As the first anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, companies have chosen various approaches for how to handle it.
Eight cable networks have announced plans to essentially go black and be commercial-free in the morning. According to Star.com, A&E, The History Channel, The Biography Channel, and History International (all A&E Television networks) will "fade to black and show a continuous scroll of the names of attack victims for 1 hour and 43 minutes," beginning at 8:46 a.m. ET. The Scripps Networks (HGTV, The Food Network, The DIY Network, and Fine Living) will replace their usual programming for two hours that morning with "a series of images intended to inspire quiet reflection."
Fox News Channel will air no commercials on Sept. 11, while CNN will significantly reduce its number of commercials.
In general, we can expect to see much less advertising than usual on 9/11. A New York Timesarticle (free registration required) reports that, "Most marketers, agencies, and media companies are deciding that they would rather go adless or limit their advertising than risk being perceived as exploiting the day for mercenary purposes."
Companies planning to significantly cut back or completely cut off advertising include the American Airlines division of AMR
Many companies that plan to advertise will keep ads away from coverage related to the attacks. But that may be hard to do, as networks scramble to put together massive memorial lineups. Some television critics are urging networks to use a little restraint and rein in the hype, but their words are not likely to be heeded.
Brace yourself for a week or more of "9/11: The Day That Changed America," "America Remembers," "Concert for America," and "9/11: The Day America Changed."