Milan Paurich, who reviews films for WKBN-TV (27), understands why his name shows up in national movie ads listing him as a critic for “CBS TV.”
“I guess it must sound better to the studios to put a quote in the ad next to ‘CBS’ instead of ‘WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio,’ ” Paurich, who writes for the Cleveland-based alt-weekly Free Times, tells the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. “‘CBS’ sounds better. I get it.”
WaPo writer Paul Farhi says movie companies have become experts at seeking reviews from local critics like Paurich whenever nationally-known reviewers like Roger Ebert have panned a movie. Then they use a network affiliation to inflate the critic’s importance. WKBN-TV is a CBS affiliate.
“This might reflect badly on me and everybody else in this business, but unless you’re Roger Ebert, people don’t necessarily check the name beneath the quote,” Paurich says. “The quote is going to matter more to [a moviegoer] than the source of the quote.”