With little fanfare, OMW noted a recent move of Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3...to basically move its late morning talk show "Studio 3" a little earlier, and rechristen it "Good Company" (10-11 AM weekdays). We hadn't really seen the show, and haven't seen it yet, until today.
But we felt something should be made clear. "Good Company" exists on the schedule not solely because WKYC thought the show, with personable Cleveland TV veteran Fred Griffith and two other hosts, would appeal to an audience.
No, "Good Company" exists primarily as a vehicle for the WKYC sales department. Just this morning, we've seen a segment about long-term care insurance that was clearly a thinly disguised infomercial for the insurance agent who appeared on the show as an "expert". That was followed by a morning show staple...the cooking segment. The segment was preceded by a sponsor billboard for the restauranteur who was participating in that part of the show.
WKYC is clearly not the first TV station to do this. It's a growing trend across the nation... a similar show in Sacramento caught the eye of the local newspaper media critic. We're not sure, but we believe WKYC owner Gannett's KXTV/10 in Sacramento was the subject of that scrutiny.
WKYC morning forecaster Hollie Strano was a part of the "Studio 3" cast, but cited workload in declining to move to "Good Company". It's not much different than some of the infomercial "advice" shows put on by talk radio stations on the weekends, like WTAM/1100's "Mutual Fund Show" on Saturday afternoons.
That doesn't mean we have to like it.