Tag Archives: TV

DesJarlais’ first TV ad bashes ‘California trust fund millionaire’

More than a week after 4th District GOP primary rival Grant Starrett began airing a new television ad assaulting U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ record, the Tennessee congressman is returning the favor with his own TV spot slamming Starrett, reports the Times-Free Press.

DesJarlais’ “Mr. California” ad is slated to begin airing in the Chattanooga market on Tuesday. It portrays Starrett, an attorney who lives in Murfreesboro, as a youthful, out-of-state trust-fund millionaire trying to buy a seat in the largely rural 4th Congressional District.

Starrett has been running ads since early June, but this is DesJarlais’ first in the 2016 primary and comes as early voting is under way in the Aug. 4 election.

Running to DesJarlais’ right, Starrett has slammed the three-term incumbent on several votes and repeatedly has skewered him for passing on a 2015 opportunity to grill the head of Planned Parenthood at a congressional hearing.

DesJarlais’ first spot, which borrows heavily from an earlier direct-mail piece, is a take-off on the old TV series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” featuring a gushing narrator with a British accent.

“‘Mr. California,’ starring Grant Starrett, the 28-year-old California trust-fund millionaire,” the announcer says. “Starrett grew up in a $10 million ocean-view mansion, moved to the 4th District last year just to run for Congress, using inherited fortune and out of state cash to join the club in Washington.”

Doctored images include a smiling Starrett on a California beach or grabbing his moment on a Hollywood red carpet, and images of $100 bills raining down on the candidate.

The ad shows DesJarlais speaking with a farmer and an elderly couple as the announcer, in an American accent, says, “Dr. DesJarlais fights for us, not the Washington establishment, making Scott DesJarlais the fourth most conservative congressman in the country.”

Tyler Privette, DesJarlais’ campaign coordinator, said the candidate has made a “significant ad buy covering both cable and network in the Chattanooga and Nashville media markets.”

Federal Communication Commission filings by Chattanooga broadcast TV stations on political advertising show an initial purchase of $11,029.

Note: A link to the ad is HERE.

8th District TV spending: Flinn $510K; Kelsey $134K; Kustoff $88K

From the Commercial Appeal:
Thirteen Republicans are running for West Tennessee’s District 8 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but one candidate appears to be spending far more money on TV ads than anyone else: George Flinn.

He’s a 72-year-old radiologist and radio station owner who has lost three campaigns for Congress since 2010 by wide margins, and so far this year he’s spent at least $510,000 on TV ads, according to financial disclosures. Nailing down an exact number for TV spending is difficult because publicly available data is incomplete and changes often.

Flinn, a former Shelby County Commissioner, said Friday he’s pursuing every medium available to reach voters.

“It’s a very laborious campaign and we’re working hard,” he said. “Nobody will outwork me.”

Second in TV spending appears to be state Senator Brian Kelsey, who has spent at least $134,000.

“Well, I’m trying to reach voters with my proven conservative message every which way I can: knocking on doors, making phone calls, going to forums and through TV and mail as well,” said Kelsey, 38. He said that he and other participants in his campaign have knocked on 20,000 doors.

Other candidates who have bought TV ads include former U.S. attorney David Kustoff, who has spent at least $88,000, Shelby County mayor Mark Luttrell, who has spent at least $5,800, and Jackson businessman Brad Greer, who has spent at least $2,600.

No TV ad spending was found by the following Republican candidates: Ken Atkins, Hunter Baker, Dave Bault, Raymond Honeycutt, George B. Howell, Tom Leatherwood, David J. Maldonado and David Wharton.

Diane Black TV ad focused on protection from immigrants, refugees

From a Tennessean description:

In a 30-second spot, which began airing Thursday, Black tells an audience that she has fought hard to ensure the country’s borders are protected.

“The fact is that people come into this country illegally — we’ve got to hold them accountable and responsible,” she says.

A narrator notes that Black is the “sponsor of the law” which seeks to stop refugees coming from Syria and Iraq. Black has pushed legislation aimed at that goal but it has not received Congressional approval or become law.

“This is an issue that both Democrats and Republicans have failed to address,” Black continues in the ad. “This has got to be something that we do as an American people to say no more.”

The ad is the first of a series of spots that will air on broadcast and cable stations throughout her district. According to Black’s campaign, she is set to spend $493,000 on TV ads in advance of the Aug. 4 primary election.

Black buying $500K in TV campaign ads

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, facing a challenge in the 6th Congressional District Republican primary, is preparing to spend nearly a half million dollars on TV ads, reports The Tennessean.

Black — who is among the richest members of Congress — is prepared to spend $493,000 on three or four advertisements that will run on broadcast and cable television stations between June 29 and the August 4 primary election, according to her campaign.

Although the content of the first ad remains unknown, according to the latest documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Black is planning to run as many as 400 ads on various programs on WTVF, WSMV, WZTV and WUXP. Those documents show reserved ad slots already totaling $386,615.

“Diane has a strong conservative record and we will be communicating that to Middle Tennessee with an aggressive advertising campaign on radio, TV, digital and through our grassroots door-knocking campaign,” said Brad Todd, a campaign spokesman. “She has always run innovative campaigns that blend multiple media — she was one of the state’s earliest campaign adopters of digital advertising in 2010. There’s a reason she has never lost an election — she runs hard.”

Black, who has represented the 6th Congressional District since 2011, is being challenged in the Republican primary by former state Rep. Joe Carr, Tommy Hay and Donald Strong.

…Jeremy Hayes, a spokesman for Carr, said he was not surprised at the amount of money Black is spending on ads.

“Seventy percent of broadcast TV viewership is outside the 6th District and this type of inefficient spending illustrates the same spending habits she had when she voted to raise the debt limit four out of the last five years,” Hayes said.

Grant Starrett’s first TV commercial

News release from Grant Starrett campaign
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) – Today, the Grant Starrett for Congress campaign announced they have released their first TV ad in the Republican primary race in the 4th Congressional District.

The ad, titled “Time to Fight”, will run district wide on cable and broadcast.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, Campaign Manager for Grant Starrett, Republican Candidate for Congress in the 4th Congressional District:

“This ad highlights the disaster of the Obama years and the grave circumstances that our country is in. When Scott DesJarlais voted against giving $38 billion to our military to restore Obama’s defense cuts, failed to hold the nation’s largest abortion provider accountable after it was caught in a scandal selling baby body parts, and voted for $700 billion in food stamps, it rang clear that DesJarlais is part of the problem. Grant believes our military should have all the resources they need to fight radical Muslims, that our government should stop funding abortionists and should stop paying people not to work with food stamps. Grant Starrett has fought for conservative causes his entire life, never willing to back down from a tough battle. Grant is just the type of person we need in Congress to fight the crisis that has gripped our nation–someone who is willing to tell the truth about DC’s problems and fight with conservative principles to fix them.”

Note: Schultz tells Nashville Post Politics that cost of the buy was in “six figures.”

Religious counseling bill could offset $8M subsidy of ‘Nashville’ TV show?

Gov. Bill Haslam included $8 million in the coming year’s state budget to subsidize the TV show “Nashville” (previous post HERE) and it was approved by the Legislature. Now, a Fox News entertainment writer is speculating that Haslam’s signature on a bill allowing therapists to refuse counseling to persons based on sexual orientation could lead to cancellation of the series.

ABC’s Nashville has received deserved praise for its handling of Will Lexington’s (Chris Carmack) struggles with his sexuality, and his whole coming out storyline. But now, some of the show’s stars find themselves in the middle of a real-life battle over a recently-passed Tennessee law that discriminates against LGBT people.

House Bill 1840, which Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law this week, gives therapists and other mental health professionals the right to refuse to treat patients whose lifestyles go against the professional’s “sincerely held principals.”

When the bill was still under review, Nashville star Connie Britton spoke out against it, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I shoot a TV show in Tennessee, and honestly, if they proceed with this, I’m not necessarily going to feel comfortable working there. That is a tricky situation because of course we employ a lot of people in the state, and you certainly don’t want to have to interrupt that, but at the same time, this is the only way that we can have our voices be heard.”

Added Carmack — who, according to THR, is reconsidering buying property in Nashville because of the law: “We said, ‘Do we want to live in a place like this?’ … I guarantee you that there are many more individuals like myself and my fiance who are potential long-term transplants from all over, who are saying, ‘Is this a place I would want to call home, a place that would write this sort of thing into legislation?'”

A “tricky situation,” indeed. ABC has yet to renew Nashville for a fifth season, but if it does, Carmack and Britton’s comments beg the question: does the show’s cast and crew have a responsibility to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, and refuse to shoot in the state? Certainly Britton’s comments, more so than Carmack’s, will be perceived as an empty threat if the show continues to film there. Perhaps rather than pulling production from the state, the cast and crew of Nashville can use their influence to raise awareness and money for LGBT rights issues, and fight the good fight from within.

On the other hand, if ABC isn’t planning to renew Nashville, this could be a nice opportunity for the network to put an activist label on its decision. Particularly because it would be difficult if not impossible for the show to relocate elsewhere, since so many scenes are tied to actual Nashville hotspots, including the Bluebird Caf and the Grand Ole Opry — not to mention the local musicians who provide much of the show’s music.

Note: Post on Haslam signing the bill is HERE.

State gives $8M to ‘Nashville’ TV show

The ABC drama “Nashville” quietly secured economic incentives from the state last week as part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s amended budget, according to The Tennessean.

The Haslam administration allocated a combined $16 million to the Department of Economic and Community Development’s film and television incentive fund, and $8 million of that has been earmarked for “Nashville” to continuing filming in Music City. Lobbyists for the show’s production team have also been in talks with Mayor Karl Dean’s administration about additional incentives from Metro.

Unlike last year when representatives from “Nashville” kicked the tires on filming the show elsewhere amid down-to-the-wire negotiations with the state and Metro, discussions have gone smoothly this time. There’s still the question of whether ABC will pick up the music-focused series for a fourth season, and the production team feels the incentives are necessary to justify the costs of filming remotely.

“They’ve done a great job proving their economic value so we wanted to be supportive,” said Randy Boyd, ECD commissioner.

In addition to the $8 million for “Nashville,” $4 million will go to productions based in Memphis, $2 million to Knoxville productions, and $2 million will go to the recurring incentive fund for various productions across the state. Even with extra funding in Haslam’s budget, Tennessee’s film and television incentives pale in comparison to other states. Boyd pointed out that Louisiana gives approximately $270 million to lure productions there.

Public TV starts new show on TN Legislature

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee public television stations are airing a new show about the happenings in the state Legislature.

The first of four 30-minute episodes of the “Tennessee Capitol Report” are scheduled to air Sunday morning on public TV stations in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Lexington-Jackson and Cookeville. The next episodes are scheduled to air on March 29, April 26 and May 31.

The program is hosted Chip Hoback and produced by Tim Weeks. The first episode features interviews with Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Topics include the failure of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal and the winter weather that has wreaked havoc across the state.

Weeks says the aim of the program is to offer in-depth looks at the personalities shaping the issues at the Capitol.

Almost $3 million spent on TV political ads in TN Supreme court, governor and legislative campaigns

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new study finds that nearly $3 million has been spent on broadcast TV advertising for state-level races in Tennessee so far this year.

The report released by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity on Wednesday found that 8,565 ads have run for and against judicial, gubernatorial and legislative candidates in the state.

(Note: The Center previously reported that 8,143 TV ads were aired during Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race prior to the Aug. 7 primary, costing a total of $3.4 million. Incumbent Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander ran most of them. Post on Senate TV spending is HERE.)

The August retention campaigns of Democratic state Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade involved nearly 4,600 broadcast ads. The justices and their supporters spent $929,000, while opponents spent about $538,000. Despite the bruising TV campaign, the three justices cruised to comfortable victories.

While the closing weeks of the Aug. 7 primary included a barrage of ads on the judge races, the advertising was a far cry from the 2010 election that featured $12 million in spending on 33,871 broadcast ads through the same period.

The 2010 campaign season was highlighted by an open race for governor, which was won by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam after a spirited Republican nomination fight with then-U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp and state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey.

The Center for Public Integrity reviewed data about political advertising on national cable and broadcast television in all of the country’s 210 media markets. The organization used research from Kantar Media/CMAG, which tracks political advertising and offers a widely accepted estimate of the money spent to air each spot.

These figures only represent part of the money spent on political advertising. They do not include the money spent on ads on radio, online and direct mail, television ads on local cable systems or the cost of producing the messages. That means the total cost of spending on political ads can be significantly higher.

The study found that Haslam this year spent $666,000 on about 1,900 TV ads despite not facing any serious opposition for the Republican nomination, and that advertising in state legislative races ran at about $799,000.

Knoxville surgeon Richard Briggs ran the most TV ads among the legislative candidates in his successful bid to defeat state Sen. Stacey Campfield in the Republican primary. Briggs spent nearly $190,000 to run his spots 514 times, while Campfield spent just $1,000 to run ads on broadcast television four times.

Nashville attorney Jeff Yarbro was the next-highest spender, dropping $146,000 to run 273 broadcast ads in his successful campaign for Democratic nomination to succeed longtime state Sen. Douglas Henry, who is retiring. Yarbro’s opponent, Mary Mancini, spent nothing on broadcast TV ads.

Notes: The Center’s national overview story on state-level spending is HERE. Tennessee ranks 23rd among the state overall in TV spending by candidates for state office. The Tennessee-specific page is HERE.

A couple of things from the Tennessee page not mentioned above:

–TV ad spending in state Senate races totaled $413,200. The only loser among top-spending Senate candidates was Matt Swallows ($36,300), who lost to Paul Bailey in the District 15 GOP primary.

–In state House races, the total reported was $385,900 with top spender being House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada at $83,000.