08/17/22: Cynopsis Hot Topic: Politics



TV continues to rank #1 with A35+ active voters in the NY DMA.
Over 70% of Democrats and Republicans are most likely
to learn about candidates and issues from TV.


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday August 17, 2022

Record Political Ad Spend Is Just Part of the Story this Red-Hot Election Season

The 2022 political ad cycle is on track for a record $9.7 billion in spending, up 9% from last year’s projections and establishing “a new norm” fueled by tightly contested races in many states, said AdImpact. “It no longer takes a presidential ticket at the top of the ballot to push a cycle near the $10 billion threshold.” Races in California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada will all top $500 million in ad spending. Broadcast and cable still attract two-thirds of spending, while rapidly ascending CTV sector is “here to stay.”

Kantar, meanwhile, projects political advertising spend for 2022 midseason elections to hit $7.8 billion in revenue, an estimate it notes is “not quite as dramatic as other forecasters,” thanks in part to the unlikelihood of replacing the $1.6 billion Michael Bloomberg spent on his short-lived presidential run, and the 2020 Georgia Senate runoffs. Nevertheless, Kantar projects broadcast TV climbing to $3.8 billion (versus $3.05 billion in 2018), with cable TV and satellite reaching $1.4 billion; digital media, $1.2 billion; and OTT/connected TV, $1.2 billion.

The NY DMA ranks #1 among all registered voter Adults 35+, 20% higher than #2 LA, according to Scarborough. “In today’s market, it’s crucial that politicians break through the clutter and deliver the right message to the right audience,” says Randi Langford, VP of Political, Programming and Local Sales at New York Interconnect. “Using comprehensive, relevant data, in the medium that matters most, can make the difference between winning and losing.”

National ad spending on linear TV weakened slightly in June, down 1% to $3.1 billion, said Standard Media Index, but national TV spend was up 13% for Q2 compared to pandemic woes a year ago. Warner Bros. Discovery attracted 21% of national TV ad spend in June, tops among media owners.

More than 2 million ads aired on broadcast TV in federal and gubernatorial races between Jan. 6, 2021, and Aug. 7, 2022, according to Wesleyan Media Project. That’s up big, 25.5% over the volume of ads in the same period in 2018’s election cycle. In federal elections, outside groups have sponsored 47% of all pro-Republican ad airings in US House and 49% in US Senate races. In Democratic races, outside groups accounted for 43% of airings in US House races and 39% for US Senate races. TV advertising in gubernatorial contests has been driven more by candidate-sponsored spending.



TV continues to rank #1 with A35+ active voters in the NY DMA.
Over 70% of Democrats and Republicans are most likely
to learn about candidates and issues from TV.


TV and digital ads from the nonprofit arm of an anti-Donald Trump group, the Republican Accountability Project, started airing this week. Ads for the $3 million, 3-week campaign are appearing during local broadcasts in 2020 swing states Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, aiming to change the minds of Trump supporters with reminders of the findings of the January 6 select committee. In addition, the Republican Accountability PAC has raised $7.5 million of a planned $10 million for political advertising to oppose candidates who supported election conspiracy theories.

Nancy Pelosi is running for another term in Congress while remaining mum on whether she will step down as Speaker of the House. That’s set off a complicated dance of would-be successors and supporters trying to position themselves in “the campaign that shall not be named,” should Pelosi live up to a 2018 pledge and step aside. Pelosi called her controversial recent trip to Taiwan “a glorious day” even if it set off a series of Chinese military exercises around the island. Meanwhile, another Congressional delegation’s subsequent Taiwan visit has set off a second round of such exercises.

In a push to improve President Biden’s approval rating ahead of midterm elections, the White House is launching a media blitz to tout recent accomplishments. A memo from deputy chief of staff Jenn O’Malley Dillon and senior advisor Anita Dunn, obtained by Politico, points to the cost-lowering features of the Inflation Reduction Act – for health care, prescription drugs, and utility bills – as “among the highest testing messages ever.” Other talking points include a gun-violence prevention bill passed in June, the infrastructure bill, and semiconductor chip legislation and the veterans’ health bill.

Twitter has launched election-integrity features to protect against the spread of misinformation ahead of the midterm elections. The platform has activated its Civic Integrity Policy, and added labels for “misleading information” and prompts with information about where and how to vote, localized news, resources by state, and more.

The Ad Council Research Institute and MTV Entertainment Studios announced initial findings from a research project focused on voting perceptions among younger Millennials and voting-age Gen Z Americans. “While both the 2018 midterm and 2020 presidential elections broke records for youth voter turnout, there was a discrepancy between those who were registered and actual turnout – we need to solve for how to close that gap,” said Brianna Cayo Cotter, SVP of Social Impact for Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios. More than 90% of such voters in each party are pessimistic about the power of the vote to bring about change, and frustrated and angry with what’s happening in Congress. “These directional insights and forthcoming deeper quantitative analysis through our partnership with MTVE will empower so many organizations working nationally and locally to activate young voters across the country,” said Derrick Feldmann, lead researcher and managing director of ACRI and Ad Council Edge. “It’s critical that we understand not only where to reach young voters, but also what messaging will prove to be most effective in the bipartisan effort to mobilize them and ensure their representation during the upcoming midterms.”

Fox Corp. Executive Chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch tipped his hat to the mid-term elections in a rosy prediction for the coming year. “We begin Fiscal 2023 with strong momentum, supported by an enviable schedule of live sporting events and the mid-term election cycle,” he said in the company’s latest quarterly report. Fox reported fourth quarter revenues of $3.03 billion, due in part to higher political ad revenues at Fox TV stations.


Nexstar and Sinclair Broadcast Group also have credited political ad spending with revenue boosts. Political ad revenue is more than 40% ahead of 2020, “setting us up nicely as we head into the second half of the year,” said Nexstar Chairman and CEO Perry Sook in quarterly earnings comments. Over at Sinclair, the company attracted $54 million in political advertising, “20% higher than 2020, a Presidential election year,” noted President-CEO Chris Ripley stated in Sinclair’s earning release.

A $1.6 billion libel and defamation lawsuit against broadcaster Fox by voting-machine maker Dominion Voting Systems is shaping up as one of the most consequential First Amendment cases in a generation, the NY Times says. Numerous Fox News and Fox Business personalities “repeatedly aired false, far-fetched and exaggerated allegations” against Dominion after Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, according to the suit. Fox owner/executives Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch could sit for depositions within weeks as document discovery continues.

Republican Roy Moore was awarded $8.2 million in damages by a federal jury that found the Senate Majority PAC made false and defamatory statements about Moore. The statements appeared in a TV ad about sexual-misconduct accusations leveled against Moore during his unsuccessful 2017 bid for a US Senate seat in Alabama. The super PAC funded a group called Highway 31 that ran a $4 million advertising campaign against Moore. A lawyer for the PAC said they believe the ruling will be overturned on appeal.

Cox Enterprises’ $525 million acquisition of political-news organization Axios Media has raised questions about whether any independent news companies can remain that way for long in the current economic climate. Also unclear: it’s “not immediately apparent” how Axios’ political focus complements Cox’s remaining newspaper holdings in Atlanta and Ohio. Cox sold off most of its media assets in 2019.

Sen. Lindsay Graham must testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta that is investigating whether laws were broken when then-President Trump and his allies attempted to overturn his election loss in the state. Attorneys for Graham argued that as a US senator, he was immune from having to appear. Separately, former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has been notified he’s a target of the Georgia investigation of election interference there.

An FBI search for classified documents improperly kept at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home/resort set off a convulsion of threats against law enforcement, including by a former Navy seaman who was killed after attacking an Ohio FBI office. Initial complaints from GOP lawmakers have since muted somewhat as more information emerged about Trump’s continued possession of classified documents, possibly including those about nuclear weapons, in violation of the 1917 Espionage Act. The act has been used mostly in recent years to prosecute those leaking government documents. If it is used against Trump, it would mark the first time a former president has faced legal peril for mishandling top-secret documents after leaving office. Trump signed a 2018 law that toughened criminal penalties for violations of the act.

By David Bloom

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox


Related Stories

05/22/24: Cynopsis Jobs


MARKETING ASSOCIATE MANAGER GSTV NEW YORK, NY – HYBRID REMOTE Touch various teams within our group such as Marketing Solutions, Marketing Communications and Design. Our group develops thoughtful marketing and promotional programs alongside our business development team. We collaborate with teams across the organization to develop concepts that meet client needs and then bring the […]

Cynopsis 05/22/24: Comcast offers details on StreamSaver

Comcast offers details on StreamSaver

Wednesday May 22, 2024 Today’s Premieres Apple TV+: Trying BET: Sistas at 9p Fox: Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars at 9p Hulu: Chief Detective Magnolia: Happy to Be Home at 8p Netflix: Toughest Forces on Earth; Buying London Today’s Finales ABC: Jeopardy! Masters at 8p; Abbott Elementary at 9p; The Conners at 9:30p CBS: Survivor at […]

05/20/24: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

nfl tech

Monday May 20, 2024 Reddit has partnered with OpenAI for a deal that allows use of its data for training AI models. OpenAI will gain access to Reddit’s Data application programming interface, and Reddit will offer AI features to users and moderators, powered by OpenAI. “Reddit has become one of the internet’s largest open archives […]

Cynopsis 05/20/24: “Young Sheldon” finale hits ratings high

"Young Sheldon" finale hits ratings high

A Cynopsis Message From A+E Networks Unforgettable Stories That Move Audiences to Action Fuel Q3 with Our Original Content… Terry McMillan Presents: May/December | Icons That Built America American Godfathers with Michael Imperioli | BIOGRAPHY: ODB Find My Country House Stories. Solutions. Service. A&E | The HISTORY Channel | Lifetime | HOME.MADE.NATION