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Early this week we noted that the new NBC political sitcom “1600 Penn” would feature a number of NBC News personalities as guest stars. Well, it seems the promotion runs both ways, as NBC has now promoted the sitcom on “Rock Center,” “Today” and “Meet the Press.”
On “Rock Center” and “Today,” former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager interviewed Josh Gad, the actor who plays the First Son in “1600 Penn.”
Meanwhile, the “Meet the Press” webcast “Press pass” featured David Gregory interviewing Bill Pullman, who plays the President in the sitcom.
In the Los Angeles Times, Joe Flint takes on the practice of aggressive cross-promotion.
Yes, news personalities have appeared in entertainment shows before. ABC’s Robin Roberts was on the network’s new drama “Nashville.” Walter Cronkite famously once did an episode of “Mary Tyler Moore.” But he didn’t do episodes of “The Jeffersons,” “The Waltons” and “M*A*S*H” all in the same week…
Not only does it hurt the integrity of the news division, there’s also no proof it helps boost ratings. The morning news programs have already become more about entertainment and pop culture and self-promotion. Do newsmagazines have to follow their lead?