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?