Television group Belo took a multipronged approach to following the 2008 US election season, providing extensive news coverage, hosting debates and providing free air time to candidates. It’s 15 news-producing stations devoted some 210 hours of news time to election coverage, averaging 115 stories weekly, and it provided over 14 hours of airtime to some 140 candidates for various political offices. It produced notable senatorial campaign debates in hotly contested battles in Louisiana and Oregon, and the race for governor in Washington State.
The company also made extensive use of station websites to provide enhanced coverage.
“Showcasing the candidates and our political coverage in new and innovative ways significantly expands the political dialogue among the voting public,” said President/CEO Dunia A. Shive. “We are very pleased to have provided this level of coverage to the local communities we serve.”
RBR/TVBR observation: Every station that can possibly get into political coverage, television and radio alike, should do so as a hedge against the reinstatement of onerous localism rules. This is the surest way to get the attention of political types when demonstrating that the public interest is being served.