NAB Highlights Station Election Efforts

Notes those that elected to air debates, specials, other candidate forums

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On Election Day, the National Association of Broadcasters was trumpeting a sampling of the stations that had elected to air debates, specials and other candidate forums as part of their midterm election coverage.

Among the efforts it highlighted in an e-mail to members and others were:

l Senatorial and gubernatorial debates in Nevada underwritten by the state broadcaster association and fed to all TV and radio stations in the state.

l A KOMO-AM-FM-TV Seattle senatorial debate that was archived online, as well as a KXLY-TV Spokane debate among the same candidates.

l WFTV-TV Orlando aired a senatorial debate moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, which the station said drew a crowd of over 300,000 potential voters in the top five Florida TV markets (that would mean at least that many viewers 18 and up).

l The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters hosted an hour debate between gubernatorial candidates carried either live or on tape by 27 TV stations (and fed to 75 radio stations).

l WDSU-TV New Orleans aired an hour senatorial debate that was also streamed on its Web site.

l In some political newspaper-broadcast cross pollination, KGW-TV Portland, Ore., teamed with the Oregonian at the state broadcasting association on a gubernatorial debate that drew a 5.1 rating/11 share in live-plus-same day, indicating that the public's interests and TV stations' business interests can dovetail as well.The station re-aired the debate three days later.

l KUSA-TV Denver partnered with YouTube and the Denver Post, also on a gubernatorial debate, and which also aired twice on the station, as well as streaming live on YouTube.

l WZTV Nashville produced a half-hour special on the governor's race there that included a profiles of the candidates.WSAW-TV Wausau, Wis., aired a House of Representatives debate hosted by the president of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation. The debate was also carried on several other TV and radio stations.

l Also giving House members their chance to face off in front of the TV public was WYFF-TV Greenville, S.C, which hosted a pair of debates between House candidates.

l KWCH-TV Wichita, Kansas covered took an online approach to its House race, inviting candidates to an online forum where they answered questions submitted by Web surfers.

l KTTC-TV Rochester, Minn., says that 50 local candidates took it up on the offer of two minutes of free airtime in its newscasts. The station also covered the state party conventions.

l KSNT-TV started early, hosting a primary debate back in August.