Commercializing Sixty Minutes

At the end of Sixty Minutes tonight, right after Andy Rooney, Steve Kroft came on with a little follow-up to two recent deaths in New York City: Brooke Astor and Leona Helmsley. Both, he said, had been profiled on Sixty Minutes by Mike Wallace. He then proceeded to show a few snippets from the original interviews.

When the clips finished, Kroft offered up they were on DVD and for sale on the CBS website.

Maybe I’m too pure and idealistic, but it seemed like that content was included primarily because it was on sale. I could be wrong. It’s the impression I got.

If my suspicions are right, I am very disappointed. There was once a “Chinese Wall” separating news content and network commerce. That line has been, obviously, blurred.

5 thoughts on “Commercializing Sixty Minutes”

  1. Do you know how may times I see weather, parts of sports, the stock pages, prime line-up, etc. is sponsored by someone?

    Clear Channel is the worst with this… In Madison it’s the “AMCORE Bank Newsroom” and “US Cellular Rapid Traffic Report”. In Chicago, no joke, they no longer give traffic on the Kennedy between “the junction and O’Hare” like everyone else does (and how IDOT measures it) because the All State arena paid them to say “the junction and the All State arena”. The All State Arena isn’t technically even on the Kennedy! It’s after the toll portion of I-90 begins! (Which means it’s the Northwest Tollway)


  2. I probably didn’t make the point correctly. My concern is, it seemed this content was run for one purpose only – to sell DVDs. That would be a large leap for Sixty Minutes and CBS News. It has always been assumed news programs are compiled without regard to revenue. No program would be in a stronger position to resist than Sixty Minutes.

  3. I went to the store, and I think I’d rather have the 60 minutes baseball cap for $16 than a VHS tape (episodes not available on DVD), of one episode of 60 minutes for $29.95. They sacrificed their integrity to sell you yesterday’s news on yesterday’s technology.

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