Republicans Flooding Local Media Outlets, Work To Build TV Viewership Of Convention
GOP officials are engaged in a concerted effort to make GOP officials available to local media outlets. Surveys have shown that local television is the number one source of political news for most Americans, and a GOP convention source tells the Bulletin that House Republican members alone are averaging 72 hits a day on satellite in live or live-to-tape feeds targeted at battleground markets. According to the source, House members conducted 240 radio interviews Monday. By contrast, members did only 500 radio interviews during the entire 2000 convention.
Early excerpts of Sen. John McCain's and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Monday GOP convention speeches leaked to the press Sunday night weren't just meant to build up the egos of the key Republican figures. Campaign insiders said they provided the key lines in hopes the press would promote them and prompt viewers to tune into cable TV to watch the whole speeches. It's a tactic the GOP plans to use all week as they try to find a way to offset network TV's decision to ignore all but the key speeches. The campaign's anger at the networks, however, is helping the print press in New York, commonly forgotten as political campaigns cater to TV because of its bigger viewership. Campaign officials said that during the convention they plan to distribute full texts of the night speeches four to six hours early to ease the deadline pressures facing reporters. Also, they said that the speeches will not be embargoed, which means that wire services, news services and radio can reveal the contents early, likely building that night's cable TV audience with those interested in what they hear or read before the evening events.