No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?

Susannah Collins

If you have been living under a rock in Chicago, you would not know that the following happened last week:

Then comes out that Comcast SportsNet Chicago releases Susannah a couple of days later.

Chicago Tribune Story on Collins firing

Of course Comcast Sports Net does damage control and claims what happened last week did NOT have anything to do with Susannah’s on air mistake (even though we all know it did).

Now comes word that the owner of the Blackhawks Rocky Wirtz was partially behind the firing and in my opinion used his 20 percent ownership weight to e-mail the other team co-owners of the network (Ricketts and Riensdorf owners of other Chicago sports teams respectively) to pressure CSN Chicago management to get rid of Collins. This is all according to Chicago Tribune writer Robert Channick

Chicago Radio and Media Story

Here is my opinion: This had nothing to do with Susanna’s Sports Nutz videos (you can watch via You Tube) that show her partying, cursing like a sailor and doing sexual innuendos while talking about sports with people on the street. She did this in her past and Comcast Sports Net Chicago hired her despite that. If that was such a issue, why hire her in the first place? (I sure eye candy has something to do with her hiring too as superficial as that may be but from what I have watched of her, she is pretty good as a reporter.)

This has to deal with the fact that as a society when you are in the public view, anything you say or do can be used against you as long as someone feels the need to complain. Did Susannah Collins make an error? Yes. She said a word that people in our society do. Sex. She did not swear. She did not say a racial slur or insult anyone. Heck, she did not even use the slang term that most people use for the act!

Oh have you forgotten Rocky Wirtz. It was not too long ago when your father Bill Wirtz passed away, the popularity of the team was not nearly as hot as it is now. One of the biggest complaints was his long refusal to air home games on television because he was worried about it affecting his ticket sales.

Now your product is hot, your team is playing well, almost all of the games are on local and national TV, and you let a little mistake still a week later attempt to take center stage when the biggest thing people should be talking about is the current playoffs against the Wild.

Susannah Collins is taking the right approach. She apologized immediately on Twitter, and took until today to release this statement:

Susannah Collins Apology

statement regarding recent events…

As most of you know by now, I had a slip-up last week on the air while covering the Blackhawks playoff series.  As a result of the attention it received, an old web-based sports comedy series I participated in several years ago came to light. The intention of that show was to present a satirical, tongue-in-cheek approach to sports but, unfortunately, some of the material it contained was off-color and offensive. I understand why some may have been offended by it and for this I am truly sorry.  To be clear, that show in no way reflects my personal opinions.   

 

It has always been my dream to cover my hometown teams on the network I loved watching.  I have worked tirelessly to develop my skills as a sports reporter, anchor and host, and I want to thank the city of Chicago for allowing me that opportunity. The outpouring of support I have received is overwhelming and it will remain in my heart, as will Chicago.  Always.

 

–Susannah

She will be fine in the long run and someone will end up hiring her because if you watch her work on CSN Chicago, she is a talent that is just at the beginning of her career and is not even closing to peaking. Most reporters would have fumbled the entire piece after saying a Freudian slip and she recovered as good as any reporter can being live. All this publicity about her slip up will only make her more marketable in the long run. Plenty other sports broadcasters and reporters have done worse in the past and still have jobs today (Search Marv Albert scandal on Google for a great example).

As for CSN Chicago and the people who own parts of it that had anything to do with her being fired. SHAME on you. Maybe you should take a page of what the FCC did after David Ortiz’ live on-air comments a few weeks ago.

David Ortiz and the FCC Response

The FCC

David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston – Julius
Simple, straight to the point and people forgot about it a few days later because they did not make a huge deal of what happened and understood the circumstances meant more than the word.

There are more important things to worry about than someone making a error on live TV. We are human it happens. However how CSN Chicago and the Blackhawks handled this, has upset many people and what should have been a story for a couple of days has blown up into distraction from sports and will not go away soon. If you don’t believe me, check all the sites on Facebook.

CSN Facebook Page

Susannah Collins’ Facebook Page

Bring Back Susannah Collins Page

Online Petition

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