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The TV Industry Will Never Recover From the Coronavirus

Not even a record year for political advertising can rescue the TV business.

Joe Biden Accepts Presidential Nomination At Democratic National Convention
Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

When Joe Biden took the rostrum at the Democratic National Convention this past week, some viewers saw the future president of the United States. Others saw an avuncular 77-year-old holding forth on American exceptionalism. And still more saw a threat to their preferred candidate (rhymes with frump).

Media executives saw one thing: dollar signs. The 2020 election will generate some $5 billion in advertising sales this year, according to Magna Global, a 24% increase from 2016. This is the most expensive campaign on record in every respect.