Skip to content

Shop Talk: I Want My Live TV

A new bipartisan study evaluating how likely voters consume media concluded that campaigns will need to make tactical adjustments to reach a fractured audience that is watching less live TV.

The number of live TV watchers is decreasing as the use of online video and DVRs are on the rise.

According to the survey, 31 percent of likely voters said they had not watched any live TV in the past week. That includes 33 percent of both Democrats and Republicans. It’s no different in battleground presidential states such as Ohio, where the number increases to 38 percent, and Florida, where 28 percent hadn’t watched live TV in the past week.

The study was run by SAY Media, conducted by Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies and Thomas Eldon of SEA Polling & Strategic Design, and co-authored by Michael Beach of Targeted Victory and Josh Koster of Chong & Koster.

“I was surprised by the extent the younger voters that are not watching live TV,” Newhouse said in an interview with Roll Call. Among those ages 18-44, just 44 percent said live TV was the primary way to consume video content. That means more than half of that age group primarily watches TV through DVR (allowing them to skip over ads), DVDs, online, streamed or on a mobile phone.

“These are remarkable numbers, and they will begin to impact political campaigns,” Newhouse said. “This is just the beginning of this thing.”

For more information on the study, go to

Taking It to the House

House Majority PAC hired veteran Democratic strategist Shannon Roche as deputy executive director.

Roche most recently served as chief operating officer at Democracy Alliance, helping grow it into a major driver of activist support for liberal groups. Roche previously served in various organizational management, member services and fundraising roles for the Democratic National Committee, on Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, and on the host committee for the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic super PAC is led by a group of former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee operatives. They include Ali Lapp, Nicole Runge, Ryan Rudominer and Matthew Fuentes.

Gordon Beefs Up

Steve Gordon, a longtime GOP fundraiser and managing partner of Total Spectrum, announced he has made three new hires for his growing firm.

Joining the firm, which designs and executes strategic, political and communications programs, are Mike Cys as a managing partner and John McKechnie and Steve Pfister as partners.

Cys was the political and grass-roots director for the American Medical Association for 10 years. McKechnie was senior vice president and chief lobbyist at the Credit Union National Association. And Pfister was chief lobbyist at the National Retail Foundation.

“We designed Total Spectrum to provide a wide range of public affairs strategies and techniques, and I am grateful for the strong response we have received,” Gordon said in a statement.

Just in Time for Wild Card Chase

Sen. Scott Brown announced that Press Secretary Colin Reed is leaving the Massachusetts Republican’s office to join his re-election campaign in Boston.

Brown made the move with 14 months to go in his bid for a full six-year term and with Democrat Elizabeth Warren now officially running against him.

Before joining Brown on Capitol Hill after his January 2010 special election victory, Reed spent the first half of the 2010 election cycle as a deputy press secretary at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The Massachusetts native was dispatched to the Bay State in the closing weeks of Brown’s special election upset.

In the 2008 cycle, Reed worked in rapid response on the GOP presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“Not only is he an excellent communicator, but as a Massachusetts native Colin understands the Bay State as well as anyone,” Brown said in a statement. “I know he will be a valuable asset to my re-election campaign.”

Hoping to Paint Michigan Red

Poised for a busy election cycle, the Michigan Republican Party hired Steven Ostrow as political director.

Ostrow served last cycle as the Mid-Atlantic regional victory director for the Republican National Committee, overseeing voter contact operations in six states and building a get-out-the-vote effort.

He also worked as political operations director for Steve Poizner’s unsuccessful California gubernatorial primary campaign against Meg Whitman and as a field representative for the Oregon and Nevada Republican parties.

“With the team, headed by new Executive Director Kim Jorns, we are in a position to maintain our solid majority in the state House, help elect rule-of-law, conservative justices to Michigan’s Supreme Court, defeat Sen. Debbie Stabenow and return a Republican — through Michigan — to the White House,” Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak said.

Blue Dogs Go Whalen

The Blue Dog Coalition’s political action committee hired Andrew Whalen to manage its political operation.

Whalen, who has held several positions with Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and most recently worked for his leadership PAC, is charged with overseeing candidate recruitment and the Blue Dog endorsement process, as well as expanding national grass-roots communications.

The Blue Dog Coalition was depleted last cycle, and its two current chairmen — Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) — are among the Democrats being targeted next year.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.

Recent Stories

Strange things are afoot at the Capitol

Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024

Getting down on the Senate floor — Congressional Hits and Misses

US-China tech race will determine values that shape the future

What’s at stake in Texas runoff elections on Tuesday

Democrats decry ‘very, very harmful’ riders in Legislative Branch bill