Re-Re-Checkin’ NECN

For those of you keeping score at home, this is the third time the hardworking staff at Campaign Outsider has written about regional cable news outfit NECN and its slow-motion dismantling of the traditional firewall between advertising and editorial content.

Maybe third time’s the charm.

The issue is this:

Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. NECN cablecasts a magazine-style program called Style Boston. Except it’s not a program. It’s an infomercial. That’s because NECN doesn’t produce Style Boston;  instead, the producers of Style Boston buy time to run what are essentially marketing segments on NECN.

That puts Style Boston in the category of “paid programming.”

So far, so normal.

Until NECN puts Style Boston segments in the Arts & Entertainment section of its website, which signals to viewers that the clips are editorial content.

Which they’re not.

Twice before (here and here) the hardworking staff has said that NECN is too good a news organization to throw its reputation away for short money from a third-rate production like Style Boston.

Twice before NECN has, in essence, said “So what?”

Now, though, there’s trouble in Style Boston-istan, as both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald reported on Thursday.

Tonya Chen Mezrich (a charter member of the local chapter of Air Kiss Nation and the wife of author Ben Mezrich, who fabricates dialogue for a living) was, Style Boston producer Terri Stanley told the Globe, “not strong enough to carry the most important segment of the show” – that is, the “Fashion Forward” weekly feature.

The Herald, for its part, said  Tonya Mezrich’s “wooden on-screen performance wasn’t making the grade.” (You be the judge here .)

But what’s really not making the grade is NECN’s sense of what’s journalistically appropriate and what’s not.

By which we mean Style Boston.

UPDATE: The hardworking staff failed to make explicit that Air-Kiss Queen Tonya Mezrich counter-claims she was dumped by Style Boston because she’s pregnant. But even that doesn’t explain why Mezrich’s so bad in the infomercial.


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2 Responses to Re-Re-Checkin’ NECN

  1. kw says:

    I came upon this blog searching for a producer at SB to contact. One of their employees, in vetting me for an internship I was ultimately denied, took some of my ideas for the blog and has run with them publicly. I would at least like to contact the producer and share my correspondence with that employee and take back credit for the work that was mine. Might you be able to provide me a contact email?

  2. Pingback: Style Bustin’ « Campaign Outsider

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