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'PRIMETIME LIVE' PRODUCER CONFIRMS SHOW IS DESIGNED TO 'ENTERTAIN'

'PRIMETIME LIVE' PRODUCER CONFIRMS SHOW IS DESIGNED TO 'ENTERTAIN'
 SALISBURY, N.C., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York Times yesterday reported that the primary goal of magazine "news" programs is to "tell compelling stories" and "entertain," confirming what many have already concluded: that most news-style programs are more interested in creating sensational television than in reporting news.
 According to the Times article, programs such as "PrimeTime Live" "are making a case that they should be considered on at least equal footing with entertainment ...," ABC's "PrimeTime Live" Executive Producer Rick Kaplan went on to add that his program was dedicating itself to "telling compelling stories," and ABC's senior vice president of research said, "Entertainment is not a bad word for a news magazine show." In a similar article of the Oct. 9 Washington Post, television critic Tom Shales reported that programs such as "PrimeTime Live" find it necessary to "use scare tactics in luring audiences."
 After reading the article, Food Lion Vice President Vince Watkins said, "In our own case 'PrimeTime' was so interested in making up a good story that they actually broke the law to do it. As a result, Food Lion was forced to file a lawsuit against the network and the segment producer. This story certainly confirms what we have experienced -- that the objective of the program is to entertain and to do one 'amazing' piece a week. It's too bad it has to be at the expense of good companies like ours."
 Food Lion, the target of an undercover report by "PrimeTime Live," filed suit against Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., after they learned that a segment reporter, Lynn Litt, fraudulently obtained employment with Food Lion by using a false and misleading employment application. The lawsuit also alleges, among other things, that Litt failed to perform her duties as an employee in an effective and responsible manner, giving her the opportunity to concoct news about the operations and practices in the stores in which she worked.
 ABC has been working closely with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) to produce the "PrimeTime Live" Food Lion story. Food Lion has been a target of a UFCW Corporate Campaign designed to force the company to unionize or put it out of business as stated by UFCW Executive Vice President Doug Dority. The UFCW would stand to gain as much as $18 million in union dues should Food Lion unionize.
 Watkins concluded by saying, "We made every attempt to work with 'PrimeTime Live' to make sure they knew the truth about our company, but they simply weren't interested in hearing it. We offered to meet with them, we even offered to produce a tape that met all of their specifications telling our side of the story to ensure they had the truth. They said no. I guess what we had to say just did not go a long way toward entertainment and to 'do one amazing piece a week.'"
 Food Lion is the nation's fastest growing supermarket chain with more than 940 stores in 14 states.
 -0- 10/20/92
 /CONTACT: Jackie Clark for Food Lion, 703-519-0800/ CO: Food Lion; Capital Cities/ABC ST: North Carolina IN: REA ENT SU:


KD -- DC023 -- 2356 10/20/92 13:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 20, 1992
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