Wash. Post: Apple Paid Gadget Guru to Feature iPod on Local News Shows (CORRECTION)

Editoris Note: In an early version of this story, The Mac Observer incorrectly reported that Mr. Greenberg was paid to demonstrate and endorse an Apple product on a national television network. We apologize for this error. The following updated story is to set the record straight on Mr. Greenbergis business practices and his appearances on NBC shows and local news shows.

Technology expert Corey Greenberg said Wednesday he has been paid by Apple Computer to demontsrate and feature Apple products during local news appearances, but has not been paid to show the same product during appearances as NBCis "Today" show tech editor.

Mr. Greenberg was featured in a Washington Post article discussing how some technology reporters are paid to endorse and show products. Mr. Greenberg denied these same practices saying he had "never accepted payment to place a product on NBC News...I have never accepted payment to say nice things about a product in any venue." He said manufacturers hired him as "a spokesperson who could talk credibly and understandably about consumer products," but that he would no longer accept payment to appear on news programs.

"In no way, shape or form have I accepted payment to feature a product on any NBC news program," Mr. Greenberg told The Mac Observer Wednesday.

What Mr. Greenberg has done is feature Apple and non-Apple products on local television stations as part of a demonstration in which he has been financially paid. In those instances, the local stations have the opportunity to let viewers know Mr. Greenberg has been paid to show the products, but in many cases, the stations opt to not inform viewers of that fact.

"My job is in those local news interviews is to feature the product and not endorse, because I have been paid to show the product," Mr. Greenberg said. "The situation with the NBC is entirely different. In those cases, I am paid to show products and give my opinion on them."

Last July, during a "Today" show appearance, he praised the iPod digital media device as "a great portable musical player...the coolest-looking one" and suggested a compatible device to "share your music with other people." "This is the way to go," he commented.

Thinking that he was laying it on a little thick, co-host Matt Lauer interrupted and said, "Letis cut the Apple commercial here right now, okay?"

Mr. Greenberg was on "Sunday Today" last month to talk about "the coolest thing," Appleis iPhoto service for digital pictures, and said, "all the information goes up to Apple, Apple sends you a week later this perfect beautifully bound book."

Mr. Greenberg has been paid by Apple to feature its products on local news shows only.

A spokeswoman for NBC said the company has recently changed its policy to enact strict guidelines "governing our relationships with contributors," such as Mr. Greenberg, but did not give specifics.

NBC has not severed its relationship with Mr. Greenberg and other experts who it says failed to reveal their corporate ties. Under network policies, which also apply to stock analysts and fund managers, Greenberg "should have disclosed the other relationships to CNBC prior to his appearances," said spokeswoman Amy Zelvin. In the future, she said, "he wouldnit be on talking about companies where he was getting some sort of payment."

Mr. Greenberg told TMO he will no longer be doing paid satelite media interviews on local stations as to not give the impression of conflict of interest. He did say he will continue to do interviews with local stations if asked to do so, but will not accept payment from companies to feature or promote their products.

The practice of industry experts appearing on news shows and not revealing they have been paid for their appearance, endorsement or mention is controversial. While many so-called experts appear to discuss everything from electronics to medicine to politics, stations often will mention their affiliation, but not if they were paid to show a product, paid to appear or paid to give their opinion in favor of one group or company.