Matier and Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Forget ratings -- TV gets huge payoff from elections
When all is said and done, the biggest winner in California's election won't be the Democrats or the Republicans, but TV -- which is expected to rake in an estimated $300 million in political ad sales. [...]
With an estimated $210 million going into the initiative fights -- and deep-pocket clients such as big oil and tobacco ready to shell out whatever it takes -- the sky is the limit.
For example, [Sheri] Sadler recently paid $2,200 for a 30-second Brown ad on the 5 p.m. local newscast in Los Angeles. Had she been buying the same spot for an initiative, the cost would have been $22,000.
"They are just loving it,'' [Paul] Kinney said of the TV stations.