As you can imagine, lots of people have been calling and e-mailing me about the "Packers vs. President" schedule conflict tomorrow night. A few points to keep in mind:
First, the statement that WTMJ-TV "isn't carrying the president" is simply untrue. We are carrying the president on channel 4.2, which is also available on Time Warner cable channel 999. The Packers programming will be carried on channel 4.1 (Time Warner channel 4 and 1004). One of the advantages of the switch to digital TV a few years ago is the ability to program multiple channels, which allows us to offer both programs during this week's conflict.
Second, some people want to make this issue a political discussion. I can assure you that our coverage decision had nothing to do with politics. It had everything to do with providing Packers coverage for people who want it if they so choose. Our decision to carry both the Packers and the President had nothing to do with whether we agree or disagree with the president's policies.
And finally, the president's speech will be readily available on multiple channels. In addition to airing on WTMJ-TV channel 4.2, the speech will be seen on all the major networks (including ABC, CBS and FOX here in Milwaukee) and on numerous cable channels. One caller told me she wouldn't be able to watch the president because of our decision. That's obviously not the case, and I'm confident she'll find complete coverage on one of our competitors.
What will I be watching? Probably a little of both. As a Packers fan, I'll want to see and feel the excitement from Lambeau Field as I get settled in for the game. But I'm also very interested in what the president has to say and what the republicans will say in response.
This decision was made not because we don't think what the president has to say is important or that we intend any disrespect to the president. The fact is, there will be a large audience watching the president and a large audience seeking the Packers programming. This isn't about "red and blue" it's about "green and gold" and letting audiences decide what they want to watch.