The E.W. Scripps Co. on Tuesday announced steps to differentiate its political coverage in local markets from that of its competition. Scripps, in each of its TV news markets across the country, is committing 100 minutes of political coverage each week in the 45 days leading up to Election Day. Leading the national coverage is Mike Sacks, the new political correspondent based at the Scripps News Washington Bureau in Washington, effective immediately.
Sacks is fresh from Capitol Hill where he covered Congress for the National Law Journal/Legal Times. From 2012 to 2014 he was one of the founding host of HuffPost Live. He interviewed elected officials, judges, authors, CEOs and celebrities. Also for The Huffington Post he covered the Supreme Court during a pivotal time when the justices ruled on issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act and affirmative action to voting rights and same-sex marriage. A member of the D.C. and Pennsylvania bars, Sacks holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.
“Mike is well-known and well-respected as a political journalist,” said Sean McLaughlin, Scripps VP of news. “He will track down the stories that matter most to our local markets. He has deep knowledge of the national political scene and will follow the national races closely. Mike also is a sensitive journalist who will provide context and impact for our audiences all across the country.”
Sacks will report for The Now, a Scripps original program produced locally in 11 markets. His stories also will appear in other Scripps markets and across online and mobile platforms. As part of the 100 minutes of political coverage, Scripps will continue its partnership with PolitiFact focusing on accuracy of claims and ads in both presidential and U.S. Senate races. Scripps coverage also includes digital segments inviting audience engagement:
- “You ask the questions” — on TV station Facebook page the public can ask questions of candidates.
- The “Hot 5 Issues” series will cover how the local vote will impact the top issues in each of the Scripps markets.
- “The Battlegrounds” — a series of stories highlighting the biggest issues on Main Street in key battleground states.
- Mobile audiences will have access to all of the coverage including candidate interviews and profiles.
- Coverage will include live debates and town hall meetings in many markets.
Scripps has an major footprint in key battleground states. There are eight Scripps stations in the pivotal states of Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Colorado. Political attention is high in these states and Scripps said it “intends to maximize political advertising opportunities as well as be the market leader for political coverage.”