This week gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice launched the first ads for West Virginia’s 2016 election, which you can view here.
The Gazette-Mail’s David Gutman interviewed Grant Herring, a spokesperson for Justice earlier this week, about the advertisements. Herring said the ad would air in “heavy rotation” in markets around the state but he declined to release the amount spent on the ad buy.
So I decided to find out.
This is kind of an arduous process but that’s all it is. It is not impossible thanks to the Federal Communications Commission’s political files. Essentially these “political files” are a library of information for every single political ad that runs on television. This includes ads on all levels – national, state and local.
Because I had some time today I looked up the political file for every TV station in West Virginia.
From there, I turned to the FCC’s political files, which are found here.
It was a bit of a process but here’s what I figured out about Justice’s ad buy:
For the week of Oct. 14 to Oct. 20, Justice spent $39,497 on more than 225 ads.
For the week of Oct. 21 to Oct. 27, Justice spent $41,494 on more than 228 ads.
Total those two up and Justice spent $80,991 on more than 453 ads that will air on 9 different television stations in West Virginia.
Why do I keep saying “more than” you might ask?
That’s because one station – WOWK – did not report exactly how many ads were purchased.
Every other station posted a breakdown of how many ads will run during which programs (in case you didn’t know the cost of ads changes depending on the program and the time it airs). WOWK has not posted said document – yet. It is possible they will add this to their FCC files.
Here’s a breakdown of how many adds were purchased at each station (with the area served and their network).
- 91 – WBOY (Clarksburg/NBC)
- 75 – WVVA (Beckley-Bluefield/NBC)
- 74 – WDTV (WDTV/CBS)
- 74 – WTRF (Wheeling/CBS)
- 69 – WSAZ (Charleston-Huntington/NBC)
- 48 – WCHS (Charleston-Huntington/ABC)
- 12 – WVFX (Clarksburg/FOX)
- 10 – WQCW (Charleston-Huntington/CW)
Again remember that WOWK is not on the list for the aforementioned reason.
Here’s a breakdown of the amount spent at each station:
- $25,475 – WSAZ
- $23,185 – WBOY
- $10,535 – WVVA
- $6,780 – WCHS
- $5,850 – WDTV
- $4,338 – WTRF
- $2,720 – WOWK
- $1,500 – WQCW
- $608 – WVFX
The ads that will be airing for the next two weeks will be on a variety of different shows. They include morning, midday and evening news programs, late evening shows (Jimmy Kimmel, the Tonight Show, Late Show), game or reality shows (the Price is Right, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, the Voice, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Dancing with the Stars) and other TV programs (Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside Edition, Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Rizzoli and Isles and Nashville).