Businessman David Warnock has spent almost $600,000 for TV ads in the Baltimore mayoral race.
And that is just on network-owned or -affiliated stations, like WJZ and WBAL, that are governed by the Federal Communications Commission, which requires public filing on such sales. Warnock ads can also be seen as local inserts on cable channels like CNN, which are not under FCC reporting rules for political ads.
Last week, I reported that Warnock had spent $381,900 on Baltimore TV ads. But that did not include $191,325 paid for 393 spots on WBAL-TV from Dec. 28 through Feb 21. The FCC paperwork for that sale only became available on the station's website today.
With that WBAL buy and and another one for $19,200 at WNUV, which was confirmed via FCC documents today, the total for Warnock's spending at Baltimore broadcast TV stations is now $592,425.
The Democratic primary in the Baltimore mayor's race is April 26, and TV ad spending tends to build toward the day of voting. There is no reason to think Warnock won't spend over $1 million on TV ads in Baltimore.
While there are 13 candidates in the Democratic primary, only one other, state Sen. Catherine Pugh, has an ad on TV. Pugh's campaign has made a $3,000 buy for local inserts for one ad on 11 cable channels, according to spokesman Anthony McCarthy.
As I wrote last week, the arrival of civil rights activist and social-media master DeRay Mckesson as a mayoral candidate makes this an election that could tell us much about the role of media in Baltimore politics today.
Can Mckesson turn his social media skills into votes? And where will a well-known local political figure like Pugh invest her campaign resources as the election nears?
Stop back to Z on TV for updates on media strategies and spending throughout the primary season.