News Apr 29, 2010 at 4:00 am

KING 5 Takes Money in Exchange for Editorial Content

David Armstrong (left), whose theater paid an undisclosed sum of money to be on New Day Northwest and rented out its slot to Jerry Manning of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Host Margaret Larson sits between them (right).


Who cares? Not me.
No two ways about it: KING is practicing "covert propaganda."
This is absurd, Brendan. As you are more than aware, Seattle's day-to-day theater coverage is nothing more than "Does Mischa like it?" and - with the death of the PI - it is even harder to reach patrons and let them know what is going on in our town's theater scene. David Armstrong is right: This is the new reality. If theaters want to use their marketing dollars to buy segment time, that's their business. If it wasn't working, they wouldn't bother. To me, the bigger issue is "Should KING be providing a lower segment rate to these not-for-profits" so that it is easier for them to reach their audience?

Pay for play makes perfect sense to me, and I could care less about when the disclaimer runs. As long as butts get into the seats - and our town's theater scene stays active - the stations can do it.
And would you argue the same if KING 5 accepted money from Tim Eyman in exchange for guaranteed favorable coverage of his latest stupidity? Or Ken Hutcherson to stump for his church?

Corollary question: Shouldn't KING 5 cover culture without groaning for a handout? Once arts groups set the precedent of paying for it, they're screwed. Short-term benefit, long-term cost.

I like arts coverage. I don't like media outlets that sell off their content and fool viewers into thinking it's an editorial choice. There's a word for that: lying. Today it's a little arts coverage (and reproductive therapy for their target demographic)—tomorrow who knows? I don't trust KING executives to always fake us out for a virtuous cause.
Isn't that New Day Show a Talk Show? Who cares if it's paid! Are you dumb enough to think that Sandra Bullock's appearance on David Letterman and the commercial for "The Blindside" that follows aren't connnected? Who gives a shit.
Mr. Kiley, you, my gentle friend, have just been Just Wrought.…
8 your article and i wonder where all of you were when the local tv people decided that theatre was not worth their air time and stopped reviewing it etc...everybody's indignation should be aimed at the local affiliates who have forced arts organization to this end...the seattle times charges $5000 for an ad in the arts section so how is this different when an organization uses its marketing money this way...the local climate has forced people to do how about attacking the local media instead of the organizations that support us actors and technicians and writers...they give a half hour coverage every week to high school football but no theatre reviews...hello....lets open a dialogue regarding on how we can get more coverage for the arts and not attack the people that put bread on our table...sincerely sean g. griffin - local actor
I don't mind if it's about arts/entertainment non-profits. But I do mind that the media is being bought on larger issues and by companies. It's disgusting.

Soon we'll have no media other than those with viewpoints, and those that are corrupt, as well as those who are both. And most of it with infuriating amounts of advertising, which, btw, just guarantees my hatred of the advertiser if I notices it.
Sean Griffin, whose work as an actor I deeply admire, seems to be making a simple variation of “the-devil-made-me-do-it” defense here.

“Stupid evil TV wouldn’t cover Big House Theatre.

“Honest advertisement is expensive.

“Stupid evil TV offered us a relatively cheap but also relatively dishonest way to get the word out.

“Stupid evil TV made us act stupid and evil. Blame stupid evil TV.

“Oh, and a single-digit percentage of the theatre artists in this town make a semi-living wage at the Big Houses, so we should forgive anything they do to keep this broken system running perpetually.”
Am I the only person who has never heard of this show "New Day"? Needless to say I couldn't give a shit.
i'm charging theatres for reviews from now on. period.
As a PR professional, it's hilarious to see people finally catching on to this... ohhh scandal! ha ha ha!!!
"Ha ha ha!!! Journalism's in the shitter and I'm part of the industry that helped put her there! Ha ha ha!!!"
What! Like the Stranger's any different? Like the Stranger doesn't pimp Neumos every day of the week?
Consider KING5's rich local history in broadcast journalism -- when it was journalism. This is a travesty. It's an overworked cliche but Mrs. Bullitt is truly rolling over in her grave.
The official response, for what it's worth.…

I'd engage, but this really ain't my fight. I'm surprised some of the smaller orgs in this town aren't crying foul, since they're the ones likely to lose in this squeeze, but then, I suppose speaking truth to power is not something Seattle Theatre artists are as practiced at as they imagine themselves to be.
What are the Stranger's "TRON" advertisements? Twice now you've run silly, profanity-laden features next to Last Days for the Tron Movie. It's pretty clear it's meant to be an advertisement, but I don't see any notice saying this is an ad.…
I remember KING's promotions for "New Day" touting Margaret Larson's big-time network news experience. Sad to see a supposedly serious journalist let herself be sucked into something like this.

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