“[Incumbent Republican] Greg Brower versus [former Democratic Assemblywoman] Sheila Leslie state senate campaign is supposed to be the lollapalooza of senate campaigns,” Hagar said. “But when I checked the records at all of these TV stations, I did not even find a Brower file or a Leslie file anywhere. That was very surprising to me.”
One final nugget from Hagar’s piece: candidates want their faces seen in proximity to Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek, both of whose game shows air on KOLO (which has seen the most political ad dollars to date). Reported Hagar:
[KOLO’s] Eldredge credits the popular TV shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune for Channel 8’s political fortunes.
“I think [political campaigns] buy adults, 35-plus,” Eldredge said, referring to the demographic of adults, 35 years old and older. “We tend to skew a little bit older. Some of the [programs] we have are Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and those do a huge number in that demographic. So you notice that a lot of PAC groups and political groups love to be on those shows because those people are more apt to vote.”
The data Hagar hunted down for this piece may soon be a bit easier to access. In April, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that many top-market TV stations will soon have to make this information available online. On July 17, the FCC will host a “public demonstration of the database it has developed to host the online public inspection file for television broadcast stations.”
Hagar supports this change, at least in principal.
“How is the FCC going to police this?” he asked me in an email. “Is the FCC going to do the shoe-leather work of checking each station’s files to make sure their files correspond with what is online?”