Obama’s Lust for TV is Costing Networks Millions

Call it overexposure, overstaying your welcome or “chewing the scenery.”  Barack Obama has asked for even more TV time and the welcome mat is getting thin…

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By  Matthew Sheffield  
The Examiner

Approaching his 100th day in office, President Obama has asked the broadcast networks for airtime for a news conference to air next Wednesday evening. It’s likely he’ll get that request granted but you can almost see the network presidents gritting their teeth and assenting.

This would be the fourth such presser for Obama (he’s averaging one a month now). The past three have cost the ABCBSNBCFOX about $30 million bucks total as Lisa de Moraes notes:

President Obama might take an additional $9 million to $10 million out of the purse of the broadcast TV industry when he stages another of his news conferences next week to talk about his efforts to bail out the banking and automotive industries.

Sadly for broadcasters, April 29 — Wednesday — also falls in the May sweeps ratings derby, which started last night. In honor of the sweeps, networks had scheduled actual original episodes of scripted shows Wednesday at 8 — except NBC, which had planned to air a “Law & Order” rerun.

Fox, on the other hand, had planned to air the freshman drama series “Lie to Me,” which has already been whacked so many times by Obama’s image-polishing machine that it’s starting to look personal.

Should a broadcast network opt not to carry Obama’s latest news conference, viewers are sure to find it on Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and many other outlets. Still, commercial broadcasters are very reluctant to opt out of a presidential speech to the country, or a news conference. They seem to get the whole public service/public airwaves thing when there is breaking news, though it’s unclear whether next week’s confab will include any.

But broadcast TV, like so many other industries, is having a tough time these days. What broadcast networks have to sell is time, and when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Given that Obama’s poll numbers still continue to be quite good (except by Rasmussen’s count), I don’t think we’ll see a network decline at this point. But should Obama’s numbers head southward or the press conferences continue to proliferate, chances are at least one broadcaster will opt out. 

Expect NBC to air Obama as much as he wants:
Incest is Best: GE Largest Supplier of Wind Turbines, Owns Obama TV (NBC), Obama Went To Turbine Plant for Earth Day

Michelle Malkin
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/04/24/
100th-daygasm-obama-asks-networks
-for-hour-of-primetime-during-sweeps/

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