Self Promotion Disguised As News
1 hour, 10 minutes: Cross-promotion for on-network or parent-company-affiliated news or entertainment ("Could parent company's movie premise happen for real?", others)
When a TV news show runs a feature on a TV program that shows on the same channel, it is usually to promote said program.
Some of these are more subtle than others. Common variations are;
See also Advertising Disguised As News
, when news shows air external propaganda and/or advertisements disguised as news stories.
- The entire BBC News coverage of the new series of Doctor Who can be described in this category. (In fact, hardly a day goes by when the BBC 6 O'clock News doesn't have at least one item which turns out to be an extended trailer for an upcoming documentary.)
- Occasionally slightly more justified when they're lead-ins to investigative journalism shows like Panorama. Then it tends to be more in the category of "genuine news story followed by in-depth investigative program on the same subject".
- On many CBS affiliates, episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation were followed by the local news, which includes a feature piece on real-world people who practice the featured sexual fetish of the week. They've presumably stopped now, if only because CSI grew out of that phase.
- CBS affiliates also love to air news stories about Survivor. Bonus points because, many times, the actual events happened months ago.
- Similarly, NBC's Today loves to do cross-promotion of other shows. Or, on Earth Day, NBC Universal's efforts to Go Green™.
- During the buildup to the premieres of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and The Jay Leno Show the two hosts toured every NBC affiliate from Aberdeen to Yakima so NBC could kiss up to every local anchor they could find and promote the shows in interviews that made Byron Allen look like Edward R. Murrow. If they couldn't get the host to the site...they flew the anchors to an O&O station so they could still do the kiss-up interview.
- Fox News loves to do this with Fox Network shows, especially 24, one time even giving a plot summary of the show as a question in a Republican debate.
- If American Idol has a contestant from the vicinity of the local FOX affiliate, the FOX affiliate will cover it in detail. For that matter, there are some local FOX affiliates that will air a fluff piece about Idol each week that it is on, regardless of whether or not there are any contestants from the vicinity.
- Similarly, if an Extreme Makeover Home Edition house is being built, expect no less than 10 minutes per newscast of live cut-ins of the building site from the local ABC affiliate.
- ABC affiliates do this with Dancing with the Stars.
- All of Australia's commercial stations do this way too often. It gets especially annoying when they report the winner of Australian Idol, as if anyone who cared hadn't watched the show.
- The CBC had a contest to find new theme music for its "Hockey Night in Canada" TV program. While the contest was going on, there'd be a new article about a different hockey theme contestant every day on the CBC's news Web site.
- Local news programs airing after Sunday or Monday night (American) football sometimes make the football game the top story. This, when the time schedule of football games all but guarantee that anyone who watches the news on that channel knows how the game ended.
- In a variant of this, in the days before other football scores were reported continuously in the crawl during live games, networks showing a Sunday afternoon football game would tease the viewers to tune in at halftime to see the scores and highlights of other games. After the obligatory commercial break, the halftime show would begin by giving the score and highlights—of the game the viewers had just been watching.
- Variant: For some time between 2005 and 2007, the then-CEO of NBC, Bob Wright, used Newsweek and Channel 3 News as excuses to promote his highly-dubious charity Autism Speaks. He was eventually found out and was fired in February 2007, but promotion of the organization on Channel 3 News has been noted as recently as October 2008.
- Geraldo Rivera has built his entire career on this.
- Back during the Tech Boom, ABC News actually interviewed a sock puppet (a literal one, that is, though it was a Sockpuppet as well...) to push the parent company's investment in Pets.com. It didn't work out.
- Studio Aperto, the news show of the Italian, Berlusconi-owned channel Italia 1, is practically MADE of this. A typical show is composed of 10% genuine news and 90% tabloid stories about people or TV programs closely related to Mediaset (the parent company). It's no wonder that they broadcast it in a timeslot (6 PM) filled with entertainment programs, as people view it hardly as a news show.
- It should be noted, however, that nearly every Italian news show (at least those in the dinner timeslot) include a "sneak preview" of the following program, often treated in the same way as a normal coverage.
- A variation comes from a CTV affiliate (owned by Bell, who also owns TV providers and a cellphone provider among other things) aired a "Consumer Alert" story which blatantly promoted products available from The Source, an electronics store chain also owned by Bell.
- Similarly, another CTV show featured a "review" for a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that cross promoted Bell's wireless service and LTE network, without mentioning its availability or pricing on any other carrier.
- And when CTV re-launched its second network as CTV Two, it also got promoted on its Toronto station as a news story.
- Common practice of Globo Corporation, the most powerful television network of Brazil. And it is intended to generate a interesting cycle, in wich it causes the people to get interested on the subject in a way that even other television networks and other media as well will have to cover the subject if they want to get viewers.
- The most noticeable purpose is to promote their next prime-time soap opera. Will it happen in another country? Expect to see their most important journals dedicate a good part of their time with coverages about said country’s people, customs and curiosities. One of the main characters acquired a uncommon disease/a critical disorder (wich tends to happen with bad viewing rates)? Expect a huge coverage of the matter: what causes it, how to deal with it, and how the average family can help the victim.
- Another is to promote a celebrity featured in the advertisements of their sponsors. Expect to see coverages about the “newly sudden star that everyone loves”, their origins, the hardships, the talent and rise to fame (that is expected).
- This trope is done in commercial advertisements as well: Some products are situated as subjects of a news-type segment called "Brand Power" or "Medi-Facts".