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How interview payola gets laundered

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

image When it was reported that NBC gave a scholarship to Gaby Rodriguez, the Yakima, Wash., teenager who faked her pregnancy as part of a school project to get her on the “Today” show and keep her off ABC, the Peacock network got a little too fancy in its denial. “We licensed the footage for a nominal fee which we disclosed in the piece. There was no ‘scholarship’ (to what??) offered,” NBC spokeswoman Megan Kopf protested in an email to Romenesko.

Add: Now the teenager’s literary agent (that’s right), Sharlene Martin, posts this comment at Romenesko:

As Gaby’s literary agent, I’d like to put this story to rest with accuracy. NBC licensed video that was the property of the Toppenish School District. The agreement made between myself and Gaby’s attorney, Anne Bremner, was made with the School District who “sold” it to us with express condition that the monies NOT be commissioned and be put in a trust fund for a scholarship for Gaby’s education. We have done just that.

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