Let's dip into that mail bag and see who's been writing to Mr. Spud lately . . .
- TEARS, NOT "CHEERS": In an open letter to KSTU-Ch. 13, David Webb of Orem expresses his displeasure that "Cheers" has been replaced with "WKRP in Cincinnati" weeknights at 10 p.m.:"In these hard times of nationwide recession and talk of world war, many citizens like myself find at least some solace in the constants of life: constants like a newspaper on the porch each evening . . . a chance to visit with friends or family from time to time . . . and the comfort that, no matter how rotten the day has been, we can always tune in to `Cheers' at 10 p.m.
" . . . I'm sure this is just a programming oversight, and will be rectified in the near future. The Beatles flopped with `Mary Had a Little Lamb" but still emerged unscathed. The Utah Jazz once played home games in Las Vegas but have overcome. And in a week or two, when `Cheers' is back at home, all the world's grave injustices will have settled again."
Well, Dave, I don't know about all the world's injustices, but this one actually will be set right in just a few weeks - "Cheers" will be back in the 10 p.m. timeslot on KSTU as of April 15. It seems Ch. 13 has received 892 calls complaining about the change.
"We learned our lesson," said a KSTU spokeswoman. "We've heard them and we're changing back."
Because of sticky contracts the change can't come before April 15, but it definitely is coming then.- BAD GRAMMAR: E.M. Shaeffer of Salt Lake City was appalled with Dana Carvey's grammar at last September's Emmy Awards - and with Mr. Spud for putting that bad grammar in the paper.
Carvey's quote was, "Although the writers have given Keenan and I some wonderful words, we've decided not to go down in flames like the rest of the presenters."
And Schaeffer's response:
"The presenter does go down in flames as far as I am concerned! Doesn't anyone on television know when to use `I' and when to use `me'?
"Why bother to use taxpayers' money for English education in schools? Just use it all on mathematics and science!"
If if makes you feel any better, Carvey is Canadian - so none of our tax money was used in his obviously deficient education.NO FAVORITISM: Mr. Spud received a very pleasant letter from Jane Mencl in Bountiful a few weeks ago. Jane wanted to express her admiration for Ch. 2's weathercaster.
"It seems this `Mark is Back' thing has gotten a little out of hand . . . a little overblown, don't you think?" she wrote. "Somehow lost in all the hullabaloo of the moment is the fact that Tim Ross has done an incredible job in an impossible situation."
I'm inclined to agree that the ad campaign did get out of hand and that Ross is a fine weatherman. But I was a little taken aback by something further into the letter:
" . . . I have yet to see his (Ross') name in print anywhere in the Deseret News though I realize the compromising situation that creates in that he is essentially a competitor of your parent company!"
Whoa. To deal with the easier question first, Ross was written up in the television column when he arrived in Utah a while back.
As to the second point, yes, KSL and the Deseret News share ownership (but little else). I know I'm fighting a losing battle here, but the truth is that I have never once considered that fact when writing about Ch. 5 or any other station in town.
My bosses have never asked to to treat Ch. 5 any differently - our policy is to act as if the two companies share no ties.
As a matter of fact, a few of the folks at KSL think I treat them more harshly than their competitors, which is also something I strive to avoid.CHER AND CHER ALIKE: Mary Duvall of Salt Lake City took Mr. Spud to task for his comments about "Cher: At the Mirage."
"Your sarcastic remarks about televisions being equipped with channel changers and off switches was completely missing the point of the viewers' complaints concerning what Cher was wearing during her concert.
" . . . I think you owe your readers an apology for your sarcasm, and perhaps you could provide us with a more productive way we can let the networks know what we feel is acceptable and worthwhile viewing or what we find totally unacceptable."
Well, actually my sarcasm was aimed at people who were surprised to discover that Cher wore some pretty skimpy outfits. And I still feel that the first, best step in allowing only what you want into your home is to exercise your right to change the channel or turn the TV off.
However, as I've done many times before, I'll list network addresses so you can write and express your feelings:
ABC: Robert Iger; president, ABC Entertainment; 2040 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067; CBS: Jeff Sagansky; president, CBS Entertainment; 7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. NBC: Warren Littlefield; president, NBC Entertainment; 3000 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91523. Fox: Jamie Kellner; president and CEO, Fox Entertaiment Group; P.O. Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213.