Happy New Year. I hope 2011 is treating you well so far. If not, there are 360+ days for a turnaround. (Get it? 360? Turnaround? Nevermind.)
Anyway, a couple of media notes in this young year.
1. The satellite interview community at large has already been victimized by a couple of strikeouts (and I take some pride in sending ’em to the dugout). At least two folks have sent me invites to satellite media tours from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Of course, there’d be demonstrations of a certain few products as there was small, but discernable, disclosure in the press releases that certain companies were “funding sponsors” of the proposed segments.
Much to my delight, I must honestly tell you, I declined their requests. I informed those who requested the satellite interviews we at WDAM subscribe to two news feed services (to wit, NBC NewsChannel and CNN NewSource). Both are sending correspondents to Vegas to cover the CES (and it’s genuinely believed news feed services for CBS, ABC and Fox affils will do same).
Now if you are working at one of these PR companies that specializes in satellite interviews and are not suddenly fearing obsolescence, you should be.
As a belated New Year’s resolution, I would invite the satellite interview community at large to view the news websites of the stations you plan to target — before you even bother them with a pitch. This way, you can find out what’s happening in the neighborhoods we and they cover without even setting foot in these cities. Then, if you find a story that’s related to something you’re working on, that’s the time to call or e-mail us (would that you do the latter) and react with something to the effect of, “Hey, I’ve noticed you’re covering such-and-such a story online. Perhaps we can help.”
Oh, and another helpful hint, those “funding sponsors” of yours are better off being “funding sponsors” of ours. Every TV station that produces newscasts on a daily basis also has a sales team that sells commercials to local and national companies.
WDAM’s participation in satellite interviews has been once in a blue moon. We’re well aware of the fake news controversies that surround numerous satellite interviews. The last one I recall we were involved in hardly involved product demonstrations.
It was an interview with the president of the Mississippi Association of Educators. Kevin Gilbert and his counterparts nationwide were at a convention and the folks at On The Scene Productions “matched” Mr. Gilbert with us and did same with other stations throughout the country.
Seriously, folks of the satellite media tour universe, take this as a wake-up call. Speaking of “wake-up call”…
2. CBS’ The Early Show has revamped again — this time, with a whole new anchor team. I’ve caught a few segments and, again I tell you candidly, I’m of the opinion CBS is better off dumping morning news programming for a reimagined version of Captain Kangaroo.
Don’t tell me it can’t happen. I’m talking about the network that’s currently airing a reimagined Hawaii Five-0 in prime time and a revamped Let’s Make A Deal in daytime.
Much of the original cast of Captain Kangaroo — including Bob Keeshan in the title role and Hugh “Lumpy” Brannum as Mr. Green Jeans — is no longer with us. Still, CBS should recast these and other roles and present them in front of a new generation of young children whose minds need to be nourished with information and education.
Even when the news division meddled into Captain Kangaroo‘s time slot, the kids’ show remains one of television’s much loved programs of any genre. You sure can’t say that of The CBS Morning News, The Morning Program, CBS This Morning or any previous incarnation of The Early Show.
The morning news audience is there, certainly. What’s also certain is that they’re most likely watching The Today Show, Good Morning America or something else.