More companies paying to appear on news programs

Ever wonder about those perky toy demonstrator/experts that show up on the TV news before Christmas every year? Well, there is a chance that they’re really not neutral consumer advocates, but simply paid pitchmen (or women). “Local television news has become a hotbed for pay-to-play promotions,” writes Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey. “The trend promises to continue and grow. TV news producers must fill an expanding news hole, particularly in the mornings, where many news progr…

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