KARE-ing about money over the community

This quote says it all, from the Star Tribune story KARE plans to change show from talk to 'advertainment': "'I am aghast,' said University of Minnesota media ethics professor Jane Kirtley, who at first thought a reporter was kidding about the new format. 'This is the logical extension of the whole pernicious practice of infomercials. If viewers are accustomed to getting [talk show] programming in a very different way, to suddenly change the rules on them isn't fair.'"

In a nutshell, KARE is dropping its morning talkshow and replacing it with something that appears to be indentical, yet is full of paid advertisements.

So I have lots of conflicting thoughts at once:

1) What do you expect from a media giant?
2) I hate to see them go, but I hope that Roxane Battle and Pat Evans (the current hosts) have nothing to do with this, because there'll be huge ethical issues if they do. (Why? Because viewers will assume they're seeing the same news show that they used to.)
3) How many infomercials can a station run during traditional public information times (e.g. we're not talkin' 3 a.m. here) before the FCC gets concerned that chunks of the public airwaves aren't being used for bettering the public good but for lining Gannett's pockets?


TV audiences will get a taste of the format during prime time next month. KARE plans to air a show called "Minnesota Holiday Showcase," a compilation of advertiser-funded segments.

"At a loss for gift ideas this holiday season? See the latest in gift ideas from the finest local merchants," says the program description submitted for the Star Tribune's TV listings -- which, contrary to [general manager John] Remes' promise of clear labeling, does not mention the paid promotional character of the show.

"Should the program listing say that? Yes, it should," said Remes.

Kirtley said the labeling situation would become "really problematic unless KARE is going to be really, really clear to its viewers about what this animal is."


Norman Larson said…
Perceptive commentary, Eric! Good work!

Popular posts from this blog

Passing on Panel Discussions?

Commercial comments (Blogging from Word!)