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Discovery Gambles on Green

March 21, 2008 10:55 AM

Discovery Communications chieftain Dave Zaslav had to love the splash of largely positive ink in today’s Wall Street Journal that featured a long article about his upcoming plans to morph the existing Discovery Home into Planet Green on June 4.

The article did point out potential pitfalls, with environmentalists raising concerns about some of the misleading claims that corporations make in their eco-friendly marketing efforts, known as “greenwashing.”

As Discovery plans the announcement next month of a programming roster that includes “Emeril Green,” hosted by Emeril Lagasse in conjunction with Whole Foods Market, the new net has a larger concern, in my mind.

For whatever reason, Nielsen does not rate Discovery Home’s viewers. Nor will Discovery Green be measured as the upfront buying season begins this spring.

That’s unusual. I recall cable networks buying Nielsen ratings even though they launched with far fewer than 50 million homes. In this age of media scrutiny, I have to wonder why.

Sound suicidal? Maybe not. According to the WSJ, Discovery Green already has signed up some advertisers for the new channel, including Clorox, Whirlpool, S.C. Johnson & Son, Waste Management and General Motors.

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