At B&C, we try not to be too persnickety when it comes to other publications appearing to pass off our scoops as their own. Might just be an honest mistake. But in the matter of who first reported negotiations between Viacom’s MTV Networks and Comcast to partner up and launch a bevy of lifestyle channels, we can’t keep quiet any longer.
Right off the top, let’s get this straight: B&C broke the story in its Aug. 22 edition (second item).
It was amusing, then, on Sept. 13, to see the New York Post breathlessly announce the same news, trumpeting its supposed scoop as something “the Post has learned.” It was less amusing to see the Wall Street Journal reporting on the story the next day, crediting the Post.
Then came an item in the Sept. 18 Post, defending its “scoop” from criticism by Viacom Co-President and Co-COO Tom Freston during a recent investors’ conference, when Freston dismissed “that scurrilous report in the New York Post.”
That really tore it. When media executives start tossing around allegations of scurrilous reporting, we intend to claim what’s rightfully ours.
Oh, and it was nice to see that Mr. Freston in effect offered a non-denial denial of our original report. He acknowledged “discussions with outside partners,” and said: “But we haven’t made any decision yet.” Never said you had, Tom.