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Mar 20 2011

Local anchor’s appearance in informercial baffling to some

I received an email from a reader – J.M. – late Saturday night:

You are the only blog I know about local media, and my jaw is on the floor right now…I’m watching FOX WPGH, which is supposed to be “Channel 11 News on Fox 53 at 10” as I write this. However, at 10:30 pm here is– not news– but Patrice King Brown doing an infomercial “Breaking News” prominently displayed. Don’t know the product yet, seems to be some snake oil to improve cognitive functioning. “Premature Mental Decline.” Procera AVH” is the sham product. Is this a new, low level for local Pittsburgh news outlets? Isn’t King-Brown supposed to be some kind of journalist?
Should this not be “paid programming” rather than “News at 10”?
 
My reponse:
 

First of all, the infomercial of which you speak has been airing on and off for several weeks — I believe even before Patrice King Brown retired from KDKA-TV in January. The gentleman in the infomercial is not only a real doctor, but her husband, Dr. Paul Neimroff. The only channel on which I’ve heard that this airs is WPGH-TV although perhaps it airs on WPMY-TV as well. I do believe that WPXI-TV’s Saturday evening broadcast on WPGH is only 30 minutes and therefore is followed up with infomercials such as these. And, although this may have been taped at WPGH – again, before Ms. Brown’s retirement – I don’t think any of the TV stations endorse it and that WPGH would have the proper disclaimers. To say that such a program has anything to do with the news broadcast that precedes it is silly. The informercial is produced by Mercury Media. Rob Owen even says as much in his blog of February 1, 2011.


I have no insight into Ms. Brown’s contractual obligations at KDKA-TV, but I would imagine that had she not been allowed to appear in the infomercial she likely would not have. Personally, I find it no different than some of the radio hosts who merely HOST radio programs of the same ilk.
 
It had the board at the Voy Forum lit up several weeks ago. 
 
May I offer anyone who has seen this infomercial a “Chill Pill”?