Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MilesTones • TV Show Real Hit! Competition Blasted As Ratings Soar

It has long been known that through-the-roof-ratings and book sales accompany something sensational that corresponds to the thing being marketed. Sometimes these happenings are entirely coincidental. Then there are times that….hmmmm…there are times that try men’s souls.

Back in the 1970’s, mystery writer, Marvin Kaye from New York, had just finished his book The Grand Ole Opry Murders, which was to be released the next day when the newswires buzzed about a series of murders in Nashville, where his story was set. While harmful for the victims in Nashville, the book sales were not hurt in the slightest. Even though Marvin knows how to market a book, he wouldn’t go that far…at least we don’t think so.
Salman Rushdie wrote a book titled, The Satanic Verses, that Muslims considered blasphemous and the Atyatollah Khomeini put out a fatwa for his execution. He stayed in hiding as his book enjoyed unprecedented sales as an International Best Seller..
Hoewever, coincidence stops here. A TV prgram in Brazil,“Canal Livre”,which could have copied John Walsh’s, America’s Most Wanted, was a reality show that became too real and a little too effective.. .
Wallace Souza, the host of the program, managed to get to murder scenes before all the smoke had cleared from the gun. His on-the-spot response was much faster than Walsh’s ever was.  He beat all other TV crews as well as other news outlets to the scene.  And his ratings soared.
Souza was, as The Apostle Paul determined to be, all things to all people…only with a bit of a twist. He was a well watched TV Host, a State Legislator and…a drug trafficker, which completes a package that would make any politician proud. Apparently he was effective in all these roles.
Then, one murder after another dominated the news. In every one of those, Souza was the first one there with his camera crew and the story aired immediately, before even the police got to the scene. And his stories were complete with incredible information and minute details that purportedly were gathered quickly, proving excellent journalism skills. After five of these murders along with the instant-on-the-spot reporting by Souza, quiet investigations began.
An impressive fact that emerged was that all of these murder victims were drug traffickers. Sleuths put it all together and shook their heads with the conclusions. The ones murdered were rival drug traffickers, so Souza ordered the killilngs, got rid of competition neatly, while scooping all news sources about each murder, which in turn pushed his TV ratings over the top.
MilesTones would like to know if this ratings-boosting tactic will become an elective in journalism school. Perhaps ilt could be titled, A Killer Plan To Boost Ratings. And too, perhaps this might qualify Souza for Obama’s Stimulus Package since Sousa’s enterprise would bring business to funeral homes in the area, saving the economy.




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