KARK, Colleges and Money
Now this sounds like a real soap opera. KARK General Manager Rick Rogala denies to The Arkansas Times that the station will be selling news during a fall tour of Arkansas colleges. According to the article the controversy started after what is apparently copyrighted material was leaked to a local blogger on how colleges could partner up with KARK for $5,000 to be featured on KARK's morning program. Rogala explained it to The Arkansas Times this way:
KARK news director Rick Rogala (after complaining that the Times' source had swiped the station's “copyrighted content”) said that the campuses that would be visited by the morning show were picked solely by the news staff. After the stops on the tour were chosen, he said, the KARK advertising department came up with the idea of giving those colleges “added benefit” through a paid advertising partnership.
“It could be misinterpreted, but there is no content for sale,” Rogala said. “Somebody in marketing said, as long as we're going there, let's offer these universities the chance to push themselves further.”
Rogala said that one thing that might make the partnership offer look suspicious is that the version posted online bears a Hendrix College logo at the top, even though Hendrix is not one of the campuses on the KARK 4 Today campus tour. He said he will be looking into whether Hendrix was indeed offered a tour partnership by the KARK marketing department.
“The reality is that we're not going to Hendrix,” he said. “And if your question is, if Hendrix paid $5,000 would we come there, the answer is no."