If you turned on your TV this past Tuesday morning to watch the newly minted Newbery and Caldecott Medalists speak about their books, you were out of luck. All of the major morning shows declined to run the until-recently traditional segment highlighting the winners of yesterday's awards.
Macey Morales, manager of media relations at the American Library Association, which administers the awards, told PW, “The ALA has reached out to several morning news programs to secure an in-studio placement for the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists. Unfortunately, those programs chose to decline the opportunity. However, the awards still continue to capture the attention of national print and radio media organizations. We will continue efforts to obtain as many media opportunities as possible for this year’s award winners.”
The segment, which had appeared for many years on NBC’s Today show, was dropped last year; many blamed its absence on Snooki from Jersey Shore, who appeared on the show that day promoting her new book. Apparently, however, the Newbery/Caldecott winners were not bumped for Snooki; her appearance had been long booked, and according to a source, the ALA segment had never been confirmed.
Speaking to today’s lack of morning TV coverage, one children’s publicity director, who declined to be identified, told PW, “I think it’s a shame that the morning shows don’t see the potential for a segment about the winners of the most distinguished children’s book awards in America. Perhaps the segment needs to be reimagined to better suit the morning show format. We’re hopeful in the future they will reconsider.”