The battling commercials

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” is an aphorism to which I subscribe.  So read on as I gently massage the hand that fed me for so many years.    It’s commercials that allow media outlets to achieve their mission of informing and entertaining….not necessarily in that order.     Nevertheless,  I’m often amused when listening to battling commercials.   For example, you hear one radio personality telling you that Airline A is their favorite.   A few minutes later, you hear another radio personality proclaiming the merits of Airline D.   Battling car dealer commercials are another source of amusement.   The dealers now call themselves “stores”.      I came into the broadcasting business when it was common for “announcers” to read the news and commercials.    As WSB-Television changed, management decided that news reporters should be separate from commercial announcers.  The thinking:   how can the viewers trust the integrity of a news reporter who’s also doing commercials?  It implies that his endorsement or how he does a story can be bought.  For example, if a business is the target of an investigation, how can viewers trust a reporter who has been pitching that business’s commercials.  At stations where personalities deliver both the news and commercials, it may be argued that they are not “pure journalists”, but in reality are entertainers.   Perhaps that needs to be said more often.


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