Nexstar Media Inc. is the parent company of WPRI-TV.
Nexstar Media Inc. is committed to hosting fair and open debates among qualified candidates
as part of the Company’s mission to inform the public and assist voters in making important
electoral decisions. To determine who is a qualified candidate, the Company has adopted the
following objective and non-discriminatory criteria to govern which candidates are eligible to
participate in Company-sponsored debates. To be eligible to participate, a candidate must
comply with all five sections of this policy.
- A candidate must be legally qualified and (x) listed on the ballot for the office the
candidate is seeking or (y) be a write-in candidate who meets all the legal qualifications
required by the federal, state or municipal government for the office being sought and
has filed the appropriate papers for write-in status.
- A candidate must have publicly announced his or her candidacy in a public forum. For
the purposes of this section, “public forum” includes an announcement of candidacy on
- A candidate must be actively campaigning for election in the jurisdiction he or she is
seeking to represent for the office he or she is seeking. To meet the definition of an
active campaign, a candidate must engage in at least five of the following:
a. A campaign headquarters with a paid and/or volunteer staff that is open to
the public during business hours. For the purposes of this subsection, a
campaign headquarters may not be a private residence, but may be a
business address used primarily for non-campaign purposes; and
b. A campaign phone line; and
c. A publicized, dedicated candidate-specific website or web page; and
d. Planned in-district appearances or invitations to appear and/or speak at
public gatherings; and
e. Monetary contributions and a campaign treasurer; and
f. Campaign literature; and
g. Press coverage identifying the candidate as a candidate in the current
election by at least eight unique news reports in media (e.g., newspapers, TV,
cable news, radio, or online news websites that are recognized by local
and/or national media; note however, blogs are not considered news
reports, whether affiliated or unaffiliated).
- A candidate must have received at least of 5 percent in the ballot test poll question (who
do you plan to vote for?) that includes all party aligned candidates on the ballot in a
primary election, or at least 10 percent in a ballot test poll question (who do you plan to
vote for?) that includes all candidates on the ballot running for office in the general
election, in an established, professionally conducted nonpartisan poll chosen by Nexstar
Media Inc. without taking the survey’s margin of error into account. The poll must be
released within 120-days prior to the primary or general election, as applicable. If there
is no poll available, the rest of the document will govern who will be invited to the
- A candidate for a state or federal office must have reported, on the most recent official
forms filed with the appropriate election authority, accepting at least $50,000 in
monetary, as opposed to in-kind, campaign contributions, at least 25 percent of which
must be raised from in-state constituents. For local offices, a candidate must have
reported, on official forms filed with the appropriate election authority, having accepted
at least $15,000 in campaign contributions.
- Nexstar Media Inc. and its affiliates, employees, agents, and servants shall not
guarantee to any candidate or candidate’s campaign, verbally or in writing, that the
candidate will be included in a debate until the requirements of this policy, and each of
them, have been satisfied to the satisfaction of Nexstar, Inc. and its affiliates.
- With the voter’s interest in mind, if unforeseen circumstances should happen leading up
to a scheduled debate, Nexstar Media Inc. reserves the right to modify or change the
criteria based on the best interests of the electorate.