|Scripps TV Stations Make 2,192 Minutes of Airtime Available to Political Candidates|
241 candidates nationwide take advantage of Democracy 2002 project
CINCINNATI, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The E. W. Scripps Company's (NYSE: SSP) broadcast television station group made 2,192 minutes of free airtime available to 241 candidates for local, state and federal offices during the recently completed mid-term election campaigns.
The free airtime was made available as part of the company's Democracy 2002 project, a public discourse initiative that was created to enhance the political process in communities served by the nine network-affiliated Scripps stations.
The free airtime was made available to the candidates in the form of debates, town hall forums and other unedited formats. Two of the company's stations -- WXYZ-TV in Detroit and WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla. -- hosted statewide debates.
John Lansing, senior vice president/broadcast for Scripps, said that based on the interest raised by Democracy 2002, the company has decided to sponsor a similar initiative during the 2004 national election campaigns. The company first offered candidates free airtime during the 2000 election campaigns.
"We take our responsibility as stewards of the public airwaves very seriously," Lansing said. "Our free-airtime initiatives provide viable candidates a level playing field on which to campaign, and we're helping to educate and involve the public in the political process. Based on the positive response we received this year, we intend to continue this program in 2004."
Democracy 2002 provided five minutes of free airtime to candidates nightly between 5 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. in the 30 days preceding the general elections. The stations also provided free airtime as needed during the 30 days preceding primary elections.
Other key elements of Democracy 2002 included:
Making free airtime available to political candidates was one of the primary recommendations made in 2000 by the President's Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.
The Scripps television stations are concentrated in the top 50 U.S. markets and reach about 10 percent of the nation's television households. Participating in Democracy 2002 were the company's six ABC affiliated stations, WXYZ, Detroit; WCPO, Cincinnati; WEWS, Cleveland; WFTS, Tampa, Fla.; WMAR, Baltimore; and KNXV, Phoenix. Also participating were the company's three NBC affiliated stations, WPTV, West Palm Beach, Fla.; KSHB, Kansas City, Mo.; and KJRH, Tulsa, Okla.
The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, interactive media and television-retailing. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations, four cable and satellite television programming services and a home shopping network.
Scripps national television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network, Fine Living and Shop At Home Network. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 25 countries.
Scripps also operates Scripps Howard News Service, United Media, the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT, and 31 Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com, fineliving.com and comics.com.
The E. W. Scripps Company Broadcast Television Group Democracy 2002 Results by Station Station City Free airtime (minutes) Number of candidates KJRH Tulsa 230 11 KNXV Phoenix 236 28 KSHB Kansas City 210 10 WCPO Cincinnati 150 30 WEWS Cleveland 94 15 WFTS Tampa Bay 300 33 WMAR Baltimore 305 33 WPTV West Palm Beach 345 34 WXYZ Detroit 322 35 Total 2,192 241 MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X16929643
SOURCE The E.W. Scripps Company
/CONTACT: Mark Kroeger of The E.W. Scripps Company, +1-513-977-3827, or firstname.lastname@example.org/