Democratic assembly candidate gets free ad time on WSAU - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Democratic assembly candidate gets free ad time on WSAU


A Democrat running for a State Assembly seat will receive several hours of free ad time on a Wausau radio station.

The campaign of Mandy Wright, who's running for the 85th Assembly, filed an equal time request with WSAU radio. Wright's campaign was upset her Republican rival, Pat Snyder, had continued to host his morning radio show after Wright won the Democratic primary August 14.

Now, WSAU has given Wright more than five hours of free ad time. Those ads started running Saturday and will continue through October 3, airing at different times of day.

"I think this was a very amicable settlement," said Wright. "I think we found compromise and we can move forward now."

Wright was originally offered to guest host the radio station's morning show, but she declined. Wright said it didn't work with her schedule. Instead, her campaign asked for free ad time.

Snyder, who has hosted at WSAU for more than a decade, announced his run for the 85th Assembly seat in February. He continued to host his radio show through August 30. That's a move puzzling to Racine-based attorney Rebecca Mason, who represented Wright in this matter.

"It's a rare situation where a station keeps a candidate on the air," said Mason.

But WSAU managers defended the decision to keep Snyder on the air, even though he had announced his candidacy.

"We wanted to keep him on as long as possible because he's very popular with our audience and with our advertisers," said Chris Conley, WSAU operations manager.

Snyder said he understands the equal time decision, but he wasn't happy because it forced him to step down from his job a day early.

"That's kind of disappointing," said Snyder. "Thirty-two years in radio—12 years here in this market—and we were all planning this farewell 31st of August, my last day, and then suddenly that evening, Thursday the 30th, I was told, you weren't going on the air."

Snyder said he hopes to say good-bye to his audience after the election.

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