WBZ’s (Head)Spin-O-Meter

On WBZ Tuesday night, Jon Keller’s vaunted Spin-O-Meter went all Linda Blair when the TV spot Keller had just ad-watched ran right after his segment.

Here’s what Keller reported.

And then that very spot from the Republican Governors Association ran:

Oddly enough, just the other day I came across a radio commentary I wrote over a decade ago that featured this lede:

Newscasts used to be the DMZ of political ads. The Whatever O’Clock News was the place where, in theory anyway, the candidates’ messages appeared in some larger context. Newscasts were supposed to deliver the whole story about half-truths and round partial facts up to the nearest reality.

Jon Keller kept up his end of the deal. But WBZ’s running the spot right afterward kind of canceled out the value of his ad watch.

Don’t get me wrong. This is no darkside conspiracy. This is the news hand not knowing what the ad hand is doing – as it should be.

Which is all the more reason to go back to the time when newscasts were the DMZ of political ads.

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2 Responses to WBZ’s (Head)Spin-O-Meter

  1. Laurence Glavin says:

    The placement of advertising on a radio or TV station is the responsibility of a department curiously called “Traffic”. There is supposed to be a “wall of separation” betwseen “Traffic” and programming. Once in a while, there MUST be correspondence between the two, as when the investigative unit is doing a report on airport security…they don’t want to run a spot for Delta right after! Perhaps it would have been a good idea for Keller to saunter over to the ad placement department and let them know what his segment that night would cover.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Can’t agree with you on this one, Laurence. In fact, my guess is the RGA specifically requested adjacency to “Keller @ Large” because of its popularity, despite the prospect of their bumping up against a critique of their ad.

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