IS NBC NEWS SHILLING FOR NBC OLYMPICS?
NBC News is being taken to task for devoting an unprecedented amount of coverage on its newscasts to the Olympic Games as its associated network entertainment, cable and Internet siblings blanket the games with coverage of every event. “There’s no excuse for this,” Andrew Tyndall, publisher of the Tyndall Report, which tracks network news, told the Washington Post. “It’s just shameless cross promotion. There’s no journalistic fig leaf to hide behind. It’s free advertising for the prime-time programming.” Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon, added, “If credibility still matters to the news division, they should be a cautious partner in that promotional piece of the equation. If people start thinking they’re doing these cheesy stories to fuel the [prime-time ratings], their credibility will be in question once the Olympics are over.” The Post observed that NBC News will have 25 reporters on the scene, including anchorman Brian Williams. By contrast, ESPN and the other broadcast networks will have just two.