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Now where is it? I know it’s in this closet somewhere; maybe it’s behind my Shepard Smith voodoo doll? There it is! Behind the book of Granite Broadcasting success stories...now, if I can just reach it...got it! My crystal ball! Now it’s time to take a look at what will happen in 2003:

*The first thing the magic ball tells me is that the CNN/Disney merger will finally go through. It will be tough luck for Larry King though—Mickey Mouse will replace him in March. Mickey’s first guest will be Ross Perot, who will once again announce a presidential run.
*In April, Meredith boss Kevin O’Brien will get confused and fire himself.
*CBS will finally shoot Survivor on U.S. soil. The May edition will feature some quasi-celebrities fighting to be the “last one standing.” The show will be called Survivor: MSNBC.
*In May, Mattel will introduce the Bill O’Reilly action doll. It won’t do much, mainly just suck up to G.I. Joe and tell Barbie she needs to spend more time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. Every hour the doll will tell you how great he is.
*In June, EA Games will introduce a new game for both the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game lets you be a TV station manager: You get to whack people, steal money, go to hookers, and drive drunk. In reality, the game is “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” but EA will just repackage the game and call it “Pink Slip.”
*In July, MSNBC will hire Tony Soprano and Ozzy Osbourne to deliver the news.
*Also in July, Katie Couric will officially weigh more than Al Roker. Matt Lauer will finally figure out that his buzz cut is not cool and will join the Hair Club for Men.
*In April, the Master’s on CBS will go commercial-free and draw the highest ratings ever in TV history, beating even the Super Bowl. Tiger Woods will win the tournament, but the big ratings draw will be Augusta Chairman Hootie Johnson taking on activist Martha Burke in naked Jell-O wrestling on the 18th green.
*TV consultants will finally figure out that the show opening to the newscast should go at the beginning of the program instead of after the first commercial break.
*After selling a set on eBay, CBS will get a little carried away and sell Dan Rather on the auction site. The winning bid will be $978, placed by an executive at MSNBC.
*In October, the 1,245th book listed on Amazon.com’s sales chart will be “Larry Kane’s Nursing Home.”
*The website F-ckedTelevision.com will surpass Yahoo as the most read site on the Internet (sorry, had to get a plug in there).
*Taking a cue from CBS, Granite Broadcasting will sell its entire station group on eBay. The winning bid will be $980, or $3 more than what Dan Rather went for.
*The February ratings will be won by ABC...huh? It looks like my crystal ball has gone on the fritz. I have to go now. Have a great New Year everyone

Scott Jones is a former photographer, reporter, assignment editor, producer, executive producer, and Top 20 news director. He runs www.ftvlive.com and can be reached by email at sjones@uemedia.com.