Sunday, February 20, 2005


Jill Nicolini is the helicopter traffic reporter for WPIX Channel 11 in New York City. But if you flip around the dial, you can see the former Playboy model on other local TV stations in a commercial for Lucille Roberts' health clubs. In this blipvert, Ms. Nicolini is billed as a health club reporter, so in the grand Toobworld scheme of things, she's obviously covering both kinds of "news" for the station.

It just happens that the health club news is being played out on the other stations, doing the work for WPIX.

Anybody who's been around Toobworld for awhile knows that I'm a tele-anarchist; that I believe in TV without borders. But out in the real world, the suits don't like to see that sort of thing happen.

(Look at the stink ABC and FOX made when David E. Kelley wanted to do a crossover between his own shows 'The Practice' and 'Ally McBeal'.)

Ms. Nicolini filmed the ad before she was hired by WPIX, so the station has no problem with a conflict of interest. And they probably find the situation funny.

In fact, according to Richard Huff in the New York Daily News, a Channel 11 spokesman said that "If Channel 7 wants to put Channel 11's traffic reporter on their station, and identify her by name, we're not going to complain."

An article like that will more than likely lead to WABC Channel 7 yanking the ad from airing now. It will be a localized form of revenge after other stations pulled a car ad which featured Dennis Franz back in the day when the soon-to-vanish 'NYPD Blue' was white-hot in popularity.


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