The nascent cable channel will simulcast the Imus radio show in an early morning time period, no doubt to give that still-small network some new marketing spin.
To be frank, I expect little from Imus when it comes to business news. The closest he got to the topic on his previous gig at MSNBC is when he interviewed NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, asking her, "How's Al?," in reference to her husband, the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
No matter. I love mixed-marketing messages.
While I was sitting on an exercise bike yesterday morning, an NBC "The Biggest Loser" promo came on for the new season. This was followed immediately by video of some brownies, for an upcoming segment on "The Today Show." Working out with incentives, I'm guessing.
Mixed TV messages -- unintentional or not -- are some of the best entertainment television can offer. In truth, TV executives hate anything off-script, but the real secret is that viewers like surprises.
ABC recognized some of this. During this past year, ABC treated us to a series of unusual network promos with prime-time stars from different shows all together in one house. So you had "Desperate Housewives" Teri Hatcher's Susan cooking in the kitchen with Matthew Fox's Jack from "Lost."
TV executives should try more stuff like this. Give viewers some rough TV footage -- the cracks in between the slick editing -- and they'll come back for more. That's one of the reasons why "reality" TV has become its own genre on traditional television airwaves -- the feel that TV is better when unscripted.
I've got to go now. I just heard Imus is analyzing the minutes of a recent Federal Reserve meeting.