The Independence Party's New York gubernatorial candidate, B. Thomas
Golisano, pulled ads from WTVH(TV) Syracuse, N.Y., when the station refused to
change its debate format to exclude most of the candidates.
The station was told by Golisano's ad representatives that its
seven-candidate format was the reason for the cancellation of about $40,000 in
ads. Golisano wanted only himself and the two other major party candidates in
"We explained that we'd already invited all of the candidates and formulated the
rules," said WTVH general manager Gary Wordlaw, a longtime broadcast newsman
himself. "We told them we would stand by that. It was the right thing to do."
And it may not cost the station. Wordlaw said that only days after its
withdrawal from the station's schedule, the Golisano campaign had inquired about
purchasing time again.
A spokesman for one of Golisano's opponents, incumbent George Pataki, turned
the controversy to his political advantage, telling a Syracuse paper that the
decision by the Golisano campaign "clearly demonstrates that his temperament is
not fit for a governor."