Expect to see the real story of the election of 2012 on HBO around the time of the election of 2016. The network confirmed today that they have optioned the rights to Double Down: Game Change 2012 from journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The as yet-unwritten book is expected out for the fall of 2013 according to publisher Penguin Press, who announced the book and the HBO option Tuesday. Halperin and Heilemann’s behind-the-scenes 2010 book on the 2008 Presidential election Game Change: Obama And The Clintons, McCain And Palin, And The Race Of A Lifetime was a number one bestseller and the basis for a 2012 HBO movie. Directed by Jay Roach and starring Julianne Moore as Alaska Governor and GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin and Ed Harris as Sen. John McCain, Game Change debuted on HBO on March 10 of this year. Game Change won four Emmys this year including best miniseries or TV movie, a best directing win for Roach and an outstanding actress in a miniseries or TV movie for Moore. Halperin and Heilemann are repped by Andrew Wylie at The Wylie Agency.
UPDATE, 12:45 PM: You don’t need to be bilingual to translate the Commission On Presidential Debates’ response to Univision CEO Randy Falco’s letter asking for an additional session targeting Hispanic voters: Don’t be a sore loser. Although “there are many organizations and individuals who wish they had been included in our moderator selection,” the CPD says, “it is impossible to accommodate all of them.” The organization adds that the four moderators it picked “see their assignment as representing all Americans.” And the debates “have always focused on issues of national interest that affect all citizens, including Univision’s audience.” The CPD says that it has met with Univision to consider “joint efforts to get the largest number of people possible engaged in discussing and learning from the debates, and (we) remain interested in working with you toward that goal.”
Al Gore once stood on the podium accepting the Democratic Party’s nominations for both Vice-President and President. This year, the former VP will be up in the skybox reporting on both the DNC and the RNC for Current TV. The channel Gore co-founded made the announcement today:
New York, NY, August 8, 2012 – Vice President Al Gore will be leading Current TV’s coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Coverage of the Republican National Convention (RNC) begins August 27th from 7pm – 11pm EST and will continue for all four nights, concluding on August 30th. Coverage of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) begins on September 4th from 7pm – 11pm EST and will conclude on September 6th. Vice President Gore will be joined by former Michigan Governor and “The War Room” host, Jennifer Granholm, former New York Governor and “Viewpoint” host, Eliot Spitzer and “The Young Turks” host, Cenk Uygur. Additionally, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will join the panel for the RNC coverage.
Current TV will feature reporting with real-time analysis and detailed coverage of the 2012 conventions. David Shuster and Michael Shure will report from both conventions. Also contributing will be new Current TV hosts Joy Behar and John Fugelsang. “I’m pleased to be participating in Current TV’s impressive line-up throughout the Republican and Democratic National Conventions,” said Vice President Al Gore. “Cenk, Jennifer and Eliot provide the keen insight and spot-on analysis our viewers have come to expect, combined with decades of experience in public service and a deep understanding of politics. I have no doubt that our coverage will be innovative and informative, and I look forward to working with them.”
If you hate political ads, then I have bad news for you: Next year, White House and congressional candidates will flood television and other media with campaign messages as the 2012 election shapes up as the most expensive in history. Democrats and Republicans are already squeezing contributors because spending will soar as this is the first election in more than a decade without limits on corporate and union contributions. TV stations will benefit most: In 2010 about 75% of ad budgets went to broadcast TV vs. 7.9% for cable and 4.3% for Web destinations, according to PQ Media. But a lot could change this time out. Here are some of the key questions:
How much will be spent on advertising? It’ll be a record, but there’s no consensus on the likely total. Research firm Washington Analysis projects $4 billion, up from $3.2 billion in 2010 and $2.6 billion in 2008. Moody’s Investors Service says spending in 2012 could rise as much as 18% vs 2010 in “an unprecedented frenzy.” That strikes some as too high in a year with few gubernatorial races and — unlike in 2008 — no contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I don’t think it’s going to be a whole lot bigger than 2010,” says Jack Poor, who tracks political spending for the Television Bureau of Advertising. “If I were to take a wild guess, I’d say 10%.”
Will cable operators take political ads from broadcast TV? Hope springs eternal among cable companies. They say that their ability to target messages to communities makes them more cost effective than TV stations that transmit to a large region. But politicos don’t seem to agree. “If you add those (local) areas up it isn’t necessarily less expensive than (it is) to buy the whole market” on broadcast TV, former Obama political advisor David Axelrod told cable executives recently. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie says much the same thing: “If the president has $1 billion to spend, he’ll buy American Idol and NCIS. And our candidate will be buying the Cooking Channel in Akron, Ohio.” Cable executives say they may have to eat those words. “I don’t know what (Axelrod) is talking about,” says Andrew Capone of NCC Media -– the local cable ad sales firm owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. “Every single year more money has flowed to spot cable.”
What about the Internet? Candidates are intrigued. Locally focused sites “will see a significant increase from a low dollar base,” says Kathleen Keefe, Hearst Television’s VP of sales.
The 2012 election campaign has barely begun, but broadcasters can expect to see “an unprecedented frenzy of political advertising,” with total sales running as much as 18% higher than the $2.3 billion spent in 2010, Moody’s Investors Service says in a report today. The U.S. Supreme Court has tossed out spending caps for corporations and unions, making this the first presidential election in more than a decade without such limits, the research firm says. “The campaign frenzy will get some of its oxygen from high-visibility headline issues, including a weak domestic economy, high unemployment and a continued slump in real estate,” Moody’s says. “Control of Congress is also in close contention.” Republicans “may possibly view the Senate to be within their reach in 2012.”
Fox has suspending two of its paid contributors with presidential aspirations, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, for 60 days. If the two don’t declare by May 1 that they won’t be running for president, their contracts will be terminated. Remaining on payroll at Fox News are two other potential presidential hopefuls, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. If a network contributor is running for office, their airtime could be considered a campaign contribution.