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WBFS-33, UPN (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.

WBFS-33 is a Miama, Florida-based television station and a part of the UPN network.

Station Owner

Viacom

Use of Video News Releases and/or Satellite Media Tours

In the 8am news bulletin on March 20, 2006 the station broadcast an uncut but revoiced version of a video news release (VNR) produced by D S Simon Productions to promote the management consulting firm Towers Perrin as a leading expert in workforce efficiency. The re-voiced script was identical word for word to the original VNR. [1]

Response to Report

On April 6, 2006, NPR's Morning Edition reported on WBFS-33's VNR usage: [2]

"We have a policy not to do that," says Shannon High-Bassalik, vice president for news at WBFS and WFOR-TV in Miami. "So you just got somebody in trouble. I’m glad to hear that, because that’s not something we do."
Bassalik says her stations use video news releases sparingly -- for stock footage in medical stories, for example.
"We don’t really like using VNRs, frankly," says High-Bassalik. "In our mind, they can be tainted. Just knowing that some company had put this together taints it." ...
High-Bassalik of WBFS says (VNR production firm D S) Simon's disclosure did appear -- briefly -- in the Towers Perrin video release, but escaped a producer's eye.

Contact Details

WBFS-33 UPN
Miami, FL
Phone: 305-639-4400
Fax: 305-629-4403
General Manager: Michael Colleran
Email: mcolleran@wfor.cbs.com
Web: http://www.upn33.com/

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