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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Let’s encourage advertisers to #TurnOff10

By Bob Plain in Rhode Island’s Future
For more cartoons by Mike Luckovich, CLICK HERE.
Nick, Ron, and Pete Cardi turned their family furniture store into a Rhode Island institution by featuring the trio of brothers in a seemingly never-ending stream of local advertisements. 

They considered pulling those ads off of NBC10 this week after learning that Sinclair, the station’s parent company, forced anchors all over the country to read corporate communications during newscasts.

“We looked at the whole station and said if we pull them, then we are liable,” Peter Cardi said in an interview with RI Future. “Those guys are sue crazy – not the local guys, the national guys.”

Cardi’s Furniture and Mattresses is one of NBC10’s largest and last local advertisers (the car companies and department stores mostly have national corporate backing). Peter said he and his brothers spoke with NBC10 Station Manager Vic Vetters at least twice this week in regards to the situation. ”

“We gave them our opinion as bluntly as we could,” he said. “We don’t like it. Our opinion is news is news. We don’t want it slanted one way or another.”

Cardi described the Sinclair must run segment that caused the national uproar as “terrible.” 

News anchors at every Sinclair-owned station – including Frank Coletta and Allison Bologna at NBC10 – read a corporate-mandated message deriding other news organizations for publishing “false news” and “fake stories.” 

The segment was seen as bolstering President Trump’s attempt to discredit American journalism as Sinclair is decidedly pro-Trump and often creates must run segments to amplify his positions.

Cardi said Vetters and others at NBC10 “are very concerned about it,” he said. “You can see it on their faces.”

NBC10 executives and news managers have neither commented publicly on the matter, or covered the situation as a news story.

Cardi’s also advertises with WPRI, ABC6, and the Providence Journal and that television advertising accounts for about 25 to 30 percent of the company’s advertising. 

They also advertise on local radio and on billboards, Peter Cardi said. He would not say how much money they spend with NBC10 but said Cardi’s is in the beginning of a four-year contract with the station.

Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.