Belo announces free airtime plans for candidates this fall

For the seventh consecutive election cycle, Belo will provide free airtime this fall to congressional and gubernatorial candidates, the broadcast group said Monday.

According to the Belo announcement, its news-producing stations will televise at least one hour of political coverage each week in the six weeks prior to the general election on Nov. 4. The company's election coverage in 2008 may include debates, issue- and ad-watch programming and interviews with local, state and federal candidates.

The broadcast group began offering the free airtime to candidates in 1996 as part of Belo’s “It’s Your Time” program. Debates and "It's Your Time" spots will be streamed and archived on Belo Web sites through Election Day. In 2006, Belo stations broadcast more than 150 hours of election coverage from mid-September through Election Day in November, including several congressional and gubernatorial debates.

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