Local TV producers speak out on election and holiday coverage

by | Oct 1, 2020 | Public Relations

With a crazy election period and uber-unique holiday retail season ahead, among other crisis-level activity in society right now, a new survey from broadcast PR specialist firm D S Simon Media of local TV news producers examines how much time they are spending on political coverage, when they are covering the holidays and if they are open to interviewing brand or nonprofit spokespeople for stories.

Key findings of the survey, conducted during the first two weeks of September:

  • Local TV news stations are devoting 20 percent of their broadcast to politics in September; 30 percent in October and 36 percent the week before the election.
  • 14 percent have started holiday coverage and nearly half of all stations (46 percent) will have started their holiday coverage in October.
  • Overwhelmingly TV producers prefer to interview brand spokespeople than a hired expert and 86 percent are open to interviewing an in-house spokesperson representing a brand or non-profit for a story. That number has remained steady since the firm saw a dramatic increase in the desire to speak with brand spokespeople at the start of the COVID pandemic.

“This means a significant majority of local TV news shows will be available to brands and nonprofits for spokesperson interviews on a range of topics, with holiday stories being among them, between now and the end of the year,” said Douglas Simon, CEO at D S Simon Media, in a news release. “Producer interest in speaking with brand representatives for TV interviews remains at an all-time high.”

The survey also found that nearly a quarter of stations have morning news/talk shows that don’t cover politics at all, creating more of an opportunity for brands and non-profits to get their messages out.

The survey was conducted using Survey Monkey via emails sent to producers at stations across the country. 51 local TV news producers participated.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter