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TV Obituaries? They're Trying It in Michigan

Times are tough in Michigan and businesses there are leaving no stone unturned.

In Memory Of
In Memory Of

When three of four daily newspapers in the Saginaw area started publishing just three days a week, people complained. What about the obits?

One CBS affiliate stepped in to fill the void: They’re running obituaries on TV, Advertising Age reports.

For $100, the station, WNEM, will run the name and photo of the deceased on air, and publish a full-length obit on ObitMichigan.com, a joint venture between local funeral services and WNEM.

It’s too soon to tell how significant a revenue stream it will be but since the station started the program in September, it’s received 700 obituaries.

It could be “one of our top billers within two years,” Jeff Guilbert, general sales manager of at WNEM, told Ad Age.

The station’s owner, Meredith Corp., is planning to roll out the obit program to other stations and is even in talks with other station groups.

And, for anyone wondering — why not just do it online? Remember: Older people tend to be the ones who most frequently check obits and not all of them have computers.

Questions? Comments? Write to ponyblog@cnbc.com.