The problem with television “exclusives” – like magazine cover stories, newspaper leads and even online embargoes – is that the news doesn’t always cooperate.
CBS’ “60 Minutes” landed a sit-down interview with Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who spent 18 months in federal prison after being convicted of running a dog fighting ring.
The “exclusive” interview is scheduled to air Sunday. But the “exclusive” part became much less so on Friday, after Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles held a press conference to announce his signing a two-year contract — worth as much as $6.8 million — with the team.
The press conference was carried live by ESPN and dozens of cable and network news channels.
Vick made a brief statement and then proceeded to take a half hour of questions.
That sound you hear is the air coming out of CBS’ Sunday night ratings.
"I know I’ve done some terrible things, made a horrible mistake,” Vick said. “Now I want to be part of the solution and not the problem."
One of the solutions to the “exclusivity” problem for CBS could have been to scoop the press conference by posting the entire “60 Minutes” interview online last night when news of Vick to Philly broke.
But that would have taken some two-minute-drill-style quarterbacking by “60 Minutes” executives, who were already working out of their comfort zone. (They handed the interviewer duties to their “NFL Today” anchor James Brown, not one of the show’s regulars.)
Instead, they’ll tease the hell out of an interview that will be old news by Sunday night, after cable news pundits, local papers, blogs and the Sunday ‘Times’ cover the hell out of Vick.
There won’t be anything left in Vick’s bowl to chew on. Not even his jersey (which, by the way, is already being debated. Online.)
So much for that QB coup, CBS.