CNN Not Airing 30-min Obama Spot

By Matt Van Hoven 

CNN will be the second cable news network and third broadcast network not to air the 30-minute spot put together by the Obama campaign. According to The Live Feed, Fox News was not asked to run the spot, though it will run on Fox’s broadcast network. ABC won’t be running it either &#151 more on that after the jump.

TVNewser has obtained the following memo from CNN on the matter:

Unlike the broadcast networks CBS, NBC, FOX — and MSNBC and other cable networks — CNN declined to accept the Obama program length commercial. In response to press inquiries this is the CNN statement that was given. And so this can be used as well on our air and websites when reporting about tonight’s Obama program. We were approached by the Obama campaign and declined their request. We did not want to preempt our programming lineup with a 30-minute paid commercial program. We would rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television.

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens notes that although CNN won’t run the spot, “you can bet they’ll be recording the special and airing portions in its news broadcasts.”

More after the jump.


CNN’s decision to decline the offer is a divisive one, an indication that they’re working to shirk the liberal media bias that’s plagued the network and even helped spawn Fox News. As one media reporter put it, “(CNN is) taking the high road” while competitors, like MSNBC, are opting for the revenue.

As the presidential race nears its end, cable and network executives must be fearing the fall-off in political ad-spending. AdAge reported yesterday that, “The four big broadcast networks have each taken one program off the grid. Meanwhile, ABC and NBC may have a few other trouble spots to wrestle with in the not-too-distant future.”

And news programming could suffer right along with entertainment. An example: after ABC was approached to air the Obama spot, it initially declined &#151 possibly because it would have to move ‘Pushing Daisies’, an hour-long show, to make room for the half-hour Obama special. We’re told that shortly after declining the offer, ABC called the Obama people back, but were too late. MSNBC had already accepted.

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