October 29th, 2008
10:28 AM ET
14 years ago

CNN declines Obama camp ad request

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/01/campaign.wrap/art.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="CNN turned down the Obama campaign's request to air a 30-minute campaign ad tonight."]
(CNN) - The Obama campaign asked CNN to air its 30-minute campaign ad, scheduled for Wednesday evening, but the network turned them down.

“CNN was approached by the Obama campaign and declined their request,” the network said in a Tuesday statement. “We did not want to pre-empt our programming lineup with a 30-minute campaign commercial. We prefer to use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television.”

Fox News Channel – which is a separate network from FOX – was not asked to air the ad. The half hour infomercial which will be airing on CBS, NBC, FOX television, MSNBC, Univision, BET and TV One at a reported cost of $3 million to the campaign. ABC said it couldn’t come to an agreement in time to meet the Obama campaigns requirement to run it in that time slot.

The Obama camp’s purchase drew headlines when the GOP blasted Major League Baseball’s decision to delay the start of its World Series broadcast on FOX television scheduled for that night, if the series were to call for a sixth game, to accommodate the buy. A Fox executive responsible for the buy said the infomercial would replace pre-game programming, but would not delay the airing of the game. Nonetheless, the Republican candidate took a swing. "No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," John McCain said Tuesday.

The last pre-election programming of this type came during the 1992 race, when Ross Perot paid for similar time blocs on network television shortly before Election Day.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • CNN
soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Serving My Country, TX

    It's all good, CNN...I will be watching on MSNBC. Hope you enjoy the huge ratings drop.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. GINGER/ san diego

    Well...CNN won't air a legitimate ad....okay.... from now on
    i'll be watching MSNBC. CNN has always been the station I believed to be fair, but, when you have Cambell Brown giving in to the McShame ideas, I guess your "doing only the facts" belongs now only to people like Jack Cafferty. If McShame had come up with enough support from the Republican party he could have air time too.
    You can't fault Obama for trying harder and using the donations he gets, he has always been the new person on the block and has had to fight harder and longer than McCain ever did.
    Sometimes it takes time to get your message out there for people to listen. McCain has had 25+ years.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Michigan Independent

    CNN won't have any viewers during he half hour...interesting decision because they certainly will be "talking" about it after...I'm wondering what the real decision was based on...I'm sure they don't agree with all the 'products" that are advertised on their station ...it'a a media buy that gives stations income....hmmm

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. rob

    hey CNN your becoming obsolete . your going to losing a lot of viewers . whats your alternative Wolf Blitzer ?

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. triana

    CNN – if it wasnt for OBama i would not be watching you so much. This was a bad move, however, it is okay because that is the time i will watching on FOX, NBC or one of the other channels and your ratings will decline. This was a bad move. My mind has been changed about CNN because of this for this was very disappointing. YOu just gave mccain a "ah hah"

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Carol

    They refused to give Obama paid time, but they just gave Palin 25 minutes of uninterrupted time to give a stump speech on energy that amounted to nothing followed by 15 minutes of McCain doing the same.

    Yep, no bias there.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. CNN loves a horserace

    OH CNN...wouldn't want to be a part of anything historic. Well, no one can accuse YOU of being in the tank for Obama.

    BTW, I am getting tired of seeing Palin dominate the ticker with her inane stunts.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Go Bama

    People don't forget the reason Obama has all this money is because we donated it to him. Oh Boo Hoo John McCain choose Public Financing. Sounds like he made a very stupid move. Again Obama made the right choice as he always does. If he runs the country like he ran his campaign, happy days will be here again!

    Let the rethuglicans whine and cry...

    That's what their best at. I've noticed that in any of McCain and Palin speeches there is not one clear message of what they'll do for this country, just LIE after LIE after LIE about OBAMA.

    That should say alot!

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Biff

    Where is the article about the video the L.A. Times is holding back. I couldn't find it here.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Soccer mom from Manhattan

    CNN will just miss out on ratings tonight then. That's all. I will be watching Obama on one of the other channels and will not be watching the 1/2 hour that CNN gives to McCain on Larry King.

    CNN can't have it both ways. True fair coverage or I don't watch....just like I stopped watching MSNBC whenever David Gregory is hosting.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Problem with the McCain campaign is that he's been swinging all over the place with no consistent theme or message. That erractic style doesn't sit well with those of us who want a steady, cool, calm approach to serious matters.
    Anyone recall that overdramatic "I'm suspending my campaign" moment in the middle of the financial crisis?

    But he didn't really suspend, nor did he interact in a way that would have validated a suspension.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. sean

    Fire Campbell Brown. No one watches CNN anymore. CNN is no longer the leading news network, and by declining the obama ad, u just make yourself alinated from the American people. You know that no one will watch CNN in that time slot anyway.

    October 29, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Forrest Lowe

    What's the point of using your air to continue covering the campaign, candidates and issues like you always do, "from all points of view with the best political team on television," if everyone is going to be watching Obama's 30 minute campaign ad on CBS, NBC, FOX television, MSNBC, Univision, BET and TV One?

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. The Batty Beader

    Sounds like an endorsement for McCain to me. I will no longer be using CNN as my home page. I will be using one of the networks that accepted Obama's offer.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Irma in North Carolina

    Yes you can see that CNN is in the tank for Sarah, cause they always show her speeches on t v, but they never show Bidens, or the clintons, or Michelles.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. C A

    The start of the Ball Game is not being pushed back . Some stations are just eliminating the pre-game show which few people watch anyway. People need to get their facts straight.

    If this had been Palin wishing to give a 30 minute talk on hockey Moms I'm sure CNN would have aired it.

    CNN will regret not giving this 30 minute air time to the next President of the United States. Perhaps duirng his first State of the Union Address Obama should tell CNN there is just not enough room in the Congressional meeting hall to provide them space to cover the Address.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Hall for Obama

    CNN, you have the right to let who ever come on your show and if Obama is not one of the people you would like to come so be it.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Hillary for McCain

    Now CNN work up and see the different good for you CNN. Obama supporters you may now move to MSNBC.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. undecided

    I am very surprised that CNN turned this down, seeing as how they are in the tank for Obama. Their commentators are so Pro Obama that it is not even funny. I guess that CNN is trying to clean up their name.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. He should be on Comedy Central...cause Obama is a JOKE

    I hear Suzanne Sommers is going to be on with her thigh master.......the guy from Kinsu Knifes is also on as a guest......what about the hair club for men guy ( wait, isn't that BIDEN??)

    OBAMA INFO COMMERCIAL?????? He's pathetic and full of himself!!

    By the way, he'll buy your vote for 3 easy payments of 19.99!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Will18E

    CNN check you facts. the last time this happened was with Sinclare broadcasting in 2004, when they ran on all there national affiliates bias and false programing against John Kerry.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Jay

    Let's boycott CNN and not watch it for a day or two and let them see there ratings go down. This is very sad for a news netwek to say no for something like this.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Carole

    Who cares, the only people watching this big deal speech will be African Americans who are waiting for their welfare checks from the rich if Obama gets in. Obama should have had a live speech so people could ask him the "hard" questions. He is once again ducking the American people. Hope Obama will not win – if he does we will see our economy go down further because businesses will shut down.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. cj

    CNN sorry to say but I have noticed it's lean toward the McCain/Palin ticket. They could not have forsee an Obama win. Once a big fan of Lou Dobbs now I which to Hard Ball, and after that I switch to Fox, at least I know were thier coming from.

    October 29, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Joe

    Good bye Cnn I was a steady viewer of your channnel. you could have made time for it .because all night long it is the same thing over and over Here I come Fox

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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