ABC Videocaster Congdon Caught Working For DuPont On The Side

AdAge had the scoop and now Radar elaborates: Former RocketBoom host-turned-ABC News videoblogger Amanda Congdon has been working on the side for DuPont, hosting so-called "infotainmercials" for the chemical corporation's website while simultaneously headlining a weekly videocast for ABC. As Radar puts it, "That's a huge no-no for ABC News staffers, because it naturally raises questions about how aggressively the network covers DuPont's role in, say, building up Iraq's nuclear program or its part in giving thousands of people cancer."

A spokesperson for the network told reporter John Cook that Congdon was merely an independent contractor (though, according to IRS guidelines for determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship, that categorization is debatable), and was "solely responsible for the content of her videoblog segments" (also a legally hazy claim, given that all ABC videos are co-produced, broadcast and fully sponsored by the network). Still, dancing just shy of a "full-time correspondent" title gives Congdon some leeway in skirting those tricky conflict of interest issues - though Cook notes that the videoblogger's segments are also featured on the ABC's 24-hour digital news channel and she may appear in the future as a correspondent on the network's TV broadcasts.