Station owner Bill Binnie’s WBIN-TV Derry, N.H., was a broadcast partner of the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College. As the first debate focused solely on the economy, the debate was a chance for many viewers to see WBIN-TV, a new station, for the first time.
"We are the only broadcast station that has the rights to air it in New England," Binnie said.
The debate also broadcasted live on Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio. Presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum participated.
“It’ll be something of a coming out party for WBIN,” said Charlie Arlinghaus, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy in Concord. “This is their big chance.”
As more voters start to choose a candidate, debates allow WBIN to start a conversation with New Hampshire residents. WBIN-TV will host more debates in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. For Binnie, a successful businessman who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, it stems from his fascination with political theater.
“I joke that it’s the sport of New Hampshire,” he said.
Read more stories on Politics and Election Coverage »
More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.