Talk Host Selling Own Ads To Guests: Unethical?
February 2, 2009 at 5:25 AM (PT)
The BOSTON GLOBE is taking CARTER BROADCASTING Talk WCRN-A/WORCESTER morning host and former Congressman PETER BLUTE to task for selling ad time on his show, in some cases to some of the same politicians who appear as guests.
Hosts selling their own commercial time is an increasingly common practice that some observers consider a breach of ethics, at least without adequate disclosure on the air.
RTNDA Chairman-Elect STACEY WOELFEL told the GLOBE, "I think at least the appearance of a violation of the principles of independence would exist here," but BLUTE said that he is doing nothing wrong and "It is survival. You have to sell ads to survive." The issue arose when losing Senate candidate JEFF BEATTY listed a $2,500 payment to BLUTE for "media consultant" services; BLUTE, who said that he is an entertainer -- not a journalist -- said that he is a part-owner of his show who needs to make money doing it, said that the money was for an ad schedule during the campaign.