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WPVI-6, ABC (TV Station)

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Fake TV News: A CMD Special Report
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This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's special report, Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed.
Click here to read the report summary.

WPVI-6 is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania television station owned-and-operated by the ABC television network.

Station Owner

ABC Television Network/The Walt Disney Company

Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours

In the 5.30am news bulletin on November 23, 2005 the station broadcast an edited and re-voiced video news release produced by D S Simon Productions for the Panasonic, Namco and Techno Source on high-tech gift ideas. The VNR was produced for Robin Raskin. The VNR was partially incorporated into the story. [1]

According a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation April 1995 grant report, WPVI-6 aired one of their VNRs: [2]

Clips from a video news release, "Smokeless Tobacco: A Call for FDA Regulation," were used by 69 television stations for stories on April 26 and April 27, according to ORBIS Broadcast Group, a tracking service. ... WPVI, Philadelphia, PA

In October 2004, CJR Daily reported that a U.S. Department of Education VNR titled, "Federal Funds Pay for Tutoring Programs" was aired by at least five TV stations, including WPVI-6. The VNR "includes not a single negative word about a Bush administration initiative -- No Child Left Behind -- whose implementation has been controversial enough to become a campaign issue," wrote CJR Daily. The other stations were WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia; KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas; WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Michigan; and Capital News 9 in Albany, NY. [3]

WPVI-6 told CJR Daily, "It would be against WPVI policy to run EPK's [Electronic Press Kits] as news packages. If such a package did indeed air, it would be an error and we will look into it." CJR Daily reporter Bill McDermott responded, "It stretches the bounds of credulity to imagine that the station could have received the VNR, then had its reporter, Rick Williams, read the transcript in his voice, then had a news director sign off on the segment, and then aired it, all without ever realizing that the 'story' was in fact promotional material packaged by the government." [4]

Contact Details

WPVI-TV
4100 City Avenue
Suite 150
Philadelphia, PA 19131 EOE
Phone: 215-878-9700
Phone: 215-878-9700
Fax: 215-581-4530
Web: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/

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