Donald Trump’s TV Spending Hurting Local Ad Sales

By Mark Joyella 

With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump focusing much of his media efforts on television appearances and stadium rallies—rather than traditional ads—station groups are seeing significantly less political ad revenue than expected for a presidential election year.

The Wall Street Journal reports station groups including Sinclair and Gray have been forced to revise their forecasts, with Gray describing future campaign spending as “currently impossible to predict,” noting the “very unusual nature of this year’s late presidential campaign season.”

The WSJ quotes CBS chief executive Les Moonves saying “Mr. Trump doesn’t appear to be spending as much as people thought.”


In 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney spent nearly $50 million on advertising through July. Mr. Trump spent $20 million in the same period this cycle, according to the latest figures disclosed to the Federal Election Commission, and it was spent entirely on primaries. After becoming his party’s effective nominee in May and officially accepting the nomination in July, Mr. Trump’s campaign didn’t begin airing TV ads again until mid-August.

Since mid-August, the Clinton campaign and its supporters have aired about 62,000 TV ad spots on national television, compared with about 27,000 aired by the Trump campaign and its supporters, according to the Wesleyan report.