|December 13, 2007|
|CBS is Unfairly Rapped for Jumping on New England Patriots’ bandwagon. One Hopes 'My Favorite Martian' fans Like Steak.|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|CBS Corp. is taking some hits for cutting a deal with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft to open a CBS Scene restaurant steps away from Gillette Stadium, home of the invincible Pats and America’s Quarterback Tom Brady.|
Michael Hiestand, USA Today’s TV columnist, knocked the one-time Tiffany Network for getting too cozy with the Patriots. He wrote:
“If CBS and the New England Patriots got any closer, they’d get tattoos with each other’s logos.”
C’mon, Mike. Corporate America is and has been in bed with Big Sports for as long as balls were hit and footballs caught.
Those with long memories (and some gray hair) remember that CBS owned the New York Yankees during their dreary 1964-72 seasons. That ownership turned out to be a disaster to those beyond the fan clubs of such giants as Andy Kosco, Dooley Womack, Horace Clarke, Joe Pepitone and Fritz Peterson? [Peterson did liven up things up with a wife-swapping arrangement with fellow pitcher Mike Kekich, who was an inseparable friend.]
More recently, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. owned and unloaded the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Disney had its Ducks. And of course, the fate of Tribune Co.’s Cubbies is up in the air with the takeover of that media combine by real estate mogul Sam Zell.
CBS' getting into the eatery business is a sign of desperation. An economic downturn would hammer CBS more than its network competitors because it has a far greater dependency on broadcast ad dollars and is missing-in-action on the cable front.
CBS shares currently trade at $27, off from a $35.75 52-week high. NBC meanwhile is a bit part of General Electric. ABC is a small piece of the Disney empire.
CBS chief Les Moonves plans to serve up steaks to diners and hopes they hang around to watch some TV on table-top screens programmed with CBS fare. He wants happy customers finally leaving the Scene burdened with bundles of DVDs from his company’s vast library.
This blogger wishes all the best for CBS. One wonders if there is much of a fan base for CBS’ greatest hits. They include gems like “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Honeymooners,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “My Favorite Martian,” “Petticoat Junction” “Red Skelton Hour,” “Gomer Pyle,” “The Steve Lawrence Show,” “Gunsmoke” and “Here’s Lucy.”
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