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Copps Pushes for More Convention Coverage

Copps Pushes for More Convention Coverage

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps is taking up the chairman’s challenge to broadcasters earlier this year to air more political coverage. In an Op Ed piece in the New York Times titled “Show Me the Convention,” Copps thinks its “not right” that most TV outlets won’t air much live coverage of the Republican National Convention.
Copps, a Democrat, states that TV will receive “nearly $1.5 billion from political advertising” this campaign season. Other accounts, such as Barron’s and Forbes (see story above) agree radio isn’t getting a windfall from political ads this year.
“During the last election cycle we heard directly from presidential candidates for an average of 9 seconds a night on the news,” states Copps.
He lays part of the blame at the feet of the FCC, which he says it at fault for not spelling out the public interest obligations of broadcasters.
Broadcasters say they try to give candidates free airtime, and are frequently turned down.