Advertise on MNPR

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Changes at KARE 11

Leading Twin Cities TV news station KARE 11 is making some changes. As you've probably heard, Frank Vascellaro is being replaced by Mike Pomeranz, Ken Barlow is leaving and now KARE 11 Today with Pat Evans and Roxane Battle is being replace with advertainment.

That's right, technologies like TiVo, that allow viewers to skip commercials, have finally taken its toll on the television community with the introduction of advertainment. An advertainment is basically a glorified infomercial. Minnesota Public Radio Marisa Helms explains:

This spring KARE will be the first in the nation to convert its long-running morning news show into a long-running commercial, called "Showcase Minnesota." You'll see anchor hosts sitting in comfy chairs, with guests snuggled next to them, to talk up the latest in food, fashion and gadgets.

Guests will pay to be on the new show and the anchors will act like inquisitive hucksters.

"It's the reality of the business that is in a volatile state of change and fluctuation," says Roxane Battle, who has co-hosted the soon-to-be cancelled KARE 11 Today show for five years. She doesn't like the format change, but she understands why her station is switching to a talk show that's pure advertising.

"Revenue," she says. "It's no secret. Eyeballs are evaporating from television screens. They're going to the Internet, and that's affecting the bottom line."
What will this meaning for local television? As if the lines between public relations and advertising weren't fine enough this should really confuse people. What do you think?

Get the rest of the Minnesota Public Radio story here.

Here is a story from today's Onion on stealth marketing.