Candidate booked time on MA AM


WCAP-AM sold a 25-minute chunk of a Saturday morning talk show to a candidate for public office. Station owner Clark Smidt said it allowed the candidate to get on the air as he wished without opening the station to requests for equal time.

According to the Cambridge Chronicle, Nick Iannuzzi, an independent candidate running for the Third District Governor’s Council seat, paid $490 for the 25-minute session. He was a guest on the regularly-scheduled Warren Shaw show on Saturday morning 10/9/10. Shaw said it was the first time he was involved in such a transaction, but said as far as he was concerned, it was business as usual – and noted that sales are done by others at the station.

Smidt emphasized that there was to be full on-air disclosure that the segment was a paid political program.

RBR-TVBR observation:  A local professor said the arrangement was “unusual,” and perhaps it is. But candidates have famously purchased large blocks of time, and on a much larger scale than this – think Ross Perot in 1992 and Barack Obama in 2008.