Saturday, September 10, 2005

Another Katrina Screw-Up

I hear that viewers of last Friday’s Price Is Right rerun got quite a shock when the showcase featured an all-expenses paid vacation to...New Orleans.

Now, really. Come on, guys. Can’t you do better than that?

Way back when, during a previous life, I managed the commercial advertising for The Richard Simmons show which we syndicated to something like two hundred stations across the country. We made our money by retaining 2-1/2 minutes of commercial time and shipping the show with the spots built-in.

Anyway, I came back to work after the Thanksgiving weekend on which Natalie Wood had died and thought, damn. We’ve got one of her Noxema commercials running for the next four weeks. Worse, in the spot, Natalie said something charming like, “I’ll never use another moisturizer again.”

You see my dilemma.

Well, in those days, we didn’t have fax machines or email, for God’s sake. So I spent a couple hours on the phone reading the physical addresses of all two hundred stations to Western frickin’ Union to send (you guessed it) TELEGRAMS (remember those?) with instructions to substitute whatever the hell the program director wanted. Just DON’T RUN NATALIE.

So, I’m thinking if I was able to spare the viewing public Natalie’s fateful words, couldn’t someone have pulled the plug on a Price Is Right rerun??

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