Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Antonio's Lust Hardly A Ratings Bust

LA Mayor Antonio Villargairosa may be reeling from his affair with the stunning former Telemundo news anchor Mirthala Salinas. Salinas, stuck in an unwanted (but well deserved) spotlight and suspended without pay, sure is.

Not hurting, though, is Telemundo -- an indication of the ever sinking standards of news today.

Reports Advertising Age:
But while the story may have damaged the station's credibility and put serious dents in a couple of careers, it didn't exactly hurt ratings. Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, CEO and principal of Los Angeles-based Enlace Communications, said: "Are you kidding? It actually helped the ratings. I think even non-Hispanics tuned in just to find out what was going on."

According to a report from Los Angeles Business Journal based on numbers from the Nielsen Hispanic Station Index, Telemundo affiliate KVEA saw its 11 p.m. news numbers skyrocket to more than 200,000 viewers the night news of the scandal broke. That put it within striking distance of leading L.A. Spanish broadcaster Univision KMEX-TV's 237,000.

The ratings spike lasted a number of days -- exactly until management took Ms. Salinas off the air.
The LA Times sniffed at the whole affair, with columnist Gregory Rodriguez manufacturing offense because the media was comparing the mayoral shenanigans to the sordid telenovela soaps that fill the Spanish-language airwaves. "The gratuitous injection of ethnicity" he called it. Sniff.

Why bother with offense? The Spanish-language stations were making the same hay, says Ad Age:
Telemundo's main competitor, Univision, ran a several-page-long story on its website under the headline: "Villaraigosa y Salinas, un romance digno de una telenovela" ("Villaraigosa and Salinas, a telenovela-type romance"). Furthermore, the story was not categorized under the "news" or "politics" sections of the site but instead on the "famosos" (famous people) page
I wouldn't argue about the famosos placement; this is politics as celebrity, an indication that the mayor of LA is no longer a politician to be taken seriously.

Seriously taken to the cleaners, his soon-to-be ex-wife is probably thinking, but not taken seriously by the rest of us -- another career lost because a foolish man can't keep his fly shut.

Labels: , ,