WBBM, the CBS-owned station in Chicago, said today that a Chicago-area furniture company did not have permission to use footage of news anchors Walter Jacobson and Bill Kurtis in a commercial that doubled as a tribute to outgoing mayor Richard M. Daley. The commercial shows clips of numerous personalities -- including former President George W. Bush, uttering flattering farewells to the mayor, who is stepping down after 22 years next week. The station's statement came one day after Chicago Sun-Times TV critic Robert Feder blasted the television anchors not only for appearing in a commercial -- something verboten by most TV news organizations -- but for "heaping praise" on Daley. "What part of unbiased reporting' don't they understand?" asked Feder. WBBM maintained, however, that the two anchors were under the impression that their remarks would only be used in a video that was to be presented to Daley personally and were not aware that it was to be used as a commercial. Early today (Tuesday) a Smithe representative said that video of the 2 CBS anchors had been removed from the commercials and also an anchor from another local TV station, WFLD.

10/05/2011