Belo Corporation announced the company’s “It’s Your Time” program gave free airtime to 135 congressional and gubernatorial candidates on its 14 news producing stations during the 2012 election.
“The political coverage our stations provide our local communities is essential to citizens having the information they need to make informed choices,” said Dunia A. Shive, Belo’s president and chief executive officer. “Belo is pleased to give candidates the opportunity to air their positions on important issues through the ‘It’s Your Time’ program.”
The media company also said it aired an average of two hours of political coverage per week in the six weeks leading up to last year’s election. That works out to roughly 17 minutes of political coverage per day.
From September 23 to November 5, Belo television stations aired an average of 87 local and national election-related stories each week. The coverage included eight debates that gave viewers a focused look at the candidates and their platforms. Belo re-broadcast an average of 105 stories weekly on the Company’s regional and local news channels.
Belo’s “It’s Your Time” program allots five minutes of free airtime to eligible candidates. Since the program was started in 1996, it has given free airtime to more than 1,100 candidates.