A member of the morning news team at the Fox affiliate in Hartford, WTIC-TV, has started turning up in radio and television commercials.
Rachel Lutzker (at left) has started appearing on a television commercial for a major Connecticut auto dealer. She can also heard on radio commercials for Advanced Window Systems, a home improvement business in Connecticut.
Call me old fashioned, but didn’t it used to be taboo for a journalist to serve as an advertising pitchman/pitchwoman?
Some folks may be willing to give Lutzker a pass on this particular issue because her role on Fox 61 is that of a traffic reporter. She also does some entertainment reporting on the station as well.
In addition, Lutzker hosts a radio program “Acoustic After Dark” on WHCN-FM in Hartford. So the logic may be that she’s not really a journalist, she’s an on-air personality.
I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that for a minute.
As long Lutzker is part of a television station’s morning “news team”, she’s a journalist and ought to be held to the same standards as other journalists. You never saw Walter Cronkite selling dishwasher or television sets and I’d like to think that the man once called “the most trusted man in America” – because of his credibility as a journalist – would be spinning in his grave over something like this.
I’m old enough to remember when some television newsrooms used to have rules that kept their reporters from taking part in this kind of activity. Serving as an advertising spokesperson has the potential to impact a journalist’s credibility.
But maybe credibility doesn’t matter any more. It’s not something that sells, not the same way that having an attractive young woman pitching your product does.
That’s the real message I’m getting from these commercials.