July 15, 2020

Trump Administration To Support West Virginia Media Outlets Following Manchin Urging

Charleston, WV – After urging from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), the Trump Administration outlined plans to work with local media organizations to place COVID-19 public service announcements (PSA) across the United States.

In April, Senator Manchin led his bipartisan colleagues in calling on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to work with other federal agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic to support local media organizations, which rely on ad revenue from local businesses to operate. The response letter from U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Caputo agreed with Senator Manchin’s assessment of the needs of local media and many of his suggestions to assist local media while increasing COVID-19 PSAs in local media markets.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard for many of our local media organizations – the most trusted source of the news for many West Virginians. In April, I led a bipartisan group of my Senate colleagues in pushing the Trump Administration to support local media organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic through use of existing federal dollars intended for advertising,” said Senator Manchin. “This week I received a response to my letter from HHS Secretary Michael Caputo, which provided information on the Administration’s future plans to work with local media groups to place PSAs relating to COVID-19. This won’t cost any extra federal funding, but it will be a lifeline for local media across West Virginia. I am pleased by their commitment to support local media organizations and will continue to work with HHS, OMB, and the Administration to help West Virginia’s local media receive the support they need during this pandemic.”

“I was very encouraged to see the letter from DHHS concerning the Advertising Campaign to Senator Manchin. When our members discussed with the Senator the importance of these ads being purchased on the local level, we felt it hit home with him. Radio and television are an intricate part of the communities around the state and West Virginians rely on them for everyday news and information. We look forward to this issue coming into fruition,” said Michele Crist, Executive Director of the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.

The response from the Administration can be found here.

Senator Manchin’s initial letter to the Administration can be found here