Election Commentary: Jim BlueWritten by Jim Blue | | email@example.com
Look out for the Campaign Cash Hangover!
Much has been written and broadcast about the nation’s first billion-dollar election. Whether Obama’s record-setting use of privately donated campaign cash spells the end of public financing remains to be seen.
But the impact of campaign advertising on local broadcasters has been a whiff of oxygen to an industry on life support. The collapse of U.S. auto sales has heavily impacted many media outlets. Car dealerships provide up to 25 percent of advertising revenue. And a lot of that has gone away. But all the political ads in battleground states like Ohio have compensated for that loss during the past few weeks. Now the axe is about to fall.
Right after Election Day, watch how much advertising changes from campaign commercials to station promotion. Each one of those promos represents a lost opportunity for a station to make money on a paid ad. Local news operations are already facing tight budgets. The stations and their owners are all hoping that retailers will spend heavily during the coming weeks to promote holiday sales. If the Christmas ad sales are below expectations the budgets will get even tighter. Watch out for layoffs and cutbacks in local coverage.
Tonight, local news operations will put all hands on deck to compete in the biggest election show in decades. Tomorrow, they could have a huge hangover.