Post Newsweek-owned Central Florida CBS affiliate WKMG-TV has signed an exclusive deal with original Survivor cast member Gretchen Cordy to provide commentary on the new Survivor: The Australian Outback. The reports were scheduled to begin with the series' debut following the Super Bowl, and the station will air her insights into the new cast's challenges and strategies following the show on Thursday nights and in various newscasts the next day. Cordy will do her segments from the Orlando, Fla., station or from sister station WJXT-tv in Jacksonville, Fla. The station will also provide the reports to other Post-Newsweek stations and to various infotainment shows.
Asked whether the Survivor analysis was a legitimate use of newscast time, General Manager Jeff Sales said, "Absolutely. We have callers calling us all the time about this. I don't think that what we're doing is straight promotion. [Survivor] is, in fact, a national phenomenon. Where do you draw the line between a phenomenon and a tie-in?"
News Director Pat Burns agrees. "This is a fun thing," he said. "We're still going to cover the news. This is a fun element to provide; people enjoy the behind-the-scenes look. We do a lot of special projects here, from investigations to features. We're not bumping any news for this."