Watchdog barks up the wrong tree


StopBigMedia is incensed. CW network is running ads trumpeting the fact that they do not include local news in their programming schedule. The "good news," says a faux-professor in one promo spot, is that "there is no news." Rap artist Biz Markie presents a similarly-themed message in another spot. "The CW continues to broadcast no news in certain markets without the slightest blink from the bureaucrats who are duty sworn to protect our airwaves from such abuse," bays the watchdog.

TVBR/RBR observation: CW’s not doing local news? Gosh, neither is ABC, CBS, Fox nor NBC, except where they have O&Os. Local news is the purview of the licensee, and must by definition include major input from local staff. A CW affiliate may or may not have news programming, but that situation has nothing whatsoever to do with the programming CW pipes in. Most stations consider local news to be THE major profit center, but they have to have achieved a certain amount of income to produce it in the first place, and that is where the success of CW programming comes into play.

Furthermore, the bureaucrats, far from being duty-bound to oversee the programming of individual broadcast stations, are completely horn-swaggled by the Constitution and its free speech provisions, and that’s a good thing.

We keep up with the news, so the CW campaign is especially unappealing to us, and we believe there may be a better way for the network to self-promote, but we’ve thought that about advertising campaigns since we first became aware of advertising back in out elementary school days. Think what you want about it. It’s not sinister, and StopBigMedia is highlighting a non-issue.