July 24th, 2007

CNN's Beck in Bed with Ad

By Gail Schiller
Hollywood Reporter

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—despite the long-standing journalistic practice of keeping news free of commercial messages.

A Headline News spokesman said Beck’s show is a “point-of-view” program and not a traditional newscast, and the network will “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.”

The conservative host pitched Select Comfort mattresses 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. Select Comfort is a sponsor of Beck’s nationally syndicated talk radio show.

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