Friday, July 11, 2008

TV One Finally Gets Some News Programming. Sorta.

Well it's about darned time!

I've long since given up on BET, but as you know, I've held out hopes that TV One would finally get off that whole "bourgie lifestyle purveyor" tip and start doing some actual news. They've already got the in-house talent at Syndication One, so just how hard would it be to follow through and do some cheap coverage/analysis of this historic Presidential campaign?

Apparently somebody in TV One Corporate got word of my recent post where I threw them under the bus. Cause now they've got something in store for us come August.

TV One, the cable network aimed at African-American viewers, will cover Barack Obama's nominating convention but is ignoring John McCain's.

The network is telecasting live, prime-time coverage of the Democratic convention in Denver Aug. 25-28, followed by "TV One Live: DNC Afterparty," with political and social commentary from panelists. TV One is available in 43.7 million households, or about 40 percent of the nation's TV homes.

Obama's nomination as the first black to be a major party presidential nominee is an historic event for African-Americans, so it's important for the network to be there, said Johnathan Rodgers, the network's president and CEO.

"While viewers can get coverage of the convention from any number of networks, we plan to cover the convention from a uniquely African American perspective," he said.

The network has no plans to cover the Republican convention.

"We are not a news organization," Rodgers said. "We are a television network that is designed to celebrate African-American achievement. That is why we are covering this convention. If Hillary (Clinton) was the nominee, we would not be covering this year's Democratic convention."
I think TV One is perfectly justified in ignoring the Republican Convention. They know their target market, and those folks are not tuning in to hear Cotton Hill. They wanna see Obama darnit, so give em' Obama.

I really don't think there's anything wrong with this. You could argue that providing coverage of the GOP convention would be a way of presenting an unbiased analysis of both sides of the aisle. But let's keep it real: Who wants to watch that sh*t? Their audience is 93% black. That would be ratings suicide. They'd be better off playing a bunch of Rick Astley videos and callin' it a night. It would be cheaper. The net effect would be the same.

Besides, you don't see CMT running exposes on Michelle Obama. They do have that semi-interesting "Pimp My Mobile Home" show[1] however. I'm just sayin', if you wanna accuse BET of coonin', you might wanna peep how our lighter skinned friends are rollin' while you're at it. They're hardly elevating the artform themselves.

Even better is the lineup of talent assembled to cover this thing.
The convention floor coverage co-hosted by XM Radio and WOL-AM (Washington., DC) radio host Joe Madison and CN8 Anchor Arthur Fennell will be followed by the show "TV One Live: DNC Afterparty," anchored by veteran journalist Jacque Reid and co-hosted by Rev. Marcia and Michael Eric Dyson. TV One commentator Roland Martin will serve as chief political analyst and provide daily commentary and a wrap up of the day’s events.

Regular contributors to the post-convention show will include Rev. Al Sharpton, actor and author Hill Harper, comedienne Sheryl Underwood, Sister2Sister magazine publisher Jamie Foster Brown, TV One chef and culinary expert G. Garvin, and style and fashion expert Paul Wharton Huggy Lowdown, The Celebrity Snitch from the Tom Joyner Morning Show, will also phone in celebrity gossip and reports from around the convention’s official and unofficial events.
You guys already know how much I like Joe Madison. I'm no fan of Michael Eric Dyson's shtick, but he beats whatever's on CNN by a mile. AverageSis' favorite, Roland Martin is getting two checks now. And of course, I will enjoy seeing Jacque Reid on TV again. I was wondering where she landed after BET News got ethered. They didn't even let her do the customary BET Awards Afterparty this year. As my wife would say, "it's good to know she's working, at least".

I have no idea why bamas like Huggy Lowdown, Sheryl Underwood (I guess she's the GOP rep), the Sister To Sister chick, and G. Garvin need to be anywhere within a 500 mile radius of Denver, but hey, I guess it can't all be serious news stuff.

Cause you know how we do.

I'm sure many will decry this as further proof that Black folks need to stop being taken for granted by the Democratic Party, and that by only choosing to broadcast this convention, and not the GOP's, it presents a one-sided view of the issues.


Reality is, this is a celebration of a landmark cultural accomplishment. It's completely logical that an entertainment channel catering to the community for whom this history of being made would choose to cover it.

Had Hillary won, WifeTime™ and Oxygen would have carried her speech. Trinity Broadcast Network would have been all over Mike Huckabee. Ditto for Telemundo and Bill Richardson. And had Dennis Kucinich somehow been struck twice by lightning and found himself deemed "The Man", I'm sure the SciFi Channel would have carried it as well.[2]

It's all about cultural relevance. Nothing wrong with that.

Whether or not this rolls over into full blown regular news and analysis remains to be seen, but either way, props to TV One for realizing a need and filling it.

I'm already settin' the Tivo.

Question: Will you give TV One's coverage of the Democratic National Convention a look? Do you think they should have provided equal coverage of the GOP and PappyMac? Will Huggy Lowdown set a new televised record for utterings of the word "bama"?

TV One to offer extensive Obama coverage [AP]

[1] Seriously, has anyone else stumbled across this show? It makes Hell Date and Comic View look like haute couture.

[2] Laugh now, figure it out when you get home. And BTW, The SciFi Channel in HD = The New Greatest Thing Evar!

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