I haven't posted online much this year due to various things, but I want to pass along this potentially really big scoop on WJYS to everyone. This is definitely huge for them, and as close as they can hope right now for the phrase "Hell has frozen over". I've posted this in a few other places but wanted to make sure I post it here, too.
For much of this year, it's been business as usual for WJYS, airing their typical Religious/Infomercial fare so there hasn't been much to report on them..until now. Over the last few weeks I'd been wondering if it'd be their usual for this Fall or if they would actually try something different. Welllllp, pre-hell freezing may have started at that station. It's certainly the closest they've gotten to that in a while. Last week, I was catching up with Mr. Feder's blog and I come across a small bit about WJYS and well...there's no way to describe this other than show you guys the website for what exactly they've decided on doing this Fall cause it's gonna be a helluva lot more effective this way and way more effective than any description I can give...
That's right...you're reading and seeing this correctly..they are doing a local late night talk show just for Chicago!!! It's hosted by Michael Essany and basically fuses a supper club/cocktail seating with a late night talk show. So basically, this is their attempt at Chicago's very own, local Tonight Show! It has a Monologue, guests (Both local Chicago big names and national celebrities), musical guests and their attempt at short sketches. It's on WJYS Monday-Friday from 10:30-11:30pm.
Now, I had a chance to catch half of the show last night..to my shock and surprise they actually DID run it, and it started on time as well! Honestly, the thing impressed the hell out of me for what it is. The production values and picture quality really are very decent and the volume levels are more than acceptable. It's definitely not one of those "Here today, gone tomorrow" Cable access talk shows from someone's basement. Admittedly, the monologue was a bit on the ehhhh side but they just started on the 17th of this month so it's gonna take a while for them to really get going. The first guest was quite interesting..the Harmonica playing using his mouth at one time Youtube celebrity. The show's band is...you know actually really decent and not what I expected at all. The theme song is actually rather catchy. As I said I missed the 2nd half of the show, not by choice-I really did want to see the last half of it.
My reaction to this right now is just...Good God..we gotta give WJYS credit this time guys. They're taking a major MAJOR risk with this..a local just for Chicago late night talk show. I'm shocked more than anything it's them doing the show and airing it. Also thinking okay where was this 17 years ago while they were trying to be a general market Independent? They could really have used this then. I'm also asking myself how the hell it took this long for a Chicago station to try something like this! It seems like a no brainer and I'd have expected Weigel, WPWR, WFLD or WGN to try something like this long ago. I certainly would expect this kinda thing out of those 4 LONG before WJYS! One thing's clear..this is either going to finally be their thing that sticks to the wall, takes off and does well for them or it's gonna blow up colosallyin their face. Guess we'll have to wait and see but just for the fact they're taking their risk and so far giving it a real chance I'll definitely support and watch the show when I can. This could be super huge for them since it's not just hot air in the advertisement about it being Chicago's first local late night talk show. NO one else in the market would even dare try something like this right now so they really do have something at the moment no other local Chicago station does.
I know you guys have endured my soap box posts on WJYS the last few years but THIS is the kind of risk taking I've been saying for years they need to be doing! THIS is an excellent start towards a much MUCH better WJYS and it's certainly a huge step forward for them. Okay guys, if this does well, then take some other risks. Add even more general programming..both original locally produced stuff like this show and older shows. Guarantee your ratings will go up. I think they're finally starting to realize it might be a really good idea to start taking some risks and try going in some different directions, try new things. At least I sure hope they are! Wasn't expecting them to do anything at all this Fall, let alone something like this. You did damn good this time WJYS..really damn good. We'll see soon enough if this latest dice roll from them pays off or not.
Finally, they need to advertise, advertise, advertise this show where ever they can. On the station itself, the Trib TV section, the Sun Times TV page, buses, the L..you get the idea. Their best hope right now is to get out awareness about the show, because that's the only way to get ratings and translate into something sustainable long term for them. Looking at the advertiser materials (for people wanting a commercial spot during the show), they're shooting for at LEAST 65 episodes right now (just again, daaaaamn! That's a huge commitmemt for a station like that!) so that's a really good sign and shows WJYS is going to give it at least a few months chance.
Well played Channel 62, that's all I can really say right now. I HAVE to give them major, huge credit for taking this kind of risk. Really didn't think they had the desire to try something like this or had this kinda effort in them!
Hope 2012 has been great for everyone here and that it's been everything you've been wanting and hoping for!