Philly Mag’s Victor Fiorillo spoke to Welcome America CEO Jeff Guaracino – more on that title in a second – about the clustershitcabaret that was the Wawa Welcome America Parade and fireworks. Among the issues raised by viewers and ME, are:
- The horrible NBC 10 coverage of the event, which was not live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m, in Philly, on the Fourth of July, a day for celebrating an event that happened in, you guessed it, Philly
- The lack of anything even remotely resembling a celebrity or know musical act during the concert
- The decision not to have The Roots perform, as is tradition
- The decision to pull the Philly Pops, the only worthwhile element of the already shittily-booked concert
Here is the link to the full interview. I’m providing that because I’m about to excerpt pretty much the whole damn thing for the sake of tearing Guaracino a new one:
Here, Welcome America CEO Jeff Guaracino — a/k/a the man in charge of all of our 4th of July festivities — responds.
Wait, this can’t be real. Welcome America has a CEO? Like first off that’s most ridiculous title ever for a guy who plans a single annual event that’s not the Super Bowl or Oscars. People who give themselves “President,” “CEO,” “COO,” and “Sr. VP” titles for enterprises that have no prospects of generating at least $100 million in annual revenue are frauds or douches (often both), especially if it’s for a government job. You’re not a CEO– you’re a director, founder, owner, manager. Get over yourself. Second, there’s no way planning a shitty week-long festival is an all-year-long job, right? RIGHT?!
OH GOD DAMMIT IT IS. What does he do the other 357 days the city is not welcoming the country during the eight-day event? How many free meals do you think he eats per year on the taxpayers’ dime, wining and dining potential sponsors? Let’s move on.
There was a lot of confusion over the television coverage. You moved it from Channel 6 to NBC10, and the broadcast was earlier than normal. If someone tuned in at 8 p.m., all they saw was a concert in New York. Some people think that there was no TV coverage.
This deal was inked with Comcast-NBC, and they already had an 8 p.m. show from New York scheduled, one that they’ve been doing for years. So we started early.
Translation: We inked a deal with a broadcast network that already had something to broadcast during prime viewing hours, but fuck it, Comcast, those self-interested whores who are literally more interested in a few extra ad bucks than in televising live the one event actually relevant to the city it calls home, paid us more. I’m here to make money for Welcome America Inc., whatever that is, not to provide the citizens with a compelling product celebrating the birth of the greatest nation in the history of structurally definable civilization. New York takes precedent.
So the whole concert was on TV — it was just on earlier?
Yes, everything that was promised to be on was on, from Leslie Odom to Leon Bridges to the TSOP tribute. And it all started with the national anthem.
And keep in mind that it was not only on TV but it was on in two languages, because don’t forget that Telemundo carried it as well. And it was streamed live, too.
Haha– OK no one knows who those people are. It started with the National Anthem. Um, congrats? Way to think outside-the-box? Good for you for including that obvious element in the broadcast no one saw? Glad they’re paying you the big bucks, CEO! Because don’t forget that Telemundo carried it was well. I’m just going to ignore this. But I’d like to present this quote to Donald Trump, just for fun.
The Philly Pops were scheduled to play at 8 p.m., which is when the broadcast switched to New York’s concert. Based on what you’re saying, the Pops were never supposed to be on the broadcast?
Right. The Pops can’t be broadcast because their contract makes it cost-prohibitive. It wouldn’t be financially feasible to do it.
WHAT?!?! Welcome America has enough of a budget to employ a “CEO,” but it can’t afford to live broadcast THE PHILLY POPS? Since when did THE PHILLY POPS become the Rolling Stones? Never mind that THE PHILLY POPS won’t cut PHILLY a hometown discount for the fucking Fourth of July, you mean to tell me that the line for live broadcast entertainment for a Philly concert celebrating the birth of America, in Philly, is THE PHILLY, FUCKING, POPS? I hate this city sometimes. New York, thanks to sponsor Macys, turned out Pitbull (hate him, fine, but he’s expensive) and Megan Trainor, both Grammy winners. Boston turned out, and live broadcast – you’re not going to believe this – THE BOSTON POPS. If only Philly had a big corporate backer that could also broadcast the event:
Still, I’m souring on the Philly Pops. Where do they get off…
But in the end, the Pops concert never even happened, is that right?
They cancelled due to safety. The rain was coming down sideways. I’m sure they wanted to do it. You don’t pull all those musicians together and then just not do it. There were all the expensive violins. And the harp. The harp needed its own car.
Any chance you’ll bring the Roots back for that?
We’ve made some big shifts, but we still have a great relationship with the Roots. I think this year we were both family-appropriate and hip. But weather is the ultimate determination of everything, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
All I can say for sure is that July 4th will happen next year. It’s happened every year since 1776.
No thanks to you, Jackass.
Someone convene a summit with Ben Franklin, Jim Gardner, and the consortium of local department store heads. They’ll right this ship, and they won’t need a full year (!) to do so.