Obama TV Appearances Take Toll on Networks
President Obama’s constant news conferences are costing the television networks big time, Lisa de Moraes reports for WaPo.
President Obama might take an additional $9 million to $10 million out of the purse of the broadcast TV industry when he stages another of his news conferences next week to talk about his efforts to bail out the banking and automotive industries. In fairness, he’ll probably talk about heath care, Iraq and Bo, as well.
Obama’s camp is asking for the 8 p.m. hour this coming Wednesday. That date, not coincidentally, marks his 100th day in office. He is expected to use the news conference to take control of the inevitable 100-days-in-office news-cycle blather — first-100-days navel-gazing being a time-honored journalistic tradition.
Sadly for broadcasters, April 29 — Wednesday — also falls in the May sweeps ratings derby, which started last night. In honor of the sweeps, networks had scheduled actual original episodes of scripted shows Wednesday at 8 — except NBC, which had planned to air a “Law & Order” rerun. Fox, on the other hand, had planned to air the freshman drama series “Lie to Me,” which has already been whacked so many times by Obama’s image-polishing machine that it’s starting to look personal.
In fairness, there’s a lot going on, most notably the economic crisis. But he’s overdoing it a mite with these prime time appearances. Frankly, given the availability of a half dozen cable news channels, I’m not sure why the networks don’t just go with original programming.