October 21, 2009

You can die any day in mid-Michigan as TV offers obituary services

Obituary from Michigan's WNEM television station

 OK, I know death is serious but if I got a quarter every time a Flint-area person joked about not dying on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday I could stop worrying about the health of my pension fund.

Wish I had remembered this when a bunch of people with Flint-area ties got together recently. Fortunately, a comment over on the Free From Editors blog reminded me that Michigan television stations are taking advantage of local newspapers' decisions to limit the frequency of publication by offering daily obituaries. The success of the venture may mean televised obits are coming to your town.

The Free From Editors comment  directed readers to an Advertising Age article: Local TV Garners Revenue From Obituaries From WNEM:
For $100, the station will run the deceased's name and photo on-air and publish a full-length obituary on ObitMichigan.com. Full-screen graphics listing names of people who have passed away are broadcast during the local station's morning and noon shows Monday through Friday, as well as on weekend morning shows. Viewers are pushed to the website for more information about the deceased as well as funeral-services information.
The article was about the CBS affiliate in Michiga, but the local ABC station also offers obituaries online and onair. Here's a sample online listing:

ABC12's obituary listing
 Three of the local newspapers, which publish Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays offer obituaries by phone on the other days. For instance, if you call  (810) 835-4444.you hear the name, age, city and funeral home for the most recent deaths in the Flint Journal area. That service was launched in June.  Executive editor John Hiner talked about the service. in a radio interview

Eight publications affliated with mlive.com deliver a daily email of death notices to those who sign up. and publish the obituaries online.

So, see, it doesn't matter what day you die. The notice can be published in multiple ways.


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