Hearst Television Expands Its Award-Winning Political-Coverage Commitment For 2016 Elections

Introduces "8 Issues/8 Weeks," Cross-Platform Initiative to Frame Issues and Candidates' Positions

Nov 23, 2015, 10:00 ET from Hearst Television

NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hearst Television Inc. is significantly expanding and updating its biennial pledge to devote extensive television and digital news coverage of election discourse throughout 26 TV markets across the United States.

Under the group-wide "Commitment 2016" banner, Hearst Television, one of the country's largest television station groups and a Peabody- and Cronkite-award-winning leader in television and digital political journalism,  will continue its policy of a 12-minute minimum airtime commitment per day in the 30 days leading up to the 2016 general election and in some select primaries.  The stations also will continue to produce, among other elements, local, regional and national debates and on-air and online "Truth Check" and "Issue Check" segments vetting campaign statements and the accuracy of campaign and PAC advertising.

For 2016, Hearst stations will introduce "Candidate Accountability" features, for TV and digital platforms, for which Hearst Television journalists will explore whether candidates kept campaign promises – and if not, candidates will be invited to explain why not

The stations will also launch "8 Issues/8 Weeks," a three-pronged approach to reporting candidates' positions on eight major issues in the eight weeks leading up to each state's presidential primary within the Hearst Television coverage area.   "8 Issues/8 Weeks" will encompass:

  1. Televised reports that frame the issues;
  2. Online interviews with the candidates wherein they address the issues with their specific responses and stances.  These stances will then be compared to those of other candidates on these same issues via an online "grid";
  3. Facebook content consisting of edited and differentiated versions of the televised issues-focused reports; these postings will be placed on the stations' Facebook platforms and will in turn link back to the online positions grid.

"Audiences are increasingly demanding intelligent, in-depth coverage of the issues and how they impact their local communities," said Jordan Wertlieb, President of Hearst Television. "Hearst Television stations continue to invest in ways to meet that demand, with a commitment to generate in-depth political content and vehicles that advance discourse between candidates and their constituents on every available platform."

About Hearst Television

Hearst Television, a national multi-media company, owns and operates 30 local television stations and two local radio stations, serving 26 television markets across 39 states, and reaching approximately 21 million U.S. television households. The company broadcasts more than 60 video channels, featuring local and national news, weather, information, sports and entertainment programming, and local community service-oriented programs.  The stations operate digital on-line and mobile platforms, reaching more than 25 million monthly unique visitors 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.  The Company's Web address is www.hearsttelevision.com.

SOURCE Hearst Television