Momentum Builds for Candidate Air Time Proposal

Milwaukee CBS Affiliate WDJT Becomes Third Wisconsin Station to Commit to 5-Minutes-a-Night Standard

October 9, 2000

Madison - WDJT-TV Channel 58, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee, has committed to air five minutes of political candidates discussing issues every night in the month before Wisconsin’s November 7 general election, the Alliance for Better Campaigns-Wisconsin reported today.

WDJT is the third Wisconsin television station to commit to the national standard the Alliance is promoting. The standard - dubbed "5/30" for five minutes of "candidate-centered discourse" nightly in the 30 days before an election - originated in the recommendations of a White House advisory panel that included broadcasters and was co-chaired by the president of CBS.

Last month, WISN-TV Channel 12 in Milwaukee and WFRV Channel 5 in Green Bay agreed to the five-minutes-a-night standard.

"We’e thrilled to welcome Channel 58 aboard the five-minute bandwagon. The viewers of stations like WDJT will get a substantial helping of candidates talking about issues and answering tough questions, not just a steady diet of 30-second ads," said Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe, who serves as state project director for the Alliance for Better Campaigns-Wisconsin.

With the commitment by WDJT and several other recent commitments around the country, a total of 84 stations nationwide have now indicated they will try to meet the standard this fall.

Now that Milwaukee’s ABC and CBS affiliates have committed to the five-minute standard, McCabe said Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate, WTMJ Channel 4, should follow suit.

"WISN and WDJT have moved to the front of the class. Where’s TMJ?" McCabe said, noting that WTMJ took in $911,401 from 1,662 political ads in the first seven months of the year, the most in the Milwaukee TV market.