Saturday, June 06, 2009

'Morning Joe' Starbucks Sponsorship Gets Mixed Reactions

Some view deal as a smart financial maneuver; others say overt branding is in opposition to journalistic standards

MSNBC’s deal to sell sponsorship of the news program Morning Joe to Starbucks for a reported $10 million was greeted with mixed reactions from producers and executives at rival news organizations.

A few viewed the deal as a smart financial maneuver at a time when television news is being squeezed by financial factors wrought by the digital revolution. Others warned that such overt branding was antithetical to the mission of television news.

“It’s an utter abrogation of journalistic standards,” said one news executive.
The conflict-of-interest argument resonated with several executives; one quipped that the deal was just a “continuation of the whoring” of a medium that long ago became beholden to the tangled interests of corporate parents.

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