Accepting B&C‘s Broadcaster of the Year Award, retiring Belo TV chief says broadcasters must adopt new video outlets, but shouldn’t worry about demise of conventional spots. Retiring CBS correspondent Mike Wallace plays “skunk” at his party.
Belo Vice Chairman Jack Sander told his fellow broadcasters at the TVB conference that they can succeed in the “increasingly video-on-demand world,” while counting on the continued value of the 30-second spot.
“Now we’re being challenged to find new ways to deliver our video content to consumers not just over the air, but wherever and whenever they want it,” he said in accepting Broadcasting & Cable‘s Broadcaster of the Year honor.
“In this increasingly complex media environment, I’m confident that our television stations will continue to be the leading local video content creators and providers in our markets.”
Meanwhile, he said, TV still has the best thing going. “It will not surprise you that I believe the 30-second spot will continue to be the foundation of any great advertising campaign. We may supplement it, reinforce it and present it will ancillary products. But the 30-second spot will remain the most powerful advertising tool in any smart advertiser’s media plan.”
After more than 40 years in broadcast TV, the last nine at Belo, Sander will retire at the end of this year.
In accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award from TVB after Sander’s speech, retiring CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace complained about his failing memory and appeared lost a couple of times in making his speech. But he apparently remembers well Belo’s refusal in 1998 to air his 60 Minutes report of Dr. Jack Kevorkian because it included videotape of the doctor euthanizing a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Playing, in his words, “skunk at this garden party,” Wallace said that Kervorkin was “one of the finest, most compassionate men imaginable.” Yet, he said, “Jack Sander, Belo, woudn’t run the piece.”
Wallace managed to turn the criticism into a bit of a compliment. Prior to the speechmaking, Wallace said Sander introduced himself. When Wallace brought up Kevorkian, Wallace said, Sander admitted that “he has never been sure whether ‘we were right or wrong back then,’ which to me talks to the kind of man he really is.”
Managers have to deal with all kinds of editorial issues, Wallace said. “In that case, I believe that they made a mistake, but he’s man enough to say, hey maybe, maybe we did make a mistake.”
There were apparently no hard feelings. After the speeches, Sander and Wallace chatted amiably while posing for pictures.