Saturday, April 28, 2007

Did the Today Show Essentially "Pay" For Birkhead Interviews?

How much money all told do you suppose that Anna Nicole Smith generated -- for others, no less -- during her all-too-brief life? Those numbers would probably be as astounding as they are saddening. Toss another crisp mil on the pile as Brandon Tartikoff oscillated wildly in his grave. From those intrepid Page Sixxies:

"'THERE'S a good reason why NBC has been getting scoop after scoop in the Anna Nicole Smith soap opera and leaving the other networks in the dust - it has a secret $1 million deal with Larry Birkhead, the biological father of her 7-month-old baby, Page Six has learned.

"An insider tells us the network's parent, NBC Universal, sealed the deal with Birkhead shortly after Anna Nicole's funeral, and that's why it's getting exclusives that end up on the network's 'Today' and 'Access Hollywood' programs and on its Bravo channel.

"A rep for Bravo confirmed to us last night: 'NBC Universal has an exclusive contract with Larry Birkhead and we don't discuss the terms of our deals."

"Our source says the Birkhead deal is almost up, but one more big scoop is in the works. Birkhead and little Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead are flying from the Bahamas to Los Angeles today. "They'll be on board a Bravo-funded plane along with Howard K. Stern and the network is planning some kind of big interview," our insider says.

"NBC-Universal made the deal with Larry right after the funeral. NBC did it through their entertainment division so there wouldn't be any uproar about it coming from news."

But is the "Today Show" a part of the Entertainment division? See, we thought "The Today Show" was part of NBC News, for which it is a bad thing ethically to be paying for "Exclusives," especially on topics as lurid as the Bahamian Baby-daddy mess. So, Is NBC's News division "Benefitting" from the NBC Entertainment payment? Just asking ...
More (Page Six)

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