Fewer Ads, Longer Stories On '60'

Sole Sponsor Of Oct. 23; Show Will Return Time To Programming

For the first time in its 37-year history, 60 Minutes will feature an exclusive advertiser, Philips, which will give back half of the program's commercial time to allow the news magazine's stories to run longer.

Under the arrangement, Philips will purchase all of the commercial time typically allotted to 60 Minutes, but only use half the time for ads. The result will be longer stories and only half the usual commercials, with the first two stories airing uninterrupted.

Among those stories scheduled to be broadcast this Sunday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m., are the nightmarish story of former Army Sgt. Robert Jenkins, whose Cold War-era desertion to North Korea turned into 40 years of captivity in the communist dictatorship, as well as a rare and candid interview with basketball legend Michael Jordan, and a report about musical savants whose impaired brains make living normally impossible but their musical prowess incredible.

"Selfishly speaking, this is a dream come true because we're getting more time to tell the stories that have made 60 Minutes the most watched newsmagazine on television," said Executive Producer Jeff Fager. "It's also a bonus for the viewers, who will get to see longer stories with fewer interruptions. We're very pleased to be participating in this unique arrangement, and we look forward to other opportunities like it."

Andrea Ragnetti, chief marketing officer of Royal Philips Electronics, said the company chose 60 Minutes because of its simple, yet straightforward format. "By reducing commercials, we could actually help the show extend the length of the stories, thus simplifying and enhancing the viewing experience for the audience," the spokesperson said.
  • Daniel Schorn

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