July 4, 2009

Media expected to swamp Jackson memorial

Members of the media are expected to be in full force when a memorial is held in Los Angeles for the late singer Michael Jackson, industry officials say.

Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life said in an e-mail while thousands of people are expected to attend the event at Staples Center, tens of millions more will likely follow the memorial through the media, CNN reported Saturday.

This will obviously be a huge media event, and with Web streams of the funeral, it may be impossible to say for sure how many people watched once all is said and done, because there's still no comprehensive way to measure Web viewing, Fitzgerald said.

With the celebrity factor thrown into the funeral, who'll be there, who'll talk, I would guess tens of millions in the United States will watch it on TV, she added.

TV critic Ed Bark agreed next Tuesday's memorial will likely draw as similar media attention as past historic events such as the 1963 assassination of then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

I guess we're all going to wait and see what the spectacle is, Bark told CNN. There may be no precedent for this.