Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blasphemy on Ice

Proving local TV News is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better, a Las Vegas station has stooped to product placement. That’s right, those are two (fake!) McDonalds’s iced coffees flanking the plastic broadcasters of KVVU’s morning show. Station suits call the unprecedented move a “nontraditional revenue source"; most everyone else calls it blasphemy on ice. Okay, so that’s my own name for it, but what else do you call the steady erosion of your chosen field? The station’s management do their best to dodge the desecration of this formerly sacred space by pointing out that the anchors never acknowledge the vile vessels and besides - they’re only placed there after seven A.M. , when the newscast switches from the morning’s top stories to lifestyle and entertainment fare. Well now - that changes everything…..

Or does it? Ever since the Camel News Caravan rode off into the sunset, newscast producers have done a pretty fair job of separating content from corporate cash-cows. Now however, all bets are off. Many affiliates are strapped for cash; advertising is down and the internet continues to siphon relevancy from a medium that used to be the only platform of record in town. Is it any wonder the chiselers have shamelessly sold their station’s credibility to the highest bidder? No, but it’s a damn shame - because for every lecherous sales executive and grinning presenter, there are vast armies of broadcast journalists who still consider the news a higher calling than the bottom line. I count myself among that number and look forward to the day when I can inform the masses without worrying about the on-air talent wearing face-paint and red, floppy shoes.

Now please, drive ’round to the second window...

5 comments:

Eric Wotila said...

It's always a shame to see stations selling their newscasts out like this...

While I wasn't around back in the '50s, I really do miss the old days of a straight, no-nonsense newscast that was about the community -- not revenue.

Cinecal said...

How is this any different from plugging the up coming rodeo, monster truck, circus, insert event here, that has bought time on your station and the morning fun guy does all his live shots there and a story for 12, 5, 6 &11?

In the 50's cigarette companies sposored the news and the anchor smoked.

I've seen morning shows with Maxwell House on the mugs. Why suddenly all the concern?

Heycameraman.net said...

Wow, what's next? giving away a hybrid vehicle on the 10pm newscast during the July Book.....Oh wait that's our station..Dammit :-)

Bill Mecca said...

gee maybe next week they can appear in their coca-cola pants (yeah I'm showing my age, actually had a pair), or a Cisco Systems T-shirt.

Un-freakin-believable.

Oreo said...

@cinecal

In my experience, those events are usually station-sponsored events. If the station is spending the money to appear invovled in the community, then they are going to promote the hell out of it.