Where Do Media Companies Give Their PAC Money?

By Alex Weprin 

News Corp. the parent company of Fox News Channel, gave a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in June through its News America PAC. The news was buried in a story in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Yahoo! News’ Michael Calderone advances the story, and looks at where else the News America PAC gave money. When it comes to US House and Senate races, the PAC gave Republicans and Democrats a nearly equal amount of money, though Democrats received slightly more than Republicans.

Your TVNewser editor decided to see what the other media PACs did with their money.

See the results after the jump.


General Electric, which owns NBC Universal, gives money through its GEPAC. According to Opensecrets.org, in the current 2010 election cycle, GEPAC has given $581,400 to Democratic candidates in the House and $108,500 in the Senate. That is compared to $302,600 for House Republicans, and $107,000 for Senate Republicans.

Before you start screaming “bias!” it appears that GE has a habit of giving more money to whichever party it believes has more power and influence. In 2002, 2004 and 2006, Republicans received more money from the PAC than Democrats.

Walt Disney gives to politicians through the Walt Disney Productions Employee PAC. The PAC gave almost the same amount of money to Democrats and Republicans in both House and Senate races, with Democrats receiving just a little bit more than their Republican counterparts.

Comcast, which is the nation’s largest cable company, and is closing a deal to acquire NBC Universal, gave $572,600 to Democratic House candidates with $461,000 going to Republicans. In the Senate it gave $131,750 to Democrats and $101,500 to Republicans. As with GE, it typically gave more money to Republicans when they were in power.

CBS gives money through its CBS PAC, and split donations fairly equally between Democrats and Republicans. The exception is in the Senate, where Democratic candidates received slightly more from the PAC.

CNN parent Time Warner gave more money to Democrats than Republicans in 2010, but as with the other PACs, the divide between the two was not huge, and when Republicans were in power, they tended to be ion the receiving end of more money.

What should the takeaway from this exercise be? Yes, News Corp.’s donation to the RGA was much larger than any of the PACs spent on House or Senate races, but at the end of the day, these companies seem to be pragmatic with where they give their money.

They are making bets, bets that the candidates they support will be in power, where they can help the company.

With its donation to the RGA, News Corp. is betting that 2010 will be a good year for Republican gubernatorial candidates.

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