Big winners in Wisconsin: Broadcasters


Republican Governor Scott Walker has mounted a full frontal assault on public employee unions in the state of Wisconsin, the employees are mounting a spirited defense, and Democratic legislators have gone AWOL to prevent any lawmaking on the issue. And the winners are: Broadcasters, who are putting messages from both sides on the air.

According to an account in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as of Monday 2/28/11, almost $1.9M had been spent on advertising – and that’s just what went to broadcast television stations.

Fueled by labor unions, the messaging of the workers had the lead in expenditures. According to CMAG figure quoted by the paper, anti-Walker advertising stood at about $1.03M, while advertising supportive of Walker stood at about $830K. The numbers represented statewide spot purchases.

The Journal Sentinel noted that inclusion of cable advertising and continued advertising over broadcast television undoubtedly has moved spending well above the $2M mark.

Wisconsin DMAs include its number one market in terms of size, Milwaukee; capital and primary labor Madison; and Green Bay, La Crosse/Eau Claire and Wausau/Rhinelander.

The source of much of the cash is national, and the Wisconsin battle is being used by interested parties to raise even more cash coast-to-coast to participate in the media portion of the battle.