Sunday, March 9, 2014

KBOI General Manager to Staff After BW Story: 'Don't Get Distracted'

Posted By on Sun, Mar 9, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Someone's ears were apparently burning over at Channel 2.

On March 5, Boise Weekly reported that KBOI-TV pulled a pair of controversial news promos that openly advocated for small government while deriding outsiders for "imposing their will" to fix Idaho health care.

When BW asked KBOI-TV Vice President and General Manager Don Pratt about the spots, which ran for less than a week, he conceded that the promos had been pulled, saying that it was not his station's intention "to create a spot that creates an impression of bias. But to the extent that we've done that, we're obviously going to be held accountable for that."

And within hours of the story being published (BW, Citydesk, "KBOI-TV Pulls Controversial News Promos," March 5, 2014), Pratt sent an internal memo to KBOI-2 staffers, cautioning them not to "get distracted by this."

"The tone and phrasing of our new campaign needed adjustment, so that is what we will do," wrote Pratt in the internal memo.

KBOI-2 began airing its "adjusted" promos this weekend.

Here's a look at the script of one of the original promos and the script of its replacement:

Original news promo: "Lots of people think they know how to fix health care. At KBOI-2 we know that Idahoans know what’s best for Idaho. So when outsiders try to impose their will...when they try to tell us how to can count on KBOI-2 to protect what’s right. We stand for the people of Idaho."

Adjusted promo: "There are a lot of confusing changes going on right now in health care. It's becoming harder to understand how we can protect our families... to decide for ourselves, right here in Idaho what's best. At KBOI-2, our promise is to keep the system accountable to the people it serves. We stand for the people of Idaho."

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