Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, February 26

Gapers Block

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r / May 1, 2011 5:02 PM

Daley needs to go; I'm sure this is too idealistic of me, but I hope Rahm really turns the city around and undoes the crap his predecessor got away with during his tenture (patronage and parking meters, anyone?).

I'm concerned about Oprah leaving, in terms of tourist revenue and image-building that having her show here did for Chicago (I also think that moving to pay cable will be disastrous for her in the long run). But I've also always been bothered by Oprah's lack of a presence in Chicago--she seemed completely removed from the city; I've never known one instance of her being seen around the city outside of Harpo, the East Bank Club or her condo building, and while I admire her philanthropy, some of the city's poorest people live mere blocks from her, and she seems kind of disinterested in making a local impact.

I definitely applaud her work in advocating for adopting shelter animals. I just know there's more to go around.

PMan / May 1, 2011 6:41 PM

r put it pretty well. Daley did a lot of good things, and I wouldn't mind the patronage half as much if his patronage hires got things done cost effectively. But I think at this stage of the game, he's too set in his ways and too accustomed to positive feedback from people who have been dependent on him for decades. Rahm will bring some energy to the job. He will also kick some people in the behind, and some people need that.

As for Oprah, it's a dollars and cents thing. She brings people and money to the city. When she leaves, those people and that money won't come unless something new comes along.

Andrew Huff / May 4, 2011 2:21 PM

Minor quibble: Daley isn't leaving the city, just leaving office.

The loss of Oprah leaves Chicago worse off in the short term, but it's hard to tell whether it'll have any long-term effects. Did the loss of "The Jerry Springer Show" affect the city beyond restaurants in the NBC Tower having fewer customers?

It's too soon to tell if Daley's departure will be a positive or negative. Let's see how Rahm does.

R / May 4, 2011 2:32 PM

Oprah has a significantly higher profile than Jerry Springer. Not a good comparison.

bob / May 5, 2011 5:04 PM

I'm not really that worried about the affect Oprah's departure will have on the city. Yeah, I guess some people come here to attend her show and spend a little money, but in the big picture, I don't think it makes much of a dent. There are so many other things that draw folks here (art, music, food, shopping, theater) that aren't going anywhere and will continue to draw people for years to come. In a year or two, I'm not sure anyone will be yearning for the Oprah days. I equate her to more like a transient 'renter' in the city and not really a 'home owner' who created any deep connections.

Dennis Fritz / May 6, 2011 10:02 AM

Oprah's just a tale show host. She shouldn't be part of this question.

Was Daley good for the city? That depends on who you are. If you're a young urban professional benefitting from subsidies lavished on "hot" neighborhoods through the TIF program, then Daley was great. If you're--well, anyone else, not so much.

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