ABC News Pays $200,000 for Jackson Video

By Chris Ariens 

First on TVNewser: Yesterday afternoon, ABC News correspondent Chris Connelly sat down with Michael Jackson‘s father Joe Jackson — Jackson’s first one-on-one interview since his son’s death. A small portion was used on “Nightline” last night, more of it today on “Good Morning America” and insiders tell us the interview may be used in an hour-long “Family Secrets” special Tuesday night.

But it didn’t come free.

TVNewser has learned ABC News paid upwards of $200,000 for rights to video featuring Joe and Katherine Jackson – and with it, the interview with Joe Jackson. A source close to the situation tells us the video was shot more than a year ago, “for some kind of reality show project.” ABC licensed that footage from the production company and then approached Joe Jackson about getting a current interview “to address everything that’s happened in the last couple of weeks,” says the source.

Connelly’s interview lasted about 45 minutes. Only a few minutes has already aired, which means ABC News will stretch the access into next week, perhaps culminating with the Tuesday night special. This past Tuesday ABC’s “Family Secrets” about Michael Jackson’s children was the #2 show of the night.

And while critics will lambaste ABC News for what amounts to paying for an interview, an insider tells us the network made off easy, considering the comparable cost of some hour-long productions. “This was a good deal for ABC,” says the source.