How Much Time Do the Morning Shows Spend Promoting Company Projects?
To find out, THR clocked the time that 'Today,' 'GMA' and 'This Morning' devoted to programs and personalities of their respective networks and sister properties during a recent week.
This story first appeared in the April 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
In 2011, New NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke famously implemented Project Symphony, an effort to synergize better the various corners of the empire to help promote one another. Nowhere has the strategy been more evident than on the morning news show Today, which regularly plugs NBC and its sister properties. But is Today more shameless than its rivals? As an experiment, THR's TV team watched all three 7-9 a.m. broadcasts from March 9 to 13 and clocked the time devoted to programs and personalities of that network or its sister properties. (For fun, they also tracked stories about dogs and cats and missing women.) At least that week, ABC took the synergy crown with more than 36 minutes promoting itself. Burke must have been jealous.
Good Morning America (ABC)
Corporate synergy: 36:30 min.
Dogs and cats: 5:30 min.
Missing women: 0 min.
► March 9: Long plug of Cinderella shoes.
► March 10: Top news story is a Bachelor recap, followed by a sit-down with talent. Cinderella actors appear in studio.
► March 11: Long preview of Black-ish blooper special. Frozen Fever preview.
► March 12: More Frozen Fever and Cinderella. Scandal stars in studio.
This Morning (CBS)
Corporate synergy: 26:12 min.
Dogs and cats: 2:38 min.
Missing women: 0 min.
► March 10: Patricia Arquette gets six minutes to plug CSI: Cyber. CBS Sports' Jim Nantz previews March Madness.
► March 12: Report on the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, with no mention of Mayweather's $250 million deal with CBS-owned Showtime.
► March 13: Nearly 10 minutes of plugs for stories airing on 48 Hours and 60 Minutes.
Corporate synergy: 21:45 min.
Dogs and cats: 5:20 min.
Missing women: 2:30 min.
► March 9: Elizabeth Hurley scores a five-minute segment for E!'s The Royals. Aziz Ansari talks Parks and Rec finale.
► March 10: Story on the 30th anniversary of Universal's The Breakfast Club.
► March 12: Plug for Dateline: The Real Blacklist, NBC show that plugs NBC show.
► March 13: E! Fashion Police debate.