Could We See the Return of Single Sponsored Newscasts

I’ve seen an article on this and just managed to scan it quickly so some information is still lacking but could we one day see a return of a news broadcast with a single sponsor. The article I saw talked about the old news programs with a single sponsor such as Camel or Timex. Apparently there is some talk on the national level of possibly going back to this. There would be fewer commercial breaks meaning more news time. I guess with record breaking profits, sponsoring a newscast would be nothing to someone like Exxon/Mobil. I would bet that would change the content of newscasts with NO stories about pollution or oil spills perhaps being downplayed.
I’m not sure if any ONE sponsor would want to spend the bucks on a local level. There was a time when I first anchored the fledgling weekend morning newscasts that it SEEMED that we only had one sponsor and that was a local car dealership. I guess they were the only ones willing to spend money on a new weekend morning show. I don’t think we had negative stories about cars run in those shows. If there is one thing that I have learned is that the distance between sales and news has diminished greatly as bean counters look to the bottom line. These days it’s whatever brings in the audience and doesn’t P-O the sponsors, at least too much.

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5 Comments on “Could We See the Return of Single Sponsored Newscasts”

  1. autoegocrat Says:

    This, more than anything else, explains the rise of bloggers. We fill the vacuum in the soul of the media left hollowed out by the profit motive, or at least we try our best to do so. The best bloggers I’ve met are driven by a sense of civic duty.

    That must also explain why the best journalists out there have an appreciation for bloggers and aren’t afraid to work with them.

    This comment was brought to you by Democratic Republic Brandâ„¢ government.

  2. Average Guy Says:

    How appropriate the topic on the “Single Sponsored Newscasts” garners a single comment . . .
    The GM

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Joe:
    I don’t think there will ever be a return to single sponsors as we had in the 50’s. Just too hot to impartially report the news without stepping on some toes.

    Remember “Good night and Good Luck?”. ALCOA had a direct line to Bill Paley in the event of displeasure, to cut the show off when done live, and they also had creative control.
    Memphis had Dick Hawley for years doing “Your ESSO Reporter” and I believe a cigar company. Henry Slavick could cut the radio/tv broadcasts off with a simple phone call at 5.
    Mr. Wooten could kill anything on air at 3! Gordon Lawhead at 13 ditto.

    I don’t know many corporate sponsors out there who would even want to step forward and sponsor a daily newscast 24/7. News used to be like the superbowl at one time with millions poured into the program. Remember the original Bic pen rifle shot then, the Master lock shot for ABC News? Gone around 1963 after the Kennedy Shooting.

    Channel 5 was once the darling of RCA with new equipment and technology. Now SONY.
    I think it’s best to leave it multi sponsored to HOPEFULLY keep it impartial.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Seems like the stations on union and DOTR are showing off their new, big Dell monitors. Talk about product placement!

  5. Bob Jacobs Says:

    I doubt we’ll see history repeat itself, although it’s singing a similar tune.

    Already you see sponsorships on the sets of sport programs, such as Fox’s NFL pregrame show.

    PBS and NPR have had underwritten programs forever, yet still consider themselves “public” broadcasting. Sorry, it’s commercial programming — it just has a different flavor.

    NBC Nightly News last week produced a prototype “fewer commercials” news program and the network promises more in the future.

    How long can TV continue to charge more for fewer viewers? Just wait until there is no broadcasting, per se. Steve Jobs has given us the future of TV. You’re going to go home each night and download the program you want to watch. Forget about appointment television.

    We all know the funding paradigm for television stations will have to evolve.


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