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News Radio & Ethics
With regard to Gary LaPierre's status as the only WBZ radio voice who
doesn't also do spots (whether live read or otherwise):
It was always my understanding that Gary had a clause in his contract
that said that he wouldn't do spots (at Westinghouse's behest) if
Westinghouse would pay him whatever extra money he would have received
(under the union contract) for doing those spots. Kind of an
"everybody wins" deal, if you ask me -- Westinghouse gets the image
of their star radio news guy unsullied by Giant Glass spots, Gary
still gets the cash, everyone goes home happy.
Whether this has changed under CBSfinity, I can't say.
It's interesting to see how much more strongly the line is drawn in
TV -- I'd lose my job if I appeared in a spot in the market. Only
the local Fox affiliate seems to have no qualms about blurring
the line; one of their reporters is also the midday talk host on WHAM and
on-air spokesman for a fast food chain, a gun shop, and a few other
businesses (though some of the other TV stations in town, mine included,
won't run spots with him in it...)
Come to think of it, I can't recall hearing any WHAM news people
(as opposed to talk hosts) voicing spots, either. Maybe (gasp!)
Clear Channel is stricter about such things than CBS?