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Obama TV Appearances Take Toll on Networks

News photographers surround the teleprompter as US President Barack Obama delivers opening remarks during his primetime press conference in the East Room of the White House on March 24, 2009 in Washington. Obama told his crisis-weary nation he sees signs of economic progress but pleaded for "patience" as he battles to overcome the worst financial maelstrom in decades.
News photographers surround the teleprompter as US President Barack Obama delivers opening remarks during his primetime press conference in the East Room of the White House on March 24, 2009 in Washington. Obama told his crisis-weary nation he sees signs of economic progress but pleaded for “patience” as he battles to overcome the worst financial maelstrom in decades. (Getty Images)

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.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    Seems to me the FEC could launch a probe, calling those network losses, corporate donations to Obama’s re-election campaign.

    (Snicker)

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  2. Raoul says:

    Overdoing it? As far as I am concern, the president should face the people every day- whether the media wants to cover it is up to them.

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  3. Damien says:

    The broadcast TV networks received their license on condition that they accept things like this, as part of the public good. As far as I’m concerned if they don’t want to show the president’s broadcasts, fine, we get to take back their spectrum. It’s public airwaves after all; always have been.

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  4. Our Paul says:

    It is the ultimate horrors, a President reporting to the American people on his first hundred days in office. And the major networks will lose between 9 to 10 million dollars in advertising revenue!!!

    Will the great unwashed survive one hour of prime time without advertisement about erectile disfunction? Will those with only rabbit ears be blessed with Fox’s freshman drama series “Lie to Me” instead of the being forced to watch the man with the gopher teeth?

    Who knows, only the Shadow knows…

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  5. Floyd says:

    Overdoing it?
    Oh,yeah he’s overdoing it!! Compared to Obama’s constant image, Mao was an elusive recluse, determined to remain anonymous!
    The left does not live on “hard tax” alone , but by every word that that is put on Obama’s teleprompter!

    Here we even find his rapturous (or should that be raptorous?)image on our morning CEREAL BOX…

    http://www.airbnb.com/obamaos

    or here for real…

    http://tinyurl.com/5l8nfm

    Now… Where, “O” where is that milk carton when you need it?
    (to get full enjoyment from the cereal of course)

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  6. Idiot says:

    The media has to under the concept of a capital call. This is theirs.

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  7. just me says:

    Well I kind of think to some degree Obama is over doing the big media stuff-but I also think the networks have to suck it up.

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  8. [...] noting that President Obama was costing the television networks millions by constantly demanding prime time for news conferences, I mused, “given the availability of [...]

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