Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
(Date Posted:12/12/2008 22:09)
I received a gracious phone call this afternoon from WGN Vice President and General Manager Marty Wilke regarding the news which earlier I was quite distressed to hear that now even their local station, WGN Channel 9, would also not be airing the original WPIX Yule Log. This was especially upsetting to me because not only did both official press releases for WPIX and WGN America state that local WGN Channel 9 was scheduled to air the original program, but in addition, several of my contacts at WGN had assured me of this as well -- and I posted this as such on the message board and advised folks of this via private emails that had been sent to me from the main website.
To her credit, she kindly apologized for the error and any miscommunication there might have been, but said that their original intentions from the beginning were to air their new Yule Log program on both WGN stations. I accepted her apology, but candidly expressed my amazement and bewilderment that everyone seemed to have gotten this wrong.
I told her what was most disappointing is not having a competitor for the original Yule Log, but that the competitor is from within our own ranks. As I said before on this message board, imitation is indeed the best form of flattery, and for non-Tribune stations that don't have the legal rights to broadcast the original Yule Log program, that's fine. But not for the ones that do.
However, with regard specifically to WGN America, I told her how unnecessary it was to have offended all these viewers across the country because since they are dedicating 9 1/2 hours to the Yule Log telecast there was more than plenty of time to show both programs. They could have easily accomplished both goals by presenting the new Yule Log broadcast in the early evening hours, and then airing the original Yule Log broadcast in the late evening, overnight hours.
I went on to explain the strong, heartfelt and sentimental attachment that fans have for the original Yule Log program, and how so many folks across the country that don't have a local tribune affiliate relied on WGN America for the broadcast. Now these folks are out of luck. The new show's creator, Sean Compton, seriously underestimated the import of this decision to jettison the original program.
By the way, Ms. Wilke told me to let you know that she would very much welcome your messages about how you feel on this matter. She asked that they be sent directly to her executive assistant, Rachelle Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Folks, I can only do so much as a single spokesman. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to make your voices heard. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to share your thoughts with Ms. Wilke. And let me just remind you, that it was the foresight of another great GM, Betty Ellen Berlamino, that brought the Yule Log back to WPIX in 2001 after an 11 year hiatus.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that next year the WPIX Yule Log will return once again to Tribune's WGN.
By the way, I thought I'd post below a message I received at 3:33am Christmas morning last year, while the Yule Log was airing on Superstation WGN. I think this says it all, and it's indicative of the kind of emails I receive on the program:
Great job remastering the audio track on the Yule Log. As I am writing this I am recording it off of WGN (Chicago), the sister station to WPIX. Where I live, we do not get WPIX-TV on our cable, so I have to rely on WGN for the Yule Log. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York and every year we had the Yule Log on channel 11, and always enjoyed it. Thanks to you guy's efforts, people here in the town I now live in can enjoy the Yule Log. My friends will put on some channel saying they have the Yule Log, and I tell them "no you don't, there is only one original Yule Log program." It is often imitated, but never duplicated. This year WGN in Chicago is airing the WPIX Yule Log and I am so glad they are because I do not get WPIX where I live. I am also recording it this year so my friends can enjoy what I have enjoyed literally all my life.
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com