10 key ABA efforts for broadcasters and the Arizona election
With just days to go until election day in Arizona, please use the below resources for last-minute planning and emergency needs:
PERSONAL SAFETY: We all know we’re living in a world of heightened emotions. The ABA strongly encourages EVERY station to review their building and staff safety protocols ahead of Election Day. Even if your station(s) isn’t engaged in newsgathering, broadcasters remain recognizable in our communities. Here are some suggested areas to review:
- Building entry protocols and general security awareness
- Field crew safety (is it possible to staff “teams” in public)
- Station vehicles (think about unmarked units vs vehicles with logos)
TOWER EYES: At the request of several Phoenix GMs, the ABA is coordinating extra security in the days around Election Day at a key tower site in the Phoenix area. If you have another location concern, please reply directly to this email.
OPEN HOTLINE: If the event of media access or first amendment issues, the ABA is opening a phone hotline on election day, election night and in the immediate aftermath of our vote. As part of this hotline, stations can report any concern that could require legal help or outside voices. The ABA will make every real-time accommodation possible. The number to call is 602-252-4833.
LITIGATION PREP WORK: Part of the ABA’s work is thinking ahead to plan for the “what ifs” — and that includes looking ahead to media access needs in the event of litigation over the announced election results. The ABA has started a dialogue with both the Arizona Supreme Court and lower court systems in key counties to plan for media access to courts amidst COVID-19 restrictions, the potential need for statewide POOL video/audio, and the importance of ensuring public and media transparency. Several of you have already volunteered to act as that state-wide POOL source if the need comes.
POLLS, PUBLIC OPINION AND BALLOT RETURNS: As part of the ABA’s continued partnership with Arizona-based OH Predictive Insights, your teams can track real-time data about the final Arizona polls and public opinion data on this dashboard. OHPI’s last set of Arizona polls are scheduled to be released next week. Similarly, OHPI has also built this dashboard for Arizona broadcasters to track real-time early ballot returns in Arizona.
REMINDER OF SENATE DEBATE POOL VIDEO: In partnership with public media stations across Arizona, the the ABA earlier this month shared a feed of the only English-language U.S. Senate debate between Mark Kelly and Martha McSally. In the interest of public access, the archived debate is offered free of all graphics and logos for every Arizona broadcaster to publish/use as they see fit. For all intents and purposes, every broadcaster now has an open copyright on the debate in the lead up to our election. Here’s the downloadable file.
BROADCAST POLITICAL SPOT BUYS: The last minute advertising push continues by both Arizona candidates and PACs. Just this week, another $2 million in media spend was allocated to the Arizona US Senate race via these media placement groups. Those dollars match the below lists from early October of the groups placing the biggest buys: Presidential Spend | Senate Spend | House Spend
THE ELECTION AND GETTING MORE COVID-19 BROADCAST HELP: While it feels like everything remains stalled in the countdown to our election, negotiations continue between the White House and Congress on a bipartisan COVID relief package, and those talks INCLUDE dialogue about broadcast support. As recently as this week, 32 member of the US Senate singed on to add broadcaster-friendly provisions in any new effort. Those provisions would contain significant expansions of the Payroll Protection Program for broadcasters who were previously ineligible for relief, as well as a second opportunity to obtain PPP loans for many broadcasters who have already benefited from the program. We are hopeful that these provisions will be seriously considered in any final bipartisan COVID relief negotiations and will share more as we learn it in partnership with the NAB.
FCC POLITICAL FILE REMINDERS: It’s a VERY important time to comply with all FCC political file rules. The ABA has an FCC lawyer and Arizona broadcast lawyer on retainerfor process questions. There’s no cost to you. We also offer up NAB-created plug-and-play forms to make your filing process as easy as possible. Reply to this email with questions or needs.
AFTER THE ELECTION: Registration remains open for an ABA live event to break down what these election results mean (whatever the result) for broadcasters all across the country.
So, what do these election results mean for broadcasters?
Thursday, November 19, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.