Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No TD, No Extra Point For NBC

Last week, a glitch in the TD Bank computer system caused major problems for many of the bank's 6.5 million customers. Some customers were unable to access direct deposit funds or log on to their on-line accounts. And some deposits were not credited to accounts in a timely fashion. But Nightly News did not even mention this story. Why? TD Ameritrade (of which TD Bank owns 39%) is a major advertiser on NBC. And during the month of September, TD Ameritrade was also a prominent sponsor of MSNBC's Daily Nightly blog. (Their logo was seen in the same place the MSN logo is seen this month.) It's clear that Nightly News did not report on the TD Bank problem because they were protecting a major sponsor. Of course, this is nothing new. Nightly News regularly airs favorable "news stories" about frequently-advertised products while refusing to report stories that are unflattering to regular sponsors. The TD Bank story is a perfect example of this. How can viewers trust a newscast that shows such favoritism towards sponsors? Answer: They can't.

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