Granite Offers Up Free Air for Candidates

Granite Broadcasting Corp. is giving away air time to major candidates in the 2008 general election. The company said that its stations in New York, California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan “will select the federal, state and/or local political races to be featured.”

Each of the six weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 general election, Granite stations will give candidates two minutes to address specific issues. Stations will provide production facilities, and publicize the recorded statements during newscasts or other “highly viewed programming,” Granite said. The material will also be posted on associated Web sites through Nov. 4.

Granite said this is the 10th year it’s offered free political air. The announcement comes amid regulatory pressure on broadcasters to demonstrate more localism and programming in the public interest.