ABC Cancels Nightline Director’s Sony Spiel

A late-breaking schedule change at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters convention: Nightline senior director George Murphy will not be presenting a case study Tuesday morning on using Sony Corp.’s "Vegas" nonlinear editing system in the broadcast environment.

According to a source at ABC, the network yanked Murphy from the Las Vegas convention gig last week following B&C’s inquiries about whether Murphy’s public enthusiasm for Sony had turned into a financial conflict of interest.
Attempting to avoid even a suggestion of a product endorsement, television networks are notoriously averse to discussing the technology they use. But it turns out that in addition to being slated as a Sony cheerleader at NAB2005 ("With industry veterans like George Murphy and his team using Sony Vegas 5 for international broadcasting, there is clearly a change in the winds of the editing world," gushes the program description), Murphy runs a business that sells Sony products. His bio on the NAB site says the director’s affection for the Sony product line led him to open an online "software superstore" where he "sells this wonderful product at a discount."

Murphy did not return our calls seeking comment. On Friday, the NAB confirmed that Ray Schlogel, the owner of video-production company Underground Planet in Austin, Texas, would be replacing Murphy at the Tuesday session. ABC’s nixing of Murphy’s NAB appearance may not end the story. "It’s an unfortunate situation," says an ABC insider, "that is being reviewed as we speak."