Monday, November 1, 2010

Inside the O'Donnell Ad Contretemps

I've been in contact with a source closely involved with Comcast Channel 28 who has given a fairly detailed timeline of the events about the Christine O'Donnell ad problems. A key detail about this story is that the company that O'Donnell contracted with to broadcast the ad (Positive Promotions) only supplies content to Channel 28; it does not have full control of the broadcasting technology. That will have important ramifications below.

So here's the timeline:

Afternoon of Friday, October 29: Station is told to expect O'Donnell epic ad by 5:30 that day.

5:00 pm Friday: Station employees are told that they will not be receiving the epic ad until Saturday at 2.

Saturday: 3 ads and a 2-minute piece are delivered (which are available on the TV station website), but no epic ad.

Sunday: Told that epic ad would be done by 2 pm on Sunday.

9 pm Sunday: Epic ad is delivered. But it needs to be converted.

10:30 pm Sunday: Ad ready for broadcast. But it needs to be taken to the Comcast studio. Here's where it runs into some serious problems. As the source relates:
...the employees running the show at Comcast do not have the time to take a show that arrives that close to airing with what they are already busy doing on Sunday nights. I believe there was a live taping at 11pm. The program needs to be loaded into the automated system, before it airs. The employees leave at or before midnight, and they are not legally obligated to [Positive Promotions] to load a program into the system before they leave. In fact, it is my understanding that programs should arrive 48 hours prior to airing, but they usually make exceptions for [Positive Promotions], but right before airing and before they want to leave is not one of them.
The source also relates that the Comcast studio employees do not begin to work until 3 pm on Monday, which explains why the Monday morning broadcast did not go forward (since the program wasn't in the system, it couldn't be broadcast).

The source emphasizes the O'Donnell's people were warned about the consequences about submitting the epic ad late. The source also suggests that Positive Promotions was not required to post the shorter ads on their website but did so as an act of goodwill.

Based on this timeline (which no O'Donnell person has yet challenged), it would seem hard to accuse the employees of Positive Promotions of any grave misdeed or sinister conspiracy to destroy Christine O'Donnell. Of course, if anyone has any information to the contrary, they are welcome to come forward.

O'Donnell's people now seem to be trying to smooth things over with Channel 28, which is now airing the epic ad.

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