Friday, July 18, 2008

Movin' On to a Little Plagarism

I'm a station flipper when I'm driving. I can't stand commercials, but I like listening to the radio. A week or so ago, my battery exploded (don't ask) resulting in a dead car. One battery and two cables made of spotted owl gonads and unicorn later, I found myself redoing the eight presets in my car. I thought it was a dandy time to check out a couple of new stations and see if they're worth putting on the presets. One of those stations was Movin' 107.5. My first introduction was on a drive home, in the rental car, and I was bemused to hear Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," then Fergie, then Timbaland, then Milli Vanilli. But the past couple of mornings, I've been slightly disturbed. See, the morning show itself - "Movin' Mornings with Chris and Mel," is amusing enough. I don't think either of them will be having commitment ceremonies with local magazine editors anytime soon, but they're a harmless enough listen on my way to work, in between commercials when, you know, I flip to another station. But its their news breaks. Some mornings - not every morning, but some - I actually have a chance to read the Dallas Morning News before I go to work. The first time I heard their newsreader, Sara, do the news, I thought maybe it was a coincidence that every single story was pretty much the lede from the first four stories on But the second, third, fourth and fifth (today) times? Not so much. And nary a mention of where she got all that news. She certainly didn't gather it herself. And yet, it was definitely branded as Movin's news. Back in Fayetteville, we also had this problem. Work your ass off on a story, then look up at 10 p.m. to see some anchor read it pretty much verbatim on air. It drove my editor and our publisher nuts. Solution? Adding the line "Copyright Northwest Arkansas Times" to the byline, under the reporter's name. It was stupid, though, that we had to do that to get the local news station to acknowledge the story was first reported in our paper. But that's what it took - and threat of a lawsuit. But really, I think, Movin' is missing out on a prime opportunity to do some co-marketing. It's a pretty well-documented fact that TDMN is hurting for business. A simple, "Movin' News brought to you by the Dallas Morning News" would probably be the mutual back scratch both need, right?