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Friday, January 21, 2011

70 years in the coming...Bears host Packers for NFL (OK money grabbing TV Generation Owners: NFC) crown


This Sunday the Bears host the Green Bay Packers in a championship match for the first time in almost 70 years ago

Dec 14, 1941 was the last time the Bears and the Packers met for a championship at Wrigley Field, entering with identical 10-1 records, their only loss to each other.

December 7, 1941 is the Day that will live in Infamy. One week later, it may have been the least talked about and celebrated championship in league history, the only one upstaged by a declaration of war. 

The relationship between the two teams is more than the longest running rivalry in the traditional NFL, it is one of co-dependence. Green Bay is Wisconsin's team (second the the University of Wisconsin, of course). Chicago is the power of the midway, the Midwestern giant.

In the 1950's Bears management and their coach helped save the Packers by drumming up support for a Packers' stadium, and later the Bears helped secure the legendary Vince Lombardi as the Packers' coach.

The rivalry and friendship goes back a long way...90 years. The Bears and the Packers met for the first time 1921 before there was an NFL. They were a Decatur, Illinois corporate team that played in mostly in Chicago in the still mostly unstructured or unregulated sport. On Sunday the two NFL Founding treams play for the NFL championship (now called the NFC Championship). I will be in meetings at the Screen Actors Guild HQ all day.

I am a Chicagoan. My family goes back to just after Ft Dearborn, many generations. A Great...Uncle manned the Water Tower and kept the Chicago fire from spreading north. As a Chicagoan of my generation I have seen the Bears win and lose, but always banked (incorrectly in 1984-85) on the Bears not covering the spread (they beat it this past week as well). I froze in Green Bay and in Chicago at Soldier's field. My family could not afford to go to games, preferring the warmth and low prices of then Wrigley Field in the pre-Tribune days under the Wrigley Family, but I have friends who made it to every game.

I will not be able to watch the game, stuck in an LA Board room, but will do my best to catch the Superbowl.

Either way, whomever wins, a "hometown" team will be in the Big Game, due to the synergy between the Packers and Bears.

For more on this story and storied audio interviews go to NPR News' and All Things Considered (click here).

Photo: In the 1941 Western Division playoff game at Wrigley Field, Chicago Publish PostBears guard Danny Fortmann (21) gets a bead on the ball jarred loose by Bears guard Ray Bray (82).

Keith Olbermann abruptly departs MSN

Olbermann Signs Off from MSNBC’s Countdown for Last Time

Visit for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy
MSNBC announced Friday night that its marquee "Countdown" anchor and talk show host Keith Olbermann was out.  The network did not provide a reason for his abrupt departure.
"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors," NBC Universal said in a statement.
Olbermann and his bosses have clashed in recent months. He was suspended in November for two days after revelations that he gave donations to a Democratic political candidate, which was a violation of the company's ethics policies for news employees.
-- Meg James
Photo of Olbermann by AP

More on the story from
 On Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, host Keith Olbermann announced that the episode would be his last, and spent a few minutes near the end of the show saying goodbye. He mentioned a number of infamous and pivotal points in his show’s history when he went after the Bush administration:
The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment from the stagecraft of "Mission Accomplished," to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, to the death of Pat Tillman to Hurricane Katrina, to the "Nexus of Politics and Terror," to the first "Special Comment."
As he listed a number of prominent supporters of his show, he ended up notably giving credit to the late Tim Russert of NBC for being "my greatest protector, and most indefatigable cheerleader."
Below is a complete transcript of Olbermann's announcement from the Friday, January 21, Countdown show on MSNBC, from about 8:53 p.m.:
 I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I’ve been told, that this is going to be the last edition of your show. You go directly to the scene from the movie Network - complete with the pajamas and the rain coat - and you go off on an existential, other worldly verbal journey of unutterable profundity and vision, you damn the impediments, and you insist upon the insurrections, and then you emit Peter Finch's gutteral resonant, "So." And you implore, you will the viewer to go to the window, open it, stick out his head and yell, well, you know the rest.
In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative. When I resigned from ESPN 13 1/2 years ago, I was literally given 30 seconds to say goodbye at the very end of my last edition of Sports Center. As God is my witness, in the commercial break just before the emotional moment, the producer got into my earpiece and he said, "Um, can you cut it down to 15 seconds so we can get in the tennis result from Stutgardt?"
So I'm grateful that I have a little more time to sign off here. Regardless, this is the last edition of Countdown. It is just under eight years since I returned to MSNBC. I was supposed to fill in for the late Jerry Nachman for exactly three days. Forty-nine days later, there was a four-year contract for me to return to this nightly 8 p.m. time slot which I had fled four years earlier. The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment from the stagecraft of "Mission Accomplished," to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, to the death of Pat Tillman to Hurricane Katrina, to the "Nexus of Politics and Terror," to the first "Special Comment."
The program grew and grew thanks entirely to your support, with great rewards for me, and, I hope, for you, too, though on many occasions, particularly in the last two and a half years, where all that surrounded the show - but never the show itself - was just too much for me. But your support and loyalty - and if I may use the word "insistence" - ultimately required that I keep going. My gratitude to you is boundless, and if you think I’ve done any good here, imagine how it looked from this end as you donated $2 million to the National Association of Free Clinics, and my dying father watched from his hospital bed, transcendentally comforted that his struggles were inspiring such overwhelming good for people, he and I and you would never meet, but would always know.
This may be the only television program wherein the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa. You will always be in my heart for that and for the donations to the Cranik family in Tennessee and these victims of governmental heartlessness in Arizona, to say nothing of every letter and email and Tweet and wave and handshake and online petition. Time ebbs here, and I want to close with one more Thurber story. It is still Friday.
So let me thank my gifted staff here and just a few of the many people here who fought with me and for me. Eric Sorenson, Phil Alangi, Neal Shapiro, Michael Weissman, the late David Bloom, John Palmer, Alana Russo, Monica Novotny, my dear friends Rachel Maddow and Bob Costas and my greatest protector, and most indefatigable cheerleader, the late Tim Russert. And now, let me finish by turning again to this ritual of reading Thurber stories to you.

Read more:

15% unemployment

Las Vegas unemployment rate climbs to record 14.9 percent
Improving economic conditions couldn't rescue Nevada's job market in December, as unemployment rose significantly statewide and in Las Vegas. Local joblessness jumped to a record 14.9 percent in the month, up from 14.3 percent in November, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported.

Bob Marley family wins case over use of Marley's image

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

A federal jury in Las Vegas has sided with the family of Bob Marley in a civil case involving the sale of T-shirts bearing the late reggae musician's image.

Jurors ruled that AVELA, a Nevada corporation, and owner Leo Valencia engaged in unfair competition and intentionally interfered with the family's business relationships by selling the shirts and other products at retail stores such as Target and Walmart.

Click here for more from the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Image from

Architecture film Tuesday at Las Vegas Design Center

Legendary husband-and-wife architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown shook up the design world in 1972 with their landmark book "Learning From Las Vegas."

And Las Vegas is the fitting location for a Tuesday night screening of "Bob and Denise," a new documentary about the team directed by their son, Jim Venturi.

Help build the legacy of a great theater teacher!

Please visit to help with the "Oral Biography of Jim Eitrheim" Family, Friends and Former students welcome! ~Karin

James Eitrheim has been mentor, teacher and inspriration for decades of individuals who went on to careers in film, television, on stage, in marketing and as fellow teachers at all levels of education. His legacy includes multiple Emmy, Tony, Jeff and other award winners, one high profile Academy Award nomination, university faculty, high school teachers (including a successor at Oak Park-River Forest High School), elementary school teachers, behind the scenes marketing professionals and at least one SAG National Board Member, your's truely. I serve on the Screen Actors Guild with great pride. I serve in the name of my unionist father, grandfather and boodline, in pride to represent my fellow talent as well as all those who aspire to work in and enjoy the crafts at a professional union level. James Eitrheim set me, and many others on that path.
-Art Lynch 

Comcast and NBC: The Evolution Will Be Televised

by Don Seaman, 

Please forgive me if I'm not shaken to my core over Comcast's acquisition of NBCU.

What does it do?  It merely creates the largest single media company in the United States of America.

There's been so much written in the past few days about why this is bad for us as consumers.  Comcast, the distribution source, will now control massive amounts of content -- broadcast network NBC, over 20 cable channels, Spanish-language Telemundo, Universal Pictures, and Hulu being the company's major holdings.   It will certainly be poised to create a chokehold over what consumers watch and how they watch it.

Prices will go up.  Net neutrality will suffer.  The new company will be able to suppress content from competitors and favor its own.

All of that is possible -- maybe probable, even with some "voluntary" restrictions imposed by the FCC factored in.

I'm still somewhat unfazed.

For More on this commentary from Media Post, click on "read more" below.

Amazon takes on Netflix, Comcast pushing top NBC Execs out, Sundance, Shifts at Google, and Jimmy Kimmel gets time

Amazon to take on Netflix. Signaling its looming presence in the subscription movie rental market, has acquired Lovefilm, a company similar to Netflix that operates in Europe. Like Netflix, Lovefilm ships DVDs through the mail and streams movies over the Internet to subscribers for a monthly fee. It also ships games, unlike Netflix. The company has 1.6 million members and operates in Britain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The deal comes as Amazon is preparing to launch an online movie subscription business in the United States that would compete with Netflix's popular streaming service, according to people familiar with the matter. The Seattle-based company could potentially use Lovefilm's technology to help it launch that operation.

Buh-bye. Just a few days after Comcast got government approval to take over NBC Universal, Angela Bromstad, NBC's head of prime-time entertainment, turned in her resignation. The move had been expected since last November when Comcast said former Showtime programming chief Bob Greenblatt would run NBC's entertainment operations. Other senior executives also leaving are NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and NBC Universal TV chief Jeff Gaspin. Expect lot of other departures. More from the Los Angeles Times and Variety. Meanwhile, General Electric Co. reported its fourth-quarter results and NBC revenue was up 12%. Zucker talked about the results in his farewell memo, which you can read courtesy of Hollywood Reporter.
Bargains to be had. You can leave the checkbook at home and stick to the ATM card at this year's Sundance. While there's lots of good product, the New York Times says the "buzzwords among most sales agents this year are "recalibrated expectations" and "new normal." This essentially means that deals will get done but that prices will be confined to the mid-seven figures or less. The Times says films that in the past would have gotten $1.5 million in minimum guarantees now get around $250,000.
Boys against girls. This weekend "No Strings Attached" -- the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman romantic comedy -- will square off against "The Green Hornet." I would have thought "No Strings Attached" would flame out, but given Portman's popularity right now, I'll bet it does decent numbers but won't have staying power. Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times and the Wrap.
All grown up. Eric Schmidt is giving up his CEO title at Google and co-founder Larry Page will take that spot. Schmidt will become executive chairman. The move was a surprise, although Schmidt, who was brought in 10 years ago to provide veteran leadership for youthful founders Page and Sergey Brin, tweeted that "day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" Coverage from the San Jose Mercury News and Wall Street Journal
Bad Friday. Jean-Marie Messier and Edgar Bronfman were found guilty and fined by a Paris court for assorted charges related to their leadership of Vivendi. According to the Financial Times, Messier got a three-year suspended sentence for misleading investors while Bronfman was given a 15-month suspended sentence for insider trading.
Kimmel gets more time. ABC said it is pushing up the start time of Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show from 12:05 a.m. to midnight. That also means that "Nightline," the lead-in for Kimmel, is going to lose about six minutes of show. Kimmel was able to negotiate for the extra time as part of the most recent extension of his deal. Details from USA Today.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: For some actors, having a movie at Sundance can help them make a new impression.