Television’s “Fixer” Hurt By Online Content

The Atlantic profiled the man behind-the-scenes of all those tabloidesque interviews on news shows today. In it, they describe Larry Garrison’s role as a “fixer” who connects television hosts with newfound celebrities.
The story talked of Garrison’s attempt to get a couple that believes they found Natalee Holloway’s remains on the ocean floor on Good Morning America. And it discusses his job, which is to make these people thrust into the spotlight comfortable, but also get them on television. Although no one will admit it, he gets paid pretty well by the networks or news programs for the quests.

But, what’s funny, even his job as the underbelly of the interview program has hit a snag during the rise of online content. He’s just not getting paid what he’s used to.

“In the old days,” he [Garrison] told me, networks “paid a lot more money for stories-they’d pay $100,000. Now they don’t [pay the really big bucks] unless it’s an ‘Oh my God’ story-like if I had Tiger Woods’s first interview.”

The Internet has commoditized some of what Garrison does, and competition has become more intense. Gossip sites such as TMZ and Radar Online provide a nonstop fix of tabloid titillation, while anyone with a valuable photograph or video can sell it easily and directly to a photo agency like Splash News.

Man, can no one make an honest living in media these days?