Cue the world's smallest violin. Again.

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Another primetime Obama television appearance, another round of TV industry whining, courtesy of Lisa de Moraes at the WashPost who laments how the president's press conference next week is going to cost the networks millions in lost ad revenue and muck up their precious primetime schedule.

We've been through this several times already, yet the Post continues to harp on the idea that television broadcast, including the nets which use the public airwaves for free year-round, are supposed to get our sympathy because the White House is asking for a small sliver of time to address the nation. (BTW, for the news cable outlets, Obama's presser is sure to bring them a surge in viewers. The WashPost leaves that part out.)

Plus, the WashPost continues to peddle this batty/naive idea that because the nets can't run ads during the press conference that they're going to lose millions from commercials that are lost forever.

Writes de Moraes:

But broadcast TV, like so many other industries, is having a tough time these days. What broadcast networks have to sell is time, and when it's gone, it's gone forever.

That's actually not how the TV industry works. We're repeating ourselves, but so is the Post. Combined, networks control more than one hundred hours of primetime programming each week. Obviously, if some ads get bumped for breaking news (i.e. a White House press conference), networks have the ability to air a those handful of lost ad slots on other programs, just as networks have done for decades.

Think about it. Do you really think that when networks break into programming for hurricane coverage, or whatever, that the next day their ad salesmen start writing checks to Procter & Gamble and Budweiser and State Farm because their ads didn't run the previous day? That's simply not how the television business functions.

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