Sarah Palin and TLC

The rumors are Discovery Communications1 is paying Ms. Palin $1,000,000 an episode for some Alaskan reality-esque show. Nice work if you can get it, no? But will it be worth it to the network? Will the controversy keep blue chip advertisers from sponsoring the show, ala the highly successful boycott of Glenn Beck’s show?

Wrong Bus
[Wrong bus, Juneau, Alaska]

Sarah Palin used to say the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom was lipstick, but now she might hope that advertisers didn’t take that line too seriously.

It’s the hockey mom, after all, that would attract more marketers to “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” the eight-part documentary series that Discovery Communications has acquired for its TLC channel.

The show will be supervised by Mark Burnett, the force behind such TV hits as CBS’s “Survivor” and NBC’s “The Apprentice,” and will strive to “reveal Alaska’s powerful beauty as it has never been filmed,” as Discovery’s chief operating officer, Peter Liguori, said in a statement today. “The deal was just concluded this week and now we begin the development and production,” a Discovery spokesperson added. “TLC is about strong characters and compelling narratives, and there is absolutely no intention of making a political program whatsoever.”

But Ms. Palin, a figure as polarizing as she is charming, will be the star attraction. Even though the show won’t be political, her central role will have an effect on its audience and ad support.

Ad buyers are already suggesting that the show may not attract advertising from big marketers that need to appeal to the broadest possible audience. Smaller players, on the other hand, may see opportunity.

[Click to continue reading Will Marketers Buy Into ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’? – Advertising Age – MediaWorks]

Testimonial Kodachrome

And as many others have pointed out, Sarah Palin on a science channel? Sarah Palin who doesn’t believe in evolution, as if evolution is just an opinion to agree or disagree with; Sarah Palin who thinks man and dinosaurs walked the earth together, slightly over 6,000 years ago? Sarah Palin the avowed hater of secular liberalism, and presumedly anti-science? She’s the one getting multiple millions of dollars to appear on TLC? Why not just piss your corporate dollars in the ear of a dead moose and film that?

In tough economic times, “a lot of cable networks are walking away from their brands and trying to get ratings,” said Mr. Berger2. “They’ll do anything they can do to get ratings and it’s a short-term fix, but I think it’s really hurting many networks in the long term,” because such stunts often draw broader audiences that don’t stick with the channel.

Critics have already pointed out that Ms. Palin’s track record on the environment doesn’t necessarily pair up with that of Discovery Communications, TLC’s parent. In 2008, the company launched Planet Green, a cable channel devoted to sustainability, and a companion website, Ms. Palin, on the other hand, has come to be associated with the chant “Drill, baby, drill,” for advocating the drilling of natural gas and oil in her home state.

  1. corporate parent of TLC []
  2. Ira Berger, director-national broadcast, at Dallas independent Richards Group []

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