Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another Take on Rosie Leaving "The View"

Rosie O'Donnell will not be returning to "The View" when her contract is up. Yes, I know it's a great disappointment to you, but I don't think we're getting the whole story. Some, like Rosie and ABC, say they just couldn't reach an agreement that would keep Rosie on the air. Others, like Laura Ingraham, said public outrage forced ABC's hand. I don't think either of these is the case. Here's what I think happened.

Remember when Rosie was going on about all the alleged coverups and said the media helped? She called out ABC on air in front of a nationwide audience and accused the company of perpetuating a lie. That's grounds for termination in most companies, but since Rosie is seen as singlehandedly saving "The View," it wasn't a good enough reason to toss her out on her ear.

There's also another reason why ABC wouldn't have released her after the aforementioned tirade. Rosie tends to talk a lot about injustices, real or imagined, and being fired for speaking out would give her a LOT to talk about. And ABC doesn't want to appear to be anti-gay, since there are fringe elements out there who would look solely at Rosie's sexual orientation and claim a firing was motivated only by homophobia. The PR nightmare alone would be enough to make ABC hold off on firing Rosie.

On the other hand, ABC suffered a lot of backlash from Rosie's comments. They understand ratings, but they also understand pressure by sponsors since advertising is how shows like "The View" make their money. Once sponsors start complaining, it's time for the tough decisions within the network. Do you keep Rosie in the hopes of keeping up the ratings, or do you fire her to please the sponsors?

Neither party in this case had an upper hand. Rosie knew ABC could fire her outright for her comments and that money could make her walk in a heartbeat. ABC knew Rosie could lash out at them for firing her, putting them in a world of hurt from a PR standard. Thus, the environment was perfect for a mutually beneficial parting and the subsequent "we just couldn't reach a mutual agreement on Rosie's contract" story. By coming to the agreement I think really happened, ABC gets rid of Rosie and a PR backlash, and Rosie gets to leave without being fired and without having to alienate sponsors she might need later on should she do TV again. A win-win for both parties.

And one that is being obscured by spin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala as the streets were packed with people heading for evening prayers, killing at least 58 and wounding scores near some of the country's most sacred shrines. Separately, the U.S. military announced the deaths of nine American troops, including three killed Saturday in a single roadside bombing outside Baghdad....

The Americans killed in Iraq included five who died in fighting Friday in Anbar province, three killed when a roadside bomb struck their patrol southeast of Baghdad and one killed in a separate roadside bombing south of the capital.

The deaths raised to 99 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died this month and at least 3,346 who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.