Archive for Monday, November 20, 2006

Several Fox affiliates pass on O.J. Simpson interview

November 20, 2006


— Several Fox affiliates have chosen not to broadcast "If I Did It," the two-part special where O.J. Simpson talks in hypothetical terms about his role in the 1994 killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Lin Broadcasting and Pappas Broadcasting, which own a combined nine Fox affiliates, have said they won't air it. Fox has scheduled the Simpson interview for Nov. 27 and 29.

The television special precedes the Nov. 30 publication of a book where Simpson talks about how he would have committed the murders "if he were the one responsible."

"After careful consideration regarding the nature of the show, as well as the feedback we received from the viewers of northeast Wisconsin, we determined that this programming was not serving the local public interest," wrote Jay Zollar, general manager of WLUK-TV in Green Bay.

WLUK is a Lin-owned station, along with other Fox affiliates in Mobile, Ala.; Toledo, Ohio; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Providence, R.I.

The Pappas stations said they were uninterested in helping Simpson profit from the project. Pappas owns Fox stations in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb.; Fresno, Calif.; and Dakota Dunes, S.D.

There are about 200 Fox affiliates across the country.

Scott Grogin, Fox spokesman, said Sunday the network had no comment about the decision by its affiliates.

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder in a case that became its own television drama. The former football star and announcer later was found liable for the deaths in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Goldman family.

Judith Regan, publisher of "If I Did It," said she considered the book to be Simpson's confession.

The special will air on two of the final three nights of the November sweeps, when ratings are watched closely to set local advertising rates.

The show is expected to draw high ratings among the curious, but there's some question about how much Fox can take advantage of it given an expected reluctance of advertisers to be associated with it.

The Fox stations in most of the nation's biggest cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, are owned by Fox, so they would abide by the network's decision on what to air.


BigAl 11 years, 4 months ago

If this were on ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN... the talking heads at Fox news would be "outraged".
O'Reilly acts outraged but then he talked about it for 30 minutes of his own show the other night.
Typical hypocrisy from Fox.

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