story continues.

So help me out. I don't want to talk about the who-what-where-when on this story. And when I first saw this story Tuesday night, I was unmoved. We didn't lose money. We just deemed a kid's design to be inappropriate for a sticker that is well, inappropriately priced. Next.

But people are consuming it. They seem to love the story. So what's my angle? What is the conversation here? Is it a media convo? Is it a conversation about gangs? Is it about what other functions a clerk has besides picking city sticker designs? Let me know in the comments and I'll produce it for tomorrow. 

But I did get the Will Ferrell bit from the Bulls game in, so we got that going for us.

Today on Eight Forty-Eight:

Schools out...forever! WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton examines a University of Chicago study that says shake-ups of some of Chicago’s worst performing schools are having a positive impact.

Art is going to need art therapy: We talk with Alison Cuddy and hopefully Tony Karman about the Merchandise Mart's decision to cancel Art Chicago and other exhibitions.

You can put a bird on it. There’s a new twist in the Chicago Police Department’s controversial plan to build an outdoor shooting range within city limits. A new bird has called the area home. And it’s put into question any progress police have made on the shooting range after years of planning and backing from high-powered officials. Michell Eloy has the story.

How to do Everything: The guys from the How to do Everything podcast, NPR's Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag, demonstrate how to fake your way through a wine menu and truth squad Super Bowl ads. We are going to try and have these guys on a lot. If you don't listen to the podcast, you should.

And the best part of today's show: To mark Black History Month, WBEZ music buffs Tony Sarabia and Richard Steele unearth more music of the African diaspora.