CNN's Beck in bed with ad

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NEW YORK -- In the first ever on-air pitch for one of its advertisers, CNN Headline News talk show host Glenn Beck recently plugged one of his radio show sponsors -- Select Comfort mattresses.

Despite the long-standing journalistic practice of keeping news free of commercial messages to preserve editorial integrity, a Headline News spokesman noted that Beck's show is a "point-of-view" program and not a traditional newscast.

"Select Comfort is Glenn Beck's/Headline News' first and only advertiser to have an on-air entitlement, and it's specifically targeted for his show," the spokesman said. "The advertiser has a relationship with Glenn Beck that extends beyond his Headline News program."

The spokesman, however, said that Headline News will continue to "evaluate advertiser interest" in similar types of arrangements for Beck as well as other select Headline News shows such as "Nancy Grace" and "Showbiz Tonight." CNN has never had any on-air pitches during any of its shows, the spokesman said.

Glenn pitched Select Comfort during three different shows that aired on Headline News on June 28, July 9 and July 11, stating, "I am proud to announce that tonight's show is brought to you by the Sleep Number Bed and Select Comforts. Find your Sleep Number today at a Select Comfort store near you."

The on-air plug was part of an overall media buy for Select Comfort and did not require the advertiser to pay additional fees to CNN.
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