MEDIA
11/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Local TV Will Miss The Campaign Gravy Train Most Of All

Let's be honest. As much as we are looking forward to Nov. 4, when a historic and riveting presidential campaign will finally reach a verdict, it's going to take more than a few aspirin and a nap to get rid of the hangover we will feel the next day.

No more nights of watching Anderson Cooper make the eager hand-off to the wise David Gergen. Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly will have to make do with political autopsy, while Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will have to find humor speculating about those first 100 days. And if the current polls hold (and don't hold your breath), Tina Fey might have to make do without Gov. Sarah Palin, along with the rest of us.

But however bereft you and I, along with our broadcast political familiars, might be feeling once the balloons drop, it will be nothing compared to those who live and die on local television advertising. For the last several months, local stations, and to some degree networks, have been frolicking in all the money spilled by the Democratic campaign and the efforts of the Republicans to play catch-up.

Given all of the bailing that the government has been doing in the private sector, perhaps it is only fitting that politics has been a lifesaver for a media industry. It is one of the certainties of democracy that America will never run out of hot air.

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