We had breakfast with the head of a major TV company recently.
He shared some inside secrets of the local TV business.
Among other fun facts, for example, he said the following:
In the local TV news business, it’s all about the weatherman. Consistently, across many different markets, the No. 1-rated local news broadcast is the one with the No. 1-rated weatherman (or gal). The main anchors and sports guy and producers and reporters are basically irrelevant. Why? Because everyone cares about the weather.
Rich people who run for office are God’s gift to local TV. They spend their own money out the wazoo, especially on local television ads. The No. 1-rated news broadcast in each market gets the lion’s share of that spending.
Rich people who run for office and get clobbered are a one-time gift. Why? Because the drubbing will hurt, and the political consultants who persuaded the rich person to run for office in the first place (so they would get hired to help the campaign) won’t be able to persuade him or her to run again.
Rich people who run for office and lose a close race are the gift that keeps on giving. Why? Because the political consultants will easily be able to persuade the rich person that they would have won if not for a few tactical mistakes and that they’ll almost certainly win next time. So they’ll run again.
(Are you listening, Mitt Romney? Mayor Bloomberg?)
In this vein, the head of the major TV company also related a funny story. A zillionaire buddy of his who had lost a close race in one of his markets told him that the political consultants were telling him that he should run again, and he asked the head of the major TV company what he thought about that.
The head of the major TV company had his answer ready:
“It’s your civic duty!”
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