StyleBustin’: Boston Herald Gives Local Infomercial A Pass

Chalk up another conquest for “styleboston,” the call girl of local TV content.

Friday Boston Herald piece:

‘Styleboston’ sets sights on Chicago

Hub-based TV show “styleboston,” which kicks off its third season tomorrow night, has big plans to bring its mix of fashion and lifestyle programming to the Windy City next year . . .

The half-hour show started on NECN in September 2009, but after moving to WCVB-TV Channel 5 in December 2010 and landing a prime Saturday night spot after the evening news, its ratings have soared to more than 100,000 viewers last weekend . . .

Bill Fine, president and general manager of WCVB-TV, said “styleboston,” which competes against “Saturday Night Live,” is “doing fine and will only get better.”

Not to get technical about it but 1) “Saturday Night Live” draws millions, even in reruns; and 2) as the hardworking staff has repeatedly noted, “styleboston” isn’t programming. It’s marketing.

WCVB sells ads for the half-hour; “styleboston” sells its content in the form of regular features like Gem of the Week, Trendsetter, and Scene Spotter.

But the Herald piece never points out that “styleboston” is an infomercial and WCVB is its enabler (we’d never say pimp).

Why the Herald and other news organizations in town aren’t crying foul about this is a complete mystery to the hardworking staff.

But it makes them enablers, too.

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