A review of the city’s online checkbook shows the City of Tallahassee spent approximately $300,000 on advertising fees to promote the TAPP program in 2015 & 2016. However, no advertising dollars were spent with the two conservative radio stations in Tallahassee that produce morning shows with in-depth coverage of city hall.
Documents show that approximately $200,000 was spent on TV, (Comcast, WCTV, WTXL, WTWC) $65,000 on radio (Cumulus, WFSU, Red Hills) and $43,000 on billboards (Lamar) in 2015 and 2016.
Absent from the financial records are Freedom 93.3 and WFLA 100.7, two local radio stations that feature conservative line-ups and morning shows that provide in-depth coverage of city hall. (Disclosure: TR has a financial relationship with Freedom 93.3 through appearances on the station’s morning show.)
Freedom 93.3 FM has been operating in Tallahassee for just over four years and is owned by Panama City based Magic Broadcasting. Their line-up features the “Junior and Bobby Mac” morning show and national talk show hosts that include Larry Elder, Dana Loesch and Laura Ingraham.
WFLA 100.7, owned by mass media corporation iHeartMedia, has been home to the “Morning Show with Preston Scott” for 15 years. The station features conservative talk show hosts that include Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin. The station is also home to the popular financial adviser Dave Ramsey.
TR has recently written about the TAPP program bidding process and the ties between the program and campaign supporters of city commissioners.
Interestingly, the city’s electric utility has chosen to advertise on WFLA during 2015-2016 promoting energy efficiency programs.
Why not the TAPP program?
TR has submitted questions to city staff about the omission of the two radio stations from the TAPP advertising schedule. TR will update this report if a response is provided.