In terms of the media’s fiscal health, the current election couldn’t have arrived at a more precarious moment, John Herrman writes. Major news organizations lost audience control, trust was questioned in widespread circles and social platforms, especially Facebook, emerged as “the clearest expression of what a transitional media environment actually feels like, and how disorienting it can be.” A brilliant read on a moment that has become, in Herrman’s argument, a “snapshot of messy change in progress.”
A 10-story tall display on the ABC affiliate’s suburban Washington building will show election returns in real time beginning at 7 p.m. tonight.
“This is not a joke, or a trick,” said CBS News correspondent Charles Collingwood, sitting beside the “Univac Electronic Computer,” which was huge, covered in blinking lights, and essentially a mock-up of the real computer, which was processing election returns in Philadelphia. “It’s an experiment, and we think it’s going to work.”
The NAB has produced and distributed its 2016 Election Toolkit to television and radio stations. The toolkit contains ideas to help broadcasters engage audiences, including programming ideas, public service announcement scripts and social media strategies. The material is designed to help stations integrate election issues and candidate forums into both their programming and digital presence. The toolkit is available here.
This madcap primary season has been a ratings boon to cable television networks, yielding massive audiences and pricey ad revenue. Nielsen data shows the average cost of a 30-second ad during the first 10 presidential debates, between August and January, was approximately $61,000 – a 1,120% increase from the average cost of a prime-time spot on CNN.