A media-observant FBvian notes that the Channel 8 news-entertainment interface was common, in every sense of the word:
Austin’s ABC affiliate, KVUE, did a piece on bird flu on their 10:00PM newscast last night — the “Texas angle” to the story! — complete with old footage of Rick Perry’s “Bird Flu Summit” from not long ago.
But worse by far was that “ABC World News Tonight” had anchor Elizabeth Vargas narrate a bird flu piece that was essentially a review of the movie airing later that night on her network. She basically walked through the plot, showed plenty of footage, reminded us all that this is only a movie, and then had a tacked-on clip of some expert to try and give the whole thing a certain legitimacy.
Seems clear to me that ABC’s Entertainment division worked hard with its News division and with the local affiliates to make this as much of a full-court press as possible.