The Project for Excellence in Journalism has brought forth some numbers from 2006 to shine a light on where in the media campaign cash is likely to be headed in 2008. The spotlight is clearly focused on broadcast television, with radio getting the biggest share of the remainder. PEJ says television raked in 72% of the political take in 2006, followed by radio with 11.8%, cable/satellite TV (6.6%), newspapers (4.8%), billboards (2.5%) and finally, the Internet (1.8%).
As for the broadcast television cash, almost all of it is targeted to specific stations rather than placed with one of the networks. That is attributable to the battleground effect, as national funds seek out the heat, and as local politicians in difficult races redouble their fund-raising efforts and fund-spending habits to remain competitive.
Other media have their uses, and also benefit from the battleground effect as campaigns, along with traditional year-round advertisers, put the squeeze on available inventory.
TVBR/RBR observation: The internet remains a growth category. To date, it has been used more as a source of information and a fund-raising tool; political campaigns seem to be behind the curve in figuring out how best to get their message out via paid internet advertising. But just as the Howard Dean campaign first exploited the fund-raising aspect back in 2003/2004, it is probably just a matter of time before somebody, somewhere figures out a way to effectively spend money there. When that happen, watch for the medium to climb up the rankings list.