And I believe that he called them “pussies,” for not airing “Book of Daniel” earlier in the year. Kudos to the Daily Show research department.
But the real point of the segment that aired on tonight’s Daily Show was to follow up on a piece he did a couple nights ago making fun of Nexstar‘s WTWO in Terre Haute (watch the video at Comedy Central’s site), which has started airing attack ads taking aim at a competing station’s weather team for, amongst other things, having 15 years less experience than WTWO’s. In fact Stewart called the ad, “*bleep*ing retarted.”
Apparently WTWO station manager and Nexstar VP Duane Lammers took umbrage at Stewart’s deserved ribbing, telling the local paper that the show,
“must have been pretty hard up for material … I didn’t quite understand the point.”
Lammers went on to explain, very tellingly, that,
“people who work in our business think it’s a great spot.”
Now, weather coverage is a pretty important thing for local TV and radio stations in the Midwest, especially now, during tornado season — and this year has already been pretty bad. Weather is also one of the few areas where they can still beat satellite and internet without trying too hard. Terre Haute is just 90 miles away from mediageek home base in Champaign, IL, and we’ve already seen more than our fair share of tornado warnings. Though, frankly, our local Nexstar station‘s severe weather coverage has been poor compared to others.
But notice that Nexstar isn’t crowing about the quality of its news and public affairs coverage. As former news director of Nexstar’s WCIA, Ken Shreiner, told me back in January, Nexstar has squeezed their news departments pretty hard in pursuit of the bottom line.
My bet is that Terre Haute is Nexstar’s test market for the aggressive weather ad push, since it’s the home of outspoken VP/COO Lammers. Let the weather wars begin, no matter how stupid.
Next attack ad: WCIA airs the best VNRs.
I captured a clip of tonight’s Daily Show swipe at Lammers and WTWO — download the MP4 (14 MB ).