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. Amazed

    And since you decided not to air it, don't talk about it all night either.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Dee

    Awww. Poor CNN. NOW they're trying to look fair and balanced all of a sudden. Too late! Might as well just air the ad and up your ratings.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Hancock

    By not airing the add,you are showing favoritism for McCain, by the appearance of impropriety it creates. I notice your top political pundits are Reagan staffers. Lou Dobbs is ready for Fox news;the Cuban guy who is proof that looks and not substance are needed to be a Cnn reporter,Glen,"I never met a Republican I didn't adore" Beck...It looks like you were fine with Obama...as long as he didn't really win.I hope Obama shuts Cnn out when he wins. Paybacks are a _____.

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. TyWebb

    Campbell Brown did it!

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Abby from Florida

    no worries, i'll catch it on any one of the other 7 networks 🙂 thanks anyway.

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. wow

    Isn’t it amazing that you would rather show a repeat of revealed or something like that rather than the infomercial? D. L Hughley breaks the news!!! Rather than focus on what you do best and believe that people would buy whatever you put out there, I think that you should read your customers and respond appropriately. I wonder who is going to lose. Whatever you air at that time would not match the Obama thing that he is putting up and you would not be making that amount of money that was meant to come to you. That is what is called a double whammy. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with business. In future case studies, when the elections are over, I am sure one of the questions that students would ask is “why do you think that CNN turned down the opportunity of making money and they reported it?” only time will tell what the response of the lecturer would be ……………………..

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Maggie from Virginia

    I like MSNBC better anyway.

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Brina

    CNN that's fine.....MSNBC will be airing it and you will be rebroadcasting it and talking about it. You just won't be getting the money to air it....oh well.

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. karen-phoenix

    I am a CNN junkie and will NOT be watching Larry tonight because I just can NOT stand to listen to McCain talk and lie anymore–and I've been a republican for 40 years–no more. This country needs a very, very new direction to solve are economic and image problems and Obama can do it!!! I'm white, female and still working because of the health care mess we are in in this country! CNN should have put Obama's commercial up and they would have had top ratings. NO ONE will be watching Larry and I wrote Larry and appologized.
    God Bless Obama/Biden

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. this one is for That One

    CNN may as well turn off the lights and save some electricity....because no one will be watching what your'e bias !!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Bridgette-PA

    Ok, you turned the campaign down.....did you put this in the ticker to please the McFailin' supporters? I didn't expect you to be a part of it anyways, your the unbiased station, remember? I'm not mad at you, CNN. JUST DO YOUR JOB FOR THE NEXT 6 DAYS WITH UNBIASED REPORTING.

    OBAMA/BIDEN -08!

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. dave

    YOu shove Sarah Palin down our throats for almost 40 minutes today & and the nerve to tell Obama no for 30 minutes?No Bias & No Bull huh ?Yea right! MSNBC HAS THE BEST POLITICAL TEAM!You undercover republican supporters! I hate cnn already!

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Steven

    I'm an Obama supporter but kudos for keeping it balanced.

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. ObamaVolunteer

    Well, CNN, it is guaranteed that you want have any viewers for 30 minutes tonight. You may as well have taken the money! LOL

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. legare

    Well I look at your website and watch the shows on MSNBC so it doesn't matter.

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. GA for Obama

    I do not like Campbell Brown . She is so bias!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Isaac

    ["No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," John McCain said Tuesday.]

    The President doesn't have any authority regarding what gets aired on television. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny: "What a maroon!"

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. "June-the-military-wife"

    CNN chooses not air the Obama program because you want to air all sides? Instead you'll give open-air time for McCain tonight on Larry King. I won't be watching CNN tonight. So much for seeing things from all points of view on CNN tonight.

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Liberated!

    Oh....forgot to mention a very annoying and soon to become irrelevant Lou Dobbs up against Chris Matthews at 7pm! MSNBC got you beat!

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. shame

    ----i never see any report about palin's ties to AIP on CNN.

    ---i never see any report about her spending $50K of Taxpayer Money Remodeling her Office on CNN.

    --- i never see any report on dirty tricks(black voters warned of polling place arrests).

    and,

    i now know why,

    CNN is pro mcBush.

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Dixie AZ

    Perhaps, instead we'll hear Larry king interview "Joe the Plummer." I'll catch Obama's 30 minutes elsewhere.

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Sacto Joe

    I'm 62 years old, and I can't remember the last time the Dems were able to outspend the Repubs in a Presidential election.

    YESSS!!

    GOBAMA!

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. NoMcSame

    MSNBC is on my tv anyway.

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. DK_for Obama

    OK CNN, respect to you. Hope this decision was made with a true sense of journalism.

    But, when there a high tide comes in, don't you want your ship to catch it.

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08 & 12

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Mike

    Well, thank goodness McCain will make sure the beginning of the World Series under his helm will never be delayed! He has my vote based on that alone!

    October 29, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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