Hearst Television Inc., one of the country’s largest television station groups and a Peabody- and Cronkite-award-winning leader in television and digital political journalism, today announced it is renewing and expanding its biennial pledge to devote extensive coverage of election discourse throughout 25 TV markets across the United States this year under the group-wide “Commitment 2014” banner.
Hearst Television will continue its policy of a 12-minute minimum airtime commitment at its 28 news stations in the 30 days leading up to the 2014 general election and in some select primaries. This nightly airtime commitment began at five minutes in 2000 and has increased to 12 minutes in 2012 and 2014. Hearst Television leads among the many broadcast TV groups that have voluntarily embraced a minimum airtime commitment for candidates as a way to improve political discourse.
In 2014 the company is introducing an “In Their Own Words” feature inviting candidates to complete questionnaires and to record video statements on the issues, to be made available online and for mobile devices. These statements will be posted to the Hearst TV stations’ web and mobile sites serving the candidates’ regions in the 60 days prior to the election. Collectively, the Hearst Television websites delivered more than 5 billion pageviews in 2013.
Hearst also has renewed its partnership with PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times. PolitiFact will work with Hearst Television’s Washington, D.C., bureau to provide monthly reports to Hearst stations, fact-checking candidates’ and elected officials’ ads and statements in key races around the country.
As part of its commitment, Hearst Television stations will also provide: more accountability-focused political reporting; more in-depth reviews of candidates and incumbents’ records; on-air and online “Ad Watch” segments, examining campaign-advertising accuracy; and increased use of social media in order to further engage audiences in the political process.
“Commitment 2014 reflects an even more robust effort by the Hearst stations to serve their viewers with elevated political discourse and candidate coverage,” said Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television Inc. “Audiences demand intelligent, in-depth coverage of politics and elections in their local communities, and broadcasters are investing in new ways to meet that demand. We want Hearst Television to be the most widely distributed provider of political news content in their markets, and we will generate content to the best available screen.”
About Hearst Television
Hearst Television (hearsttelevision.com), a national multi-media company, owns and operates 29 local television stations and two local radio stations, serving 30 U.S. cities and reaching approximately 18% of U.S. television households. The TV stations broadcast 60 video channels, featuring local and national news, weather, information, sports and entertainment programming, and local community service-oriented programs. The stations also host and operate digital on-line and mobile platforms that extend the company’s brands and content to local, national and international audiences. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies, and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation.