Home Miami TV WTVJ’s South Florida Today Goes Pay for Play?

WTVJ’s South Florida Today Goes Pay for Play?

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NBC6's South Florida Today
NBC6's South Florida Today

Will WTVJ’s 11AM talk-show transfer to a new pay for play format? According to our sources and insider reports, it very well may be. For those not familiar with what a “pay for play” format is, allow me to explain it in blunt terms. It’s a paid advertisement. A paid advertisement that could very well be interpreted as an endorsement from the friendly faces you get your morning news from. If our sources are correct, NBC6 will transfer to this new format at the end of the month. Sources tell us that the cost would be from 1500 to 5000 dollars per segment, depending on the length.

We e-mailed multiple staff members at NBC for comment, including the show’s producer Tammy Delgado. Shockingly, we received no response. However, we did receive a response from Barbara Alfonso, WTVJ’s “Manager, Programming and Community Marketing” specialist that flatly denied the allegations of the new format. Although not directly confirmed by the station, we have very credible sources that tell us differently. So why exactly do I have an issue with “Pay for Play” on NBC6? My personal opinion after the jump.

Imagine this: You’re part of that stay-at-home mom audience that ‘South Florida Today’ so blatantly targets. You wake up at 5AM to watch Bob Mayer deliver your morning news. Trina Robinson and Roxane Vargas frequently sit in at the news desk when there’s an absence. After your kids are off to school and you have some downtime, you sit down to watch your favorite news personalities on the 11AM show. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to buy a product if you heard Bob Mayer talking about it? To an uneducated viewer, couldn’t you take them talking about a product as an endorsement? It’s almost as the news personalities would become a “face” of a product. Ethical issues galore.

Not to mention there would be a contract established for that airtime, so how would breaking news be handled? Would they neglect they’re first and most important responsibility as a “news” organization? Or would they violate their contract and break into the paid advertisement. We’re working on confirming the story to a further extent. A quick note: Telemundo 51 already uses this format with their talk-show. However, they don’t use main on-air talent.

What are your thoughts? Should WTVJ transfer to a “pay for play” format?

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You may contact me at: alex@sfltv.com

14 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately this format already exists in most markets… it doesn’t make it right for WTVJ to adopt it, and I hope they don’t.

    If they do, I hope they do it complete with an on-screen graphic for the paid segments.

    And I do wonder if they will swap out talent. Most pay for play shows I have seen have completely different staffs, and even different sets so as to not violate the separation of church and state.

    • Different sets once they move to Hialeah.

      I think your scenario is off Alex. As is evident by the ratings, most watch the Price is Right or The View. They should move Kathie Lee and Hoda to 11am and move South Florida Today to 10am like before. There arent really any other viable options for TV viewing at 10am.

      As I understand it many NBC stations do this. WESH for example airs Regis and Kelly at 9am and airs the final two ours of Today from 10am to 12pm.

      Also, you dont think they would have a contractual clause that talks about the unlikely event of breaking news. Think McFly, Think!

  2. It happens in other places & I think it already started here. For example, just yesterday, poor Bob Mayer had to interview a lawyer about how she guarantees no points for traffic violations but she kept refusing to tell how! I don’t remember seeing her ad but there’s no way that segment would be considered news or info, just publicity for her. About a week ago, someone on the show interviewed a guy about that hot water heater without a tank & they do advertise on the show!

  3. The key phrase in Alex’ post is “uneducated viewer” (3rd paragraph). These viewers will be sucked into most anything.

    Most educated viewers would be able to figure out exactly what they’re watching and make at least a quasi-intelligent choice.

  4. I thought thats what they have been doing on that show for some time now. Most of that show are people promoting their goods. Look at the Panda kitchen they use there. Is this supposed to be much different from what they are doing now?

  5. YAAaaaaaaaaaaAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, stretch, click. NB who?

    How does the company handle bad news about the sponsor they just plugged the hell out of? LOL! Talk about editorial content control!

  6. Also, it them being a news organization is NOT first and most important responsibility Alex. Their first and most important responsibility is advertising, that is where they make their money. Nearly all TV stations are in the business of advertising, that is what television is. TV Shows, news, and other programs are just made to get us to watch the ads.

  7. This might sound harsh to the people in the business, but TV news is nothing more than glue holding commercials together. They know it, and we know it. The blatant ‘product placement’ approach doesn’t lend any credibility to the products OR the people, and in fact minimizes it. If an anchor likes and uses Product A but Product B pays to be ‘on the desk,’ then guess which product gets the ‘rave reviews?’ TV news people have lost so much credibility over the years to reach a point of laughable, mocking caricature. To accelerate that trend in the name of ‘dollars’ doesn’t help them in the long term.

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