PACs Flood Stations with Cash: ‘We’re Just Being Forced to Take their Money’

By Mark Joyella 

Nancy Johnson, general sales manager of Anchorage NBC affiliate KTUU, has precisely zero complaints about the flood of political ad spending hitting stations ahead of Election Day. “We’re just being forced to take their money,” Johnson told Bloomberg. “The economics of broadcast TV stations aren’t what they were a decade ago, so it helps to have an influx of capital.”

There’s so much cash to be had, Bloomberg cites one station adding a newscast just to sell the time:

One group is happy: Station owners and managers. Tight races and the explosion of spending by super political action committees are paying off in huge ways.

“We’ve become the epicenter,” said Dale Woods, president and general manager of WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. “The intensity used to be after Labor Day. That process, this year, started in July and August.”

The airwaves are so packed that Woods decided to add another hour-long newscast to his lineup — not because there’s a ton of news in Des Moines, but because he knew he could sell the time. At rates that can easily top $1,000 a minute, it’s a gold rush that ends abruptly Nov. 4.

What’s actually airing during all those paid-in-full hours? ABC News rounded up the strangest of the 2014 political ads.