From the desk of Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams
Think Piece: STARS STARS STARS
Been thinking more about giving out stars to more stuff. NEED it! It’s the one area that newspapers own… our content trademark. We created it. When you see a movie review, do you read it? NO!!! You see how many stars it got. If it got *** then you might see it. If it got ** then you rent it, unless it has a Pam Anderson nude scene. In fact, we should steal an idea from Mr. Skin and rate movies’ sex scenes. SEX SELLS. BUT WE NEED TO STAR EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING! For example, Obituaries. UGH. Talk about missing the demo, unless it’s a rock star suicide. But not enough dead rock stars…too bad. So give each dead guy stars. For example, a pillar of the local business community… snore. 1 star (unless they buy big ads—make sure you check with publisher on these if you don’t know). Aging Hollywood star like Paul Newman three stars!! Make sure you do a story about who he laid. SEX SELLS. Young Hollywood tragedy like Heath Ledger. Ten stars!!!! Front page. We own obituaries but it’s a dead category. Let’s make it SCREAM! But DON’T STOP with obituaries. Think about the CRIME page. Another content trademark. Murders always get at least two stars. (Unless it’s a young black man, then it’s one star…Wait, strike that, I guess we don’t cover those.) Factors that make a fourstar murder. Famous victim. Famous killer. All get more stars. Famous killer kills famous victim. Bam! Home run. What if Joe DiMaggio had murdered Marilyn Monroe, for example. We’re talking extra press runs, baby. Plus extra stars for serial killers. Extra stars for gruesome crime scenes. You get the idea. Rape…can be tricky since the victims are not ID-d but we can give stars for how hot the victim was. Was she dressed slutty and hot? Four stars!! Remember SEX SELLS… International news. I’m still fighting this one. No one reads this stuff. No one. But they might if we give them stars. Remember the story about that Arab girl who was going to be executed because she had sex out of wedlock? Extra stars! If you have her picture and she was hot? More stars!! SEX SELLS. Why are the foreign bureaus covering what they do anyway? Right now, somewhere in the world there’s a sex scandal. Especially England. THAT’s the FOREIGN news we should own. And GIVE IT STARS.
Audience choice: “Dumb it Down, Boys”; “Lee: That RedEye is doing awfully well. Too bad we can’t compete with them. Randy: Umm… we own the RedEye too. Lee: What? Then make the Tribune like that!”; “Seriously….we’re grasping at straws here people! How can we sell-out more?”
Best of Chicago 2008