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Archives » Elections and Parties

Viewers Claim To Tune Out During Election Season

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

A new survey commissioned by MGH, an integrated marketing communications agency, found that 32% of survey respondents change the channel as soon as a political advertisement airs and during political news coverage, and nearly half (47%) of viewers will change the channel or mute the TV during a negative political ad.

The Baltimore agency commissioned the survey to find if consumers change their viewing habits during election season.

As usual, the vast majority (88%) of respondents said they are turned off by negative political advertising. But as usual, the negative ads work.

Younger millennials aged 18-24, skewed higher in some measures:

  • Forty-five percent change the channel during political news coverage.
  • Thirty-nine percent change the channel as soon as they see a political advertisement.
  • Twenty percent are more likely to watch programs online, and 19% are more likely to record programs they want to watch to avoid commercials.

"This year's election is gearing up to be a tight race, and with tens of millions of advertising dollars being put toward mudslinging political television ads, marketers need to pay attention to some of these statistics to make sure that their consumers aren't changing the channel on their clients," said MGH President, Andy Malis. "During election years, television advertising space is limited and more expensive, so advertisers need to get creative and integrated with their media campaigns to ensure their message is getting through the clutter."

The key takeaways, according to MGH, are that marketers have the potential to lose more than one-third of their potential audience if a political ad airs – and nearly half if a negative political ad airs – in the same commercial block as theirs. Additionally, marketers that target the younger millennials may have an even tougher time reaching this audience through TV ads.

Still the spending is high, and a report released in March from Borrell Associates forecasts that out of the $9.8 billion that will be spent on political advertising for this year’s election, $5.6 billion will go toward broadcast TV and $939 million toward cable TV advertising. The New York Times estimates that at least $50 million worth of ads will appear in swing states in the next several weeks, about five months out from the election.

Time will tell if these viewers actually do tune out as they claim. Viewership was very strong during the GOP debates. ABC claimed big ratings for its “Your Voice, Your Vote – Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire” broadcast. Nielsen tallied 6.25 million viewers, including 1.73 million Adults 25-54 and 1.40 million Adults 18-49. The ABC debate topped the Fox News Channel’s December 15 debate with 1.31 million viewers.

According to January figures from The Pew Research Center for The People & The press, it is true that fewer Americans are closely following the campaign than four years ago. Cable TV leads among sources at 36%, but the Internet is next to last at 25% and has not grown in significance since 2007. So, those younger-skewing voters who claim to get ad-free news online might be exaggerating, or simply disinterested. Just 20% of those younger than 30 claimed to follow the campaign closely, down from 31% in 2008. But because younger voters skew Democrat, they may prick up their ears as the conventions and election near.

Equation Research conducted the survey in April 2012 on behalf of MGH. Equation surveyed 1,000 adults aged 18+ who had seen at least one political advertisement recently, located in states where presidential primaries had taken place.

New Red-State Radio Personality: Herman Cain

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Conservative talk-radio veteran Neal Boortz is retiring after 42 years on the air, to be replaced by embattled former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
As an Associated Press story describes, the 67-year-old Boortz (who broadcasts out of Atlanta) will retire as of Jan. 21, 2013, which is the scheduled date of the presidential inauguration. Boortz is syndicated through Atlanta’s WSB radio, and draws about 6 million listeners across 230 radio stations.

Cain is the 66-year-old Atlanta businessman who dropped out of the GOP presidential race in December. Cain has also hosted a WSB show. Cain is famous for his peppery delivery, and has already drawn fire for saying on Boortz’s show that “the dumb masses are ruining this country.” Cain is also the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

“Herman Cain is the logical successor for Neal,” Cox-Atlanta market manager Dan Kearney said. “He is very well known, passionate about his beliefs, not afraid to speak his mind and our listeners have shown they love him.”Boortz will not retire completely, reports Inside Radio: He will host the “Boortz Blast,” a new twice-weekly commentary.

WSB is counting on Cain taking over the ratings and advertisers from Boortz, and is grooming Cain for the spot, with twice-daily commentary at 8:45 A.M. and 6:45 P.M. daily.

A call to WSB revealed the Boortz demographics, which are:

  • Men and women 25-54
  • 6 million listeners
  • 240 radio stations across the country
  • A conservative-leaning demographic

New “NBC Politics App” For iPad, iPhone

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

NBC Politics today launched a new app for iPad and iPhone that brings users inside the 2012 election with a collection of videos, reports, and interactive tools, graphics and games from the best team in politics.

NBC promises a seamless advertising experience through Zumobi’s new rich media mobile ad platform. Through the Zumobi Brand Integration (ZBi) platform, NBC Politics offers brands an immersive advertising experience that is "organic and complimentary to the app design." The NBC Politics App is sponsored by Nissan and Liberty Mutual Insurance. The app is available for free from the App Store.

The NBC Politics App "delivers the power of NBC News’ political reporting right to your fingertips – anytime, anywhere," NBC said in a statement, and from trusted journalists like David Gregory, Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and the network’s deep bench of correspondents and contributors. NBC News

NBC Politics is now available on-air on NBC News, online at and on mobile with iPad and iPhone, offering users a multi-platform experience of the political landscape. “With all eyes on the 2012 election, the NBC Politics App delivers the best political content and reporting – wherever you are. This all-access, easy-to-navigate resource puts the full power of NBC News in your hands, from the top headlines and stories to innovative features that allow serious political junkies to dig even deeper,” said David Gregory, moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

“We’re excited about offering this interactive, up-to-the minute experience for the depth of our political coverage this election season,” said Jennifer Sizemore, general manager and editor-in-chief. “The expertise of the NBC Politics team is the essential ingredient for this app, which is another entry in our strategy to give our audience what it needs, wherever and whenever it needs it.”

The NBC Politics App features Include:

  • Video: Agenda-setting interviews and reports from “Meet the Press with David Gregory,” “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd,” “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” and NBC News’ entire line-up of trusted news broadcasts and platforms
  • Battleground Map: an interactive map that gives users the tools to test potential electoral vote outcomes. How do different state election outcomes add up to 270 electoral votes needed for victory? Users can test out different scenarios, play along with NBC News political experts and create personalized outcomes with the chance to see their map on-air or online.
  • Tip Sheet: A round-up of the day’s most memorable, must-know moments and headlines
  • Live Election Results: Real-time results as they unfold.
  • Candidates: Details about each presidential candidate through in-depth profiles and headlines related to each candidate
  • Share: A feature to share articles on Facebook and Twitter and to follow @NBCPolitics for the latest updates and exclusive reports


Digital-First Strategies Deliver for Publishers, Advertisers

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Three years ago, the Christian Science Monitor “began a jump-in-the-deep-end version of digital transformation,” describes the Poynter Organization. The daily newspaper went to a weekly print edition, maintaining daily news online. If that sounds like a surrender, guess again: The Monitor garners about 42 million page views a month and 8 to 10 million unique visitors, which is five times what it was before the transformation. Plus, ad revenue and content sales have grown more than 50% for the fiscal year closing April 30, “The best we’ve done financially since 1963,” writes editor John Yemma.

What the Monitor did which, for example, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have not, is to largely surrender its print edition—a gamble, but a strategy that has worked arguably as well as the NYT and WSJ strategies. And it placed more of an emphasis upon online advertising.

The challenge for the Monitor is somewhat like that of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: It is funded largely by endowments (The First Church of Christ, Scientist for the Monitor, government and corporate endowments for CPB). But endowments expand and contract, and have not held the Monitor above water any more than they hold up public broadcasting, else there would be no semiannual “pledge drives” on public television. “You might see the systematic decrease of our longstanding subsidy as similar to the erosion of print ad revenue at a locally based newspaper,” wrote Yemma.

And like newspapers, the Monitor is going digital, treading water until the digital strategy pays off. The Monitor has an operating budget of $18.6 million, and is down $4.5 million for this fiscal year, and budgeted for $3.3 million next: but it counts on the digital transformation to turn it around by 2017. (“Trading print dollars for digital dimes,” as Digiday describes the dilemma.) And those dimes are coming from high-end brands like Infiniti and Nokia.

Quit Crying Over Print

Digiday summed up the challenge by digital to print media: “$40 billion evaporated with little likelihood of return [but] rather than waste more time pointing fingers, publishers need to get on with figuring out what’s next.” For years, the news industry depended upon classified ads which Google, Facebook and Craigslist now own. “This market dynamic continues to move so quickly that its last owner, Yahoo, has already faltered into a lesser tier.”

The solution for publishers is, simply, to carve a niche and own the distribution. “A marketplace where buyers have multiple channels to reach the same audience only leads to a race to the bottom.”

The Monitor is somewhat like the Huffington Post—it is the demographic that differs. Both have a distinct audience, Scientologists (among others) for the Monitor, a younger-and-progressive skewing demo for HuffPo. Both endeavor to provide high-end first-hand content: Both have global and U.S. correspondents monitoring world events, the campaign trail, the Supreme Court, tech, science, and the environment. And the Monitor wins the occasional scoop: CSM on April 9 covered the reversal of immigration from Mexico, hitting the presses a week before a Pew report confirmed the trend. But HuffPo was a digital-only product that never had to throw off the shackles of a print edition and make the transition to digital.

Both Monitor and HuffPo skew to an educated late 30s-early 40s wage-earning demographic—a sweet-spot for digital reading. That’s what works for them: They meet the readers.

Similarly, Penton Media’s Technology Media Group in February announced that, in response to audience and marketer demand, it would transform all of its brands to all-digital beginning this month. “We conducted research amongst our audience and advertisers and found that they were really looking for an enhanced digital experience and were becoming less reliant on print magazines,” said Peg Miller, Penton technology market leader. Miller noted that the Penton audience is largely one of IT professionals and developers working in a digital environment. Penton had double-digit gains in digital edition subscriptions FY 2011-2012, and “We’re finding that our audience prefers to learn about technology through multiple channels – whether it be printed words, videos, audio, screencasts and in-person events.” Penton Technology Media Group brands include Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Pro, DevPro, System iNetwork and The VAR Guy, among other titles.

Penton is hardly stepping raiding Monitor or HuffPo’s readerships: but the lesson is the same. Successful publishers meet the readers where they are and with a unique value proposition. And that in turn means value for advertisers.

Upfront TV: “American Horror” Reboot | More O’Reilly, Hannity | Lopez’ Dating Show

Published 2 years ago
  • “American Horror” co-creator Ryan Murphy has spilled some details about Season Two, says Hollywood Reporter. Season Two will take place at an East Coast institution for the criminally insane, run by a character played by Jessica Lange. The second season (and perhaps subsequent seasons) will be a complete reboot with a new story arc. Some Season One cast members will return but like Lange, will be playing different characters. Among them, Zachary Quinto (a reboot veteran, he played Spock in the new “Star Trek” flick).
  • Perhaps good news for an election year. Deadline Hollywood reports in an exlusive that Fox News Channel is finalizing new multi-year/multi-million dollar agreements with conservative talkers Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. “The O’Reilly Factor” on FNC is the highest rated show in cable news (a position that it has held for 125 consecutive months). On Monday this week, the show drew 2.8 million viewers, while “Hannity” took 2.1. 
  • From the other side of the political spectrum, Current TV (co-founded by Al Gore) has announced that California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, will host the hour-long “The Gavin Newsom Show” to premiere in May. As Multichannel News describes, the show will purportedly feature interviews with “notables from Silicon Valley, Hollywood and more.” Al Gore clearly expects more than tech and showbiz news from Newsom. Gore said in a statement that “Gavin Newsom is a courageous leader who has boldly seized every opportunity to create positive social change."
  • Alas, Clint will be largely absent from E!’s upcoming reality series “Mrs. Eastwood & Company,” says Hollywood Reporter. Dina Eastwood addressed reporters at yesterday’s NBCUniversal Summer Press Day, and said “If people are tuning in because they’re Clint Eastwood fans, they’ll be disappointed.” The series will focus upon Mrs. Eastwood (a music producer) and her teenaged daughters. “It’s about the music and me being a haggard mom and a good wife,” Dina Eastwood summarized. Just how much of a ratings draw the show will be, focusing upon Clint Eastwood’s non-famous wife and kids, as Dina Eastwood promotes a non-famous African a cappella group, time will tell.
  • Entertainer George Lopez will host “Take Me Out,” a “provocative and unpredictable new dating series” that will premiere on FOX on Thursday, June 7, 8 P.M. ET/PT. FOX promises “a fast-paced, dynamic new series featuring 30 single women searching for a match and several brave bachelors who must make the ultimate first impression.” “Take Me Out” will be filmed in front of a studio audience and comprised of four rounds of “speed dating.” Rejections will be plentiful and instant.

Radio: A Strong 2012 Between Elections, Online Revenues

Published 2 years ago

A strong political advertising year and further growth in online revenues will boost boost overall radio industry ad revenues in 2012, projects industry think-tank BIA/Kelsey. In the first edition of its quarterly “Investing In Radio® Market Report,” BIA/Kelsey reports over-the-air local radio station revenues in 2011 reached $14.1 billion, a 0.4% increase from the year before. Radio’s online revenues increased 15.1% in 2011, reaching $439 million.

In 2012, BIA/Kelsey anticipates online revenues will continue to grow at a fast pace, becoming an important portion of station income. The firm expects overall radio industry revenues to reach $14.6 billion in 2012, a 3.5% rise over last year, bolstered by the national election. Online radio ad revenues will grow from $505 in 2012 to $767 million in 2016.

“Although radio’s revenue ascent has been slow since its bottoming in 2009, the industry always picks up steam in an election year and is continuing to prove itself as a valuable local advertising medium, particularly as the integration between over-the-air and online improves,” said Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “News stations, in particular, continue to be leaders in many markets by creating comprehensive over-the-air and digital portfolios of ad products and formats to drive deeper advertiser engagement and prove their value in the ad buying mix.”

Analysis of Small and Mid-Sized Market Activities and Industry Transactions
BIA/Kelsey’s “Investing In Radio” shows the wide variations between some markets and identifies several small and mid-size areas that were able to distinguish themselves in 2011. For example, the Portland, Maine, market had the largest increase in revenues over 2010, with $25.4 million, or 22.8%. Continuing in order, Worcester, Massachusetts, posted a 15.8% increase, with $12.9 million in revenue, followed by Ann Arbor, Michigan, a 10.5% increase with $6.1 million in revenue, and Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where revenue grew to $45.3 million, a 9.9% increase over 2010.

Fratrik notes that this year began optimistically with a significant rise in transactions, starting with Cumulus Media’s acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting and then Hubbard Radio’s purchase of some of the Bonneville stations. All-told, however, station transaction volume reached $4.3 billion in 2011 from a total of 1,080 transactions, of which, 682 were in metropolitan markets and 398 were in non-metro markets.

“The major transactions of the year turned out being unique unto themselves due to strategic decisions made by each company,” Fratrik said. “In 2012 we think the improving economy will increase the number of station sales, particularly as they prove themselves to be more than an over-the-air profit center.”

BIA/Kelsey’s forecast methodology is based on actual estimates of local online market advertising revenue totals. Estimates are solicited from local radio stations and knowledgeable local market experts. To provide an accurate review of the advertising marketplace, the model does not include revenues of e-commerce sales through daily or weekly deal campaigns or any retransmission consent.

Upfront Digital: Social Gingrich | Hulu’s Global Deal | SoMe Awards | Digital Mag Circs Clarified

Published 2 years, 1 month ago
  • Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich “may occasionally refer to a Twitter hash tag as a hash mark,” observes CNN, but is attempting to reach out to voters “one tweet and Facebook friend at a time.” With a smaller TV ad budget than his rivals, Gingrich is attempting to make up the difference in social media. Gingrich announced at an Alabama campaign stop that he had reached his 175,00th donation; and is fond of saying that 95% of his donations are under $250. Referring to the importance of social media to his campaign, "This is part of how we've survived against Romney, frankly…we reach out through the Internet, so we can run a very inexpensive campaign."
  • Hulu’s original series are going global, reports Deadline Hollywood. FremantleMedia Enterprises has signed a deal with Hulu for international distribution rights to the online video service’s original programming. FME retains the rights to distribute Hulu original series globally, and across all platforms, including traditional media. The first such series is Morgan Spurlock’s documentary series “A Day In The Life,” which follows celebrities around for a full day (including to the gym and day care). “This is a ground-breaking deal, which sets a new precedent for acquiring content that can live on both digital and linear platforms,” said FremantleMedia CEO David Ellender, which opens opportunities “outside of the traditional distribution models.”
  • comScore has released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace for February. Google Sites led the explicit core search market in February with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted, up 0.2 percentage points, followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.3 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 13.8 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.5 percent. ComScore clocked 17.6 billion explicit core searches were in February, with Google Sites ranking first with 11.7 billion. 

  • The 4th Annual Social Media Awards or “SoMe” awards is seeking nominations. The SoMes are presented by the Social Media Club Portland, SEMpdx,, the Software Association of Oregon and InnoTech, and the ceremony will take place on May 3rd in Portland, Oregon. The Awards include ten (10) categories.There are 10 SoMe categories including Brandbuilder: Awareness & Engagement Over 10K, Moneymaker: best ROI Over 10K, Non-profit Campaign of the Year and Agency of the Year. Deadine for nominations is March 15.
  • Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) has clarified where to find digital magazine circulation in its reports—apparently a source of confusion till now. Most U.S. and Canadian magazine Publisher’s Statements for the second half of 2011 are available in ABC’s e-Data center, and ABC has pinpointed where to find that information, in a series of highlighted graphics and an informational video.

$20 Million Funding for “Values Based” Ad Technology

Published 2 years, 2 months ago

Values—be they patriotic, self-indulgent, philanthropic, conservative, liberal, green—are key to ad targeting, and ones that Resonate believes it can measure. Investors agree: Resonate has just announced $20 million Series B funding led by Revolution Growth, a private investment fund run by AOL veterans, including Co-Founder Steve Case, former Vice Chair Ted Leonsis and former President of AOL Interactive Donn Davis.

Resonate uses its Insights Driven Media platform to target ads to web users based not just on their web habits, but on what they value, and their offline priorities. It will use some of the $20 million to market a new product that it claims will enable marketers and advertisers to understand the values and beliefs that draw customers and voters online, with what it claims is "unprecedented precision."

Resonate’s approach uses opt-in large-scale survey research combined with opt-in browsing behavior at the respondent level (i.e. single source data). From this, Resonate was able to target some niche voter segments, such as:

  • independents who voted for Obama in 2008 and believe the most important issue when deciding whether to support a candidate is job creation
  • Fiscal moderates who are persuadable on a flat tax

In terms of product, it reveals such insights as baby boomers being 17% more likely to be "green consumers" than the populace at large. All of this data is available from pollsters, likely, but Resonate has the opt-in at-the-ready pool of consumers and voters in place, plus mechanisms for pre-, mid- and post-campaign polling.

This fills a need in campaign strategy, said Revolution Co-Founder Ted Leonsis. “Social media has changed how marketers listen to their customers, but Resonate is ready to deliver something that Twitter and Facebook cannot…: values-based insights into why consumers buy what they buy, and why voters back the candidates they support. Take it from someone who has been involved with online advertising since its creation: the potential to hand that understanding to campaign strategists and corporate CMOs – and make it actionable – is transformative.”

Leonsis went on to say that “Consumers are people, and understanding psychographics – what people are thinking and feeling and tailoring messages and campaigns to authentic values – is a breakthrough, differentiated idea.”

Resonate’s client list includes big-ticket brands like McDonald’s, Estee Lauder, Coca-Cola, Merck and Toyota. It was founded in 2008 to develop a model for reaching online audiences and connecting consumers with advertising that interests them on both politics and products.

Radio: Slight Ad Revenue Gain in 2011, Great Expectations Around Campaign 2012

Published 2 years, 2 months ago

U.S. radio took in $17.4 billion in advertising in 2011, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s a 1% gain over 2010, and second year in a row that it grew. The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), which released that figure on Friday, believes the $17.4 billion total revenue might be underestimated, due to a lack of data related to political ads.

Digital revenue was the top gaining category, which at $709 million represented a 15% gain. Second in percent gain (but representing more revenue) was off-air events, growing 7% to $1.5 billion. Network revenue grew 3% to $1.1 billion.

Alas, advertising was the one revenue-generator to fall, by 1% for 2011 and 4% in Q4. Still, “spot” revenue at $14.06 billion is the industry’s stronghold.

A RAB spokesman estimates that radio will capture 7% of the $5.6 billion all-media political ad spend in 2012.

For 2011, the largest radio spot category was automotive, with $2 billion in revenue, followed by TV at $1.4 billion, a gain of 6% over 2010. Fox, CBS and ABC were the top TV network advertisers at $46 million for Fox, $22 million for CBS and $16 million for ABC, respectively. ESPN’s spend of $14.3 million was nearly six times its 2010 radio spend. Finally, the top three advertisers in overall spend were AT&T, McDonald's and Comcast.

Cumulus Pits Huckabee Against Clear Channel’s Limbaugh

Published 2 years, 2 months ago

Cumulus Radio announces that former GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee will host a conservative talk program, launching April 2. “The Mike Huckabee Show” will air from noon to 3pm, a spot dominated by Rush Limbaugh.

Huckabee told the New York Times that he would continue to host “Huckabee,” his weekend talk show on Fox, and hasn’t ruled out another presidential run. Huckabee said he does not expect to woo listeners away from Limbaugh, who is distributed by Clear Channel Communications. Limbaugh’s show has aired since 1988, and according to Radio Active Media, at present airs on 537 channels across the US and Canada as well as Sirius XM. Huckabee claims his show will be less ideological than Limbaugh’s—a radio show hosted by a conservative, rather than a conservative-oriented radio show. Still, Cumulus is expected to market the show as an alternative to Limbaugh’s; also one that is less expensive to own and more generally available. Clear Channel limits Limbaugh's show is limited to one station per market.

However Huckabee and Cumulus spin it, the show is likely to target the same demographics as the Limbaugh show. Ad placement service Radio Active Media lists those demographics as largely male between 30 to 49. Among its female listeners, 40% are over 60.