‘Pure Michigan’ Budget Cut Hurts Broadcasters

By: Karole L. White, MAB President/CEO

The Governor took advantage of her line item veto to cut funding for Pure Michigan, the state’s popular tourism campaign. Governor Whitmer reportedly said she loved the Pure Michigan Campaign and thinks it’s a fantastic ad campaign, but Republican cuts such as the ones for the Corrections Department endangered public safety. In an attempt to reshape the budget the Governor was quoted as saying, “I’m always going to put Public Safety over an ad campaign.”

According to Rob Elhenicky, MAB Government Relations Advisor at partner at Kelley-Cawthorne, this and the other 147 line-item vetoes the Governor wielded was a pretty gutsy move. He reminded us that the Governor can’t change the budget that she gets back from the legislature, she can only veto it completely or use her line-item veto.

The Governor is hoping to reopen the budget negotiations. Which may or may not materialize. This is all a part of the negotiating process, Elhenicky said.

In the meantime, broadcasters across Michigan are trying to budget for 2020. A portion of the millions spent on advertising was done within the state of Michigan. For some broadcasters that was a pretty sizable buy. Until the budget wrangling is over, Pure Michigan and many other services that advertise may not be willing to commit to any spending on public information messages. This is what the MAB is finding with the NCSA program.

NCSA is the program to which MAB members so generously donate air time. Many of our government partners have small budgets requiring that they reach every county in the state due to federal funding. NCSA is especially helpful to them for meeting that mandate. Without the state budget settled, it has been very difficult to get government partners to commit. The is the first year in a long time that NCSA has not been sold out at this time for the upcoming year.