Television group owner Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises has found a way to serve the public interest, stave off politicians hungry for free air time and make use of its brand spanking new digital capability. It is making an hour of air time available to all candidates for governor and the US congress in its service area.
The current availability of time on side channels is likely what allows Duhamel to make such a lavish offering. Each candidate will have two half hour blocks available. Duhamel says the program will “…give each candidate the opportunity to discuss the issues facing their prospective constituents and must run free of any political advertising.”
“Duhamel Broadcasting is dedicated to providing our viewers with the information necessary to make an educated decision on election day,” said Duhamel OM Monte Loos. “We are proud to make this free airtime offer to candidates and encourage them to use our stations as a conduit to the electorate.”
Duhamel’s stations include three serving the Rapid City SD DMA — KHSD-TV, KOTA-TV and KSGW-TV; and one serving Cheyenne WY-Scottsbluff NE — KDUH-TV.
RBR-TVBR observation: This of course is an excellent use of new technology, in terms of fulfilling public interest obligations, or as one of our readers put it the other day, in terms of just doing the right thing.
With repeated use, it may help get viewers into the habit of exploring new broadcast offerings that can go out in addition to the station’s main program stream. Once people know to go to those side channels, the prospects of turning a profit from them may increase dramatically.