Monday, April 26, 2004

Who's Helping Who?

Howard Kurtz caught a bit of news in his column today that is an interesting cultural sign of the times. He considered how much effort NBC went through to cross -promote the Trump reality show. Kurtz gives the following examples:

Katie Couric chatted up Donald Trump on "Today," which also hosted 14 fired contestants and aired audition tapes. "Dateline NBC" devoted chunks of two programs to the reality show's finale, including behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the winner. Not to mention an MSNBC poll on who should win, CNBC's preemption of Monday night newscasts for "Apprentice" reruns, and segments on NBC cable shows "Deborah Norville Tonight," "Capital Report" and "Scarborough Country."

But in talking with some of the key people a different picture emerges:

"I appreciate the fear that we might be shilling for shows," the NBC News president [Neil Shapiro] says. But, he says, the Trump show doesn't need any ratings help, while NBC news shows got a big boost.

Shapiro went on to discuss the fact that NBC tried to get Survivor contestants on their shows as well, but was cut off by CBS, meanwhile NBC themselves restrict access to Apprentice people. It turns out that they're not using their news programs to pump the reality shows, but rather using the reality show segments to pump viewership of news programs. It's a sad world...

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