O'Donnell: Dan Jiggetts on how Chet Coppock assisted in the rise of Oprah Winfrey
A GREAT DAN JIGGETTS TALE prepping for "The Life and Times of Chet Coppock" Wednesday night at Mike Taffe's Eddie's Lounge in Arlington Heights:
It's about how Chet played a seminal role in the phenomenal ascent of Oprah Winfrey.
Said Jiggetts: "Oprah's first show at Channel 7 was the day Mike White and Illinois played in the Rose Bowl (a 45-9 loss to UCLA on Monday, Jan. 2, 1984).
"The show was still 'A.M. Chicago' and her guests included me, Revie Sorey and Doug Buffone.
"After my internship with Chet at Channel 5 in 1981, as my hope for a broadcasting career was getting serious, he hooked me up with his agent, Jeff Jacobs.
"Later, Oprah and I were chatting and she said she was thinking about changing agents.
"I mentioned Jeff to her and later told Jeff about her situation. He wasted no time in solidifying their association and the rest is TV history."
Among other things, Jacobs retrieved Winfrey's syndication rights out of a weak deal with the ABC o-and-o and turned her from employee into Global Hall of Gain capitalist.
Oprah went on to challenge the thinking world's perception of itself.
The brilliantly facile Jacobs was in the cockpit the whole way as co-founder and president of Harpo Entertainment Group.
THE AFTERMATH of the U.S. women's World Cup championship continues to skirt between gravitas and folly.
Yes, they won. Yes, they deserve equal pay for equal work.
And yes, a very respectable 14.2 million tuned in Sunday morning to watch the 2-0 clincher over the Netherlands.
That number topped the 11.4 million who watched the 2018 men's WC final between France and Croatia, a match that packed all the American TV wallop of "Good Morning Zagreb."
But, the dreaded Jack Ruby fringe couldn't help but notice the number of timely penalty-kick goals that kept the U.S. women rolling.
And Megan Rapinoe's outrage at not being invited to the White House so the team could turn the invite down suggested she could be signed by a major audio label to update the old Groucho Marx tune, "Hello, I Must Be Going."
In a final note, with the balls stored and the New York City tape tickered, no less than comedic cobweb Joe Piscopo -- Joe Piscopo! -- went with the flow of the moment on Fox Business:
"Yes, those girls should be paid, man," Piscopo said. "It's morally right."
Talk about Suffragette City.
STREET-BEATIN': Rock-steady Mark Giangreco is circling a renewal at WLS-Channel 7. Whatever the figures, station management would be more foolish than Joe Jonas ditching Sophie Turner to let him get away. … A Serena Williams-Coco Gauff finale at Wimbledon would have been a midsummer's bright dream for both ESPN and women's tennis. New mom Williams alone is a great story and clearly a player for the ages but she has long lacked ongoing resonance with mainstream TV viewers. (Her semi vs. Barbora Strycova airs live Thursday in the ESPN bloc after 7 a.m.). … Don't rush to judgment why Ryan Dempster replaced Jim Deshaies on NBCSCH's Sunday telecast of the Cubs-Sox game. Given the way the Cubs' game and broadcast schedules fell, team management gave Deshaies the OK to take that day off and make it a full week vacation including the All-Star break. … Fox Sports is proudly boasting that Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game remained "the top-rated All-Star event" for the sixth consecutive season. That apparently means it had a larger audience with measurable pulses than the Pro Bowl, the NBA All-Star Game and whatever the NHL is calling its holiday on ice these days. … Not exactly banner headline material, but regional TV ratings for White Sox games continue to rise from the bottom of the see. Renewed interest is also reflected in home attendance, with Eloy Jimenez, Lucas Giolito and mates averaging 22,100 (No. 22 in MLB and well behind the 37K the No. 4 Cubs claim). … Final crosstowner: Ratings for both Cubs-Sox games last weekend were, in the words of one informed audience monitor, "Meh." (That'll happen when thorny Bret Michaels is playing the free Fourth festival down the street.). … If there is anything that can clear the potatoes off the couch quicker than spilled Lysol, it's a telecast of an NBA Summer League game. Attempting to sit through a whole one is as testing as watching a 20-person Green Party presidential debate. … Also from NBA/Las Vegas: Media reports Raptors coach Nick Nurse found out about Kawhi Leonard's signing with the Clippers via text while watching "Purple Reign" -- a Prince tribute show -- at The Tropicana. (He shrugged and stayed on through "Take Me With You."). … DePaul basketball HOFer Jim Flemming forwarded that Libertyville second baseman Jimmy Govern (Eastern Illinois '19) is awaiting assignment in Arizona after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals. Proud pop is Tim Govern, golf director of the Arlington Heights Park District. … And professorial Bill Hazen, on why so much of sports talk radio in Chicago is must-flee: "Opinions are cheap, information is expensive. You can't put a whole bunch of baby board operators who've never been out in the trenches on mic and expect Dan Patrick."
• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.