Local campaigns fight for limited TV ad space.

If you’ve any television lately, you’ve seen them – an endless stream of political ads. President Bush, John Kerry and other groups are buying up ad time by the truck load. But all the presidential ads are threatening to squeeze out local campaigns.

It’s expected The national campaigns will spend up to 8 million dollars on local television ads this campaign season. All those Kerry and Bush ads mean ads for local candidates and issues can get squeezed aside.

Further complicating the booking process is federal law which say candidates for federal office – like president – get preference and can bump local campaign spots to different , less attractive time slots or in some cases off the air.

Chuck Devendra, sales director for WBNS says Channel 10 has not refused any local campaign’s request for ad-space but they have had to refuse some campaigns their first choice of day parts.

WCMH- Channel 4 is in a similar situation, getting swamped with national campaign spots. Channel 4′s Vice President for sales Mike Cash says there is space for local ads, but prime time slots are filling up.

Still there is only so much ad space, and local campaigns are concerned, forcing them to consider other formats – cable television, commercial radio and print.

The key to getting on the air was planning and paying a premium. Midwest Communications buys air time for local republican candidates. The company’s bob Clegg says they urged their candidates to reserve ad time slots back in July – two months earlier than they normally would

To guarantee the spots are not moved to less desirable day-parts, the local campaigns also had to pay more.

The other fear of course, is voter and viewer fatigue. The campaigns fear voters will grow tired of political spots and tune them out, but that will not keep the ads off the air.

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