Tonight's top story: Commercial content in television news

Michelle L.M. Wood, Michelle R. Nelson, Jaeho Cho, Ronald A. Yaros

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


While marketers look for creative ways to promote products on television, critics suggest the integrity of television news is being compromised by commercial content. This exploratory study investigates local and national news programming on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, and CNN for evidence of two commercial practices: unpaid brand/company content and cross-promotion with other station shows and services. The content analysis confirms that a substantial amount of commercial content exists; however, programs differ greatly in the amount and types of commercial content featured. Local news programs were found to have significantly more commercial content than their national counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-822
Number of pages16
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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