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Political Coverage

Hearst Stations Expand Political Coverage

hearst logoHearst Television has announced an expansion of its political coverage going into the 2014 election cycle. Under the “Commitment 2014″ banner, the 28 Hearst stations will give politics a minimum of 12 minutes in the 30 days leading up to the general election and some primaries.

“Audiences demand intelligent, in-depth coverage of politics and elections in their local communities, and broadcasters are investing in new ways to meet that demand, ” Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb said in a statement. “We want Hearst Television to be the most widely distributed provider of political news content in their markets, and we will generate content to the best available screen.”

The biennial pledge is a renewal of a policy Hearst first instituted in 2000, when the station group committed to five minutes of nightly airtime. In addition to renewing a partnership with PolitiFact, Hearst will also launch “In Their Own Words,” a feature allowing candidates to record video statements on issues that will be available online and on mobile devices.

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WDRB General Manager Questions Credibility of Courier-Journal Poll

bill lamb wdrb point of viewBill Lamb, the general manager at Louisville Fox affiliate WDRB, is under fire for implying in an on-air editorial (video after the jump) that a poll about Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell was “rigged” by the “ultra-liberal” Louisville Courier-Journal. Lamb said the poll — which was conducted by SurveyUSA for The Courier-JournalThe Lexington Herald and two of WDRB’s rival stations, WHAS and WKYT — “not surprisingly” finds McConnell, the incumbent Republican, trailing challenger Alison Grimes 46 to 42 in the U.S. Senate race.

James Miller of WFPL, Louisville’s NPR station, penned a column on the editorial, writing Lamb’s conclusions “are not backed with facts” (links are from the original column): Read more

After Completing Rehab, Rep. Trey Radel Sits Down With His Former Station

trey radel wink interviewRep. Trey Radel (R-FL) met with the media Wednesday for the first time since he completed his substance abuse program following an arrest for cocaine possession in November. Radel gave an emotional one-on-one interview to his former station, Fort Myers CBS affiliate WINK.

“This is embarrassing. I’ve dragged my family through a lot,” he told WINK’s Amanda Hall. “I have made a real conscious effort at times to shut off the computer, not look at the internet and not watch the TV because I know that I’ve caused a lot of pain.”

Watch the interview here (WINK’s video player does not allow embedding).

ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Pushing Beyond Official White House Line

How does a top network reporter break through the official White House talking points? ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl has been busy trying — and in the process has gotten into it twice over the last month with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, including just yesterday.

In this installment of Media Beat, Karl spoke to TVNewser’s Jordan Chariton about the need to remain skeptical of what the White House is telling you, regardless of who’s in office. Karl also revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits from campaign 2012. You might be surprised to know how little Karl saw candidate Mitt Romney—even when flying on the same plane.

WXYZ to Host Final Detroit Mayoral Debate

wxyz logoDetroit ABC affiliate WXYZ will host the final debate between Detroit mayoral candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan on October 29.

The candidates will face off in front of a live studio audience for a one-hour debate exactly a week before Detroit residents head to the polls. WXYZ editorial and public affairs director Chuck Stokes will serve as debate moderator, and questions will be asked by a panel including anchor Lloyd Jackson.

“WXYZ has a long history of televising important political forums,”  WXYZ vice president and general manager Ed Fernandez said in a statement. “We’re honored to be presenting this important event that will have such a profound impact on the future of Detroit and the region.”

Leaving Concession Speech, Anthony Weiner Flips Off WNBC Reporter

With his defeat in the New York mayoral primary yesterday, Anthony Weiner is done in the New York political arena, at least for now. Weiner, who has often been critical of the media throughout his five-month campaign, had one last message for the press last night after he delivered his concession speech: after getting into his waiting car, he directed a raised middle finger at WNBC reporter Shimon Prokupecz (pictured right, via Prokupecz’s Twitter feed).

The disgraced former Congressman, who resigned after a sexting scandal, ran from reporters into a neighboring McDonald’s before delivering his speech, Prokupecz reports. “Security pushed us away from him,” he tweeted.

What we want to know: how long before one of the networks signs Weiner as a political contributor?

WATCH: ‘You Work for the People’: Fargo Anchor Rips Congressman For Snub

KXJB may lead Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) to regret ignoring requests by the station for an interview.

Anchor Chris Berg hosts a news and opinion show on the Fargo, ND, CBS affiliate called “6:30 Point of View.” On the show, Berg publicly called out both Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Rep. Peterson, who is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, for not coming on his show to talk about the Farm Bill, which is a big deal in North Dakota.

While Berg told viewers Senator Heitkamp’s office responded to interview requests by saying, in effect, she didn’t have time to talk to her “pesky constituents,” Berg saved the brunt of his ire for Rep. Peterson who has remained silent.

“I know you’ve been there forever,” said Berg “You think this is your seat. You own it. But guess what? You work for the people here in the valley, show up.” Read more

KMOV’s Larry Conners: IRS Issues Began Before 2012 Interview With President Obama

KMOV anchor Larry Conners, who claimed he was targeted by the IRS after he pressed President Obama on government spending during a 2012 interview, walked back his allegation on the St. Louis CBS affiliate’s 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday.

“First, I need to state those were my personal views, not those of KMOV-TV,” Conners said (video above). “Second, to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand the importance of keeping personal matters separate from my professional work — sometimes you have to do that retain your independence as a newsman. Those lines might have been unintentionally crossed yesterday by my [Facebook] post.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Conners and his wife owe more than $85,000 in back taxes.

KMOV’s Larry Conners: After Interview With the President, ‘The IRS Started Hammering Me’

KMOV anchor Larry Conners suspects the IRS has been targeting him since he pressed President Obama during an interview last year. In a lengthy Facebook post Monday, Conners wrote, “almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me.”

“At the time, I dismissed the ‘co-incidence,’ but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members,” Conners wrote.

During the interview, Conners asked about government spending, telling the President that some KMOV viewers were concerned about the First Family “jetting around on different vacations” and wondered if he was “out of touch.”

“The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold,” Conners wrote on Facebook. “What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me. Can I prove it? At this time, no. But it is a fact that since the April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.”

Conners declined to comment for this post. Watch his 2012 interview with the President here. [h/t Politico]

Matt Horn Joins Capitol News Service

Matt Horn begins today at Capitol News Service, where he will cover political news for ten local stations in Florida.

Horn comes from Wichita, where he was Salina bureau chief and general assignment reporter at KSNW. In his new role, he will be based in Tallahassee.

Capitol News Service provides political reporting to several national outlets, as well as WFLA in Tampa, WTVJ in Miami, WFTV in Orlando, WINK in Fort Myers, WPTV in West Palm Beach, WCJB in Gainesville, WCTV in Tallahassee, WJHG in Panama City, WEAR in Pensacola and WJXT in Jacksonville.

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