Mayor Daley may have obliterated Meigs Field last year, but now Clear Channel Radio wants to wipe out O'Hare Airport -- at least from all of its traffic reports.
In a move that has enraged and appalled staffers at all seven Clear Channel stations in Chicago, the company is ordering its on-air talent to stop reporting Kennedy Expy. travel times to O'Hare -- the landmark end point familiar to generations of motorists.
Thanks to a yearlong marketing agreement with Allstate Arena -- the first under Clear Channel's "traffic destination rights program" -- travel times are to be reported "from Downtown to the Allstate Arena" rather than to O'Hare, starting next week. The concert venue and sports facility, formerly known as the Rosemont Horizon, is located near O'Hare in northwest suburban Rosemont.
The edict came in a memo this week from Barry Butler, general sales manager for Clear Channel Traffic Chicago. Butler declined to say how much Allstate Arena was paying for the product placement plugs in traffic reports.
"Quite honestly, for commuters who take this route, this change makes much more sense, since the significant majority of commuters are not going to and from O'Hare each day -- it's from the area where the Allstate Arena is located," Butler wrote to Clear Channel staffers. "By the way, all of the concerts that are booked at the Allstate are from Clear Channel Entertainment!"
The sinister implications of that corporate synergy are not likely to be lost on anyone.
"Anytime that we mention the Kennedy Expressway travel times, it will be to and from the Allstate Arena (or, for the cool people, 'The Allstate')," he wrote. "I understand that for the first couple of weeks that this will be an adjustment for some. Old habits are hard to break. As such, I asked the marketing people representing Allstate for some patience with this transition."
In Chicago, Clear Channel owns the top four stations among listeners between the ages of 25 and 54 -- WVAZ-FM (102.7), WGCI-FM (107.5), WLIT-FM (93.9) and WNUA-FM (95.5). It also owns WKSC-FM (103.5), WGCI-AM (1390) and WRLL-AM (1690).
It's hard to see why anyone would vote for Wesley Clark after his dismal showing. If you want a war hero, there's Kerry. If you want a Southerner, there's Edwards. If you want a crackpot, there's Dean (though we'll grant that Clark is more of a crackpot). - James Taranto, WSJ
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.
"Orton's facials were perfect, I must say." (Ringmistress)My freakin' God. I usually don't agree with you in Politics, but this thread just needs Gilbert Gottfried redoing his role from I Love the 80's:
"Hey Clear Channel... What the FUCK?!"
Someone find some way to break these asshats up.
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