The Today show’s “We Love Australia” visit to Griffith last Wednesday pocketed a bucketload of cash from local council and businesses, while providing plenty of positive coverage.
“Yup, $100,000, with Griffith City Council kicking in $15,000 of ratepayers’ money and local businesses stumping up the rest,” said host Paul Barry.
But Nine’s Head of Publicity Victoria Buchan told ABC, “We don’t charge any of our partners a fee. We don’t make money. We do work with them to help cover our considerable production and travel costs.”
Amongst plenty of glowing coverage, ABC also noted local scandals which broke the day before the broadcast didn’t rate a mention and questioned endorsements by Karl Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys for local accountant Roy Spagnolo, who appeared as a guest.
Meanwhile Gladstone Regional Council also told ABC it had forked out for a “We Love Australia” visit.
“We contributed $36,364 for the opportunity to showcase our region to a national audience,” said Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett.
Victoria Buchan said, “Our partners see the immense value in having the attractions of their local area broadcast across Australia. They appreciate the huge amount of work and resources which go into every one of these programs. And they report increases in website traffic, enquiries and bookings.
“The production team, not our presenters, make the decisions on location, content and guests. Our
presenters gain nothing financially, or commercially, from We Love Australia.
“We’re proud of We Love Australia, and proud of the support we give to Australian tourism, local
businesses and jobs.”