Media is dizzy for inauguration

January 20, 2009

It’s inauguration day – and that means media will be going all out. From wires to newspapers to TV and radio, correspondents will be covering every possible angle of the event. And they won’t have a problem finding an audience.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that this could be the most widely viewed inauguration in U.S. history, surpassing the 42 million who watched Ronald Reagan’s first swearing in.

Like everything surrounding the 2008 presidential campaign, the inauguration of Barack Obama dawns with broadcast media swinging for the fences. Not only are the usual suspects bringing their A teams, but cablers as diverse as BET, TV One, Al Jazeera and ESPN are offering live coverage of Obama’s swearing-in. MTV will focus on inaugural coverage in the evening.

“CBS Evening News” executive producer Rick Kaplan, a veteran of every inauguration since 1973, said there is pressure on every network to make sure this one is covered perfectly.

“It’s an extraordinary event, and you want to get it right,” he said. “What everyone wants to do is report in a way fitting the amazing importance of the event. This is a critical period in our country’s history — you want to have your A game on this story.”

One network particularly keen to put its best foot forward is CNN. AdAge said CNN has signed more than 20 sponsors for two days of coverage.

Greg D’Alba, CNN’s exec VP-chief operating officer of ad sales, said the total client list is the largest the network has ever had for any one- or two-day event. “The election trail was more than any of us bargained for in many ways. Our brand became more, our coverage became more, the viewers became more and our users became more,” he said. “This is about the attraction and the empowerment of a brand. It’s no longer about a single medium; it’s about a network.”

Keep an eye on:

  • Facing the worst ad downturn in a decade, Madison Avenue is eager to avoid any labor strife in its upcoming negotiations with commercial actors (NY Post)
  • In an effort to increase their online exposure without breaking the bank, marketers are looking beyond the biggest Web search engines to find new places for their search ads (WSJ.com)

(Photo: Reuters)

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

what a wonderfull day in the history of the united states of america

Posted by ALISON PAUL | Report as abusive

WOW what a way to start an era of change. Spend over a 150 mil on a party before we do any work! Thanks for spending our money wisely. We need to get rid of all the congress members who supported this criminal use of american tax payers money.If this isn’t a crime it should be. Your welcome for using my money.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive