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Columbus Stations Crowded with Political Ads as Obama, Romney Visit Battleground Ohio

Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are campaigning in Ohio Wednesday as the 2012 Presidential election heads into the home stretch. The candidates have also taken to the airwaves in the battleground state, leading to a crunch in the state’s largest city, Media Life Magazine reports:

TV stations in Columbus are near sell-out conditions in high-demand dayparts such as primetime and news, and the market is among the nation’s top 10 for political spending.

“It’s having a huge impact, and some stations did not predict how early it would hit,” says one buyer. “There will [also] be impact in November and probably into December because of crowd-out from September and October.”

WCCO Pulls Political Attack Ad

WCCO, the CBS O&O in Minneapolis, pulled a political ad suggesting freshman Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack’s constituents had to pay to get access to him after the congressman’s campaign demanded the station stop running the spot.

The ad, which you can view after the jump, was produced by the House Majority PAC who states on their website:

House Majority PAC is an independent-expenditure only committee (often called a “Super PAC”) that is designed to hold Republicans accountable and help win back the House Majority for Democrats. House Majority PAC is committed to building a long-term organization that can take on the Republican outside groups in the battle for the House Majority.

TVSpy reached out to WCCO about the ad, but they refused to comment.  Watch the video inside.

Read more

The Top Market for Political Ad Spending Is…

Cleveland is the top market for political ad spending year-to-date, according to Television Bureau of Advertising and BIA data compiled by Wells Fargo Securities. Broadcasting & Cable‘s John Eggerton takes a look at the numbers:

[Cleveland] is the top market in political ad dollars spent year-to-date through Sept. 2 at $37,250,280. Number two is Washington, D.C. at $35,504,710, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla., at $31,233,120.

Rounding out the top five are Las Vegas at $30,665,420, and Orlando-Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Fla., at $24,854,410. Read more

Political Ad Spending Up In Roanoke-Lynchburg

The Roanoke Times looks at political ad spending in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market, where political advertisers have allocated or spent $6.5 million on the four local stations there:

For proper context, consider this: In 2008, which was a record year for campaign spending in this market according to information provided by the stations, political advertising totaled nearly $5.6 million.

Welcome to the swing-state spending spree. “Virginia is white-hot,” said Leesa Wilcher, general manager of WSLS.

And few places have sizzled like the Roanoke-Lynchburg market, which has been ranked in MSNBC’s top 10 “hottest advertising markets” for three months.  Read more

Political Ad Spending Up in Tampa, Cleveland

Key markets in swing states, especially those with hotly-contested senate races, continue to be flooded with political ad money as the election draws closer. MediaPost’s David Goetzl has details:

Cleveland, the country’s 18th-largest market, has drawn $17.7 million through June 24, according to a Wells Fargo report. That places it just behind Los Angeles for the most political ad dollars this year.

Also in Ohio, the Columbus market, the 34th-largest, ranks 8th in most spending with $10.6 million. In Florida, Tampa, the 14-largest market, ranks 4th with $12.2 million and Orlando (market 19) comes in 9th with $10.4 million. Read more

$3.6M Spent on Political Ads in Wisconsin Last Week

More than $3.6 million was spent on political ads for the Wisconsin recall election last week, new figures show. The election, which is today, pits incumbent governor Scott Walker against Tom Barrett. CNN breaks it down:

Walker, the Republican Governors Association, and independent tea party groups and other grassroots fiscal conservative organizations have spent around $2.484 million to run ads in the recall campaign over the past week, according to data provided to its clients by Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a company that tracks and estimates the costs of campaign television ads.

That’s more than double the $1.125 million Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic challenger, Democratic Party committees and independent progressive groups have spent to run commercials from last Monday through Sunday.

Political ad spending is also increasing in the rest of the country as the general election heats up. Read more

Columbus Stations Benefit From Political Ad Spending

USA Today takes a look at political ad spending in Columbus, where viewers are already being “peppered with political ads from candidates, super PACs, and issue advocacy groups from the left and right” even though the election is six months away:

Columbus draws a lot of political advertising because it’s the largest city in a big swing state that this year also has a heated Senate contest and congressional races reconfigured by redistricting. What’s different here is that when the campaigns end, the advertising keeps on going. Political ads are on the air in Columbus all the time.

That’s great news for the local TV stations battered by a recession that torpedoed their commercial advertisers.  Read more

Former KXAS Anchor Running for Congress Attacks His Old Station in Latest Political Ad

Former KXAS anchor Grant Stinchfield, a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Texas, has bought ad time on the Dallas NBC O&O to run ads attacking his former station.

“I used to bring you the news every night, but here’s what you didn’t know: too many times NBC refused to to let me tell the stories that you needed to hear,” Stinchfield says in the ad (watch above). “Was it liberal bias or simply the fear of losing ad dollars? I believe it was both.”

Dallas media blogger Ed Bark reports Stinchfield’s ad ran on the KXAS 4 p.m. newscast yesterday and will run again today. The NBC O&O released a statement yesterday on the decision to air the ad. Read more

KSHB, KFOR Air Controversial Political Ad After Other Stations Decline

At least two NBC-affiliates recently aired a controversial anti-abortion ad after dozens of stations across the country declined to run the commercial.

KSHB in Kansas City and KFOR in Oklahoma City both aired an ad from dubious presidential hopeful Randall Terry that includes graphic images of aborted fetuses.  A number of stations, most notably WMAQ in Chicago, declined to run the ad because they did not consider Terry to be a serious candidate (Terry is a lifelong conservative who is now running for president as a Democrat).

“Political discourse is crucial in an open and democratic society,” KSHB general manager Mike Vrabac said in a statement, explaining the station’s decision to air the commercial during its 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Read more

Forbes: Political Ads Will Give Local Stations A ‘Banner Year’

Political ad spending has given a boost this year to stations in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. But stations in all markets, particularly where there are competitive non-Presidential races, stand to make big gains in 2012, says Charles Taylor, who writes in Forbes that this year will see “8% to 9% growth for local television because of political ad spending”:

There are also many competitive gubernatorial contests around the country. And there’s an unusual level of attention being given to several Senate contests, given the potential of a Republican takeover of the Senate–in part a possibility because Democrats will have to defend a larger number of seats in this cycle.  Combining these factors with additional spending on competitive state and local races and it is clear that many local stations are going to sell out their inventory of space for a longer period of time than is characteristic of a typical election.

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