IFC Launches Wide-Ranging Election News Venture – “Election Coverage for the Rest of Us”

On-Air and Online Initiative Includes Live Election Night Coverage, Exclusive News Specials, Political Polls,
IFC.com Blog and More

Multi-Tiered Campaign Reaffirms IFC as the Voice of Independent Culture by Spotlighting the Role of Independent Thought Within the 2008 Presidential Election

Will Rabbe & Sarah Scully Join IFC News as Political Correspondents for Network's Election Coverage

New York, NY – December 17, 2007 – IFC announced today the launch of a year-long news venture, "Election Coverage for the Rest of Us," which will provide a voice for independent thought within the 2008 Presidential election. The multi-tiered initiative is part of the network's expanding News division, both on-air and online, and overall focus on being the voice of independent culture and thought. As part of this landmark venture, Will Rabbe and Sarah Scully, young and charismatic documentary filmmakers, who have both produced political films featuring former President Jimmy Carter, John Kerry and Rudy Giuliani, among others, will join IFC News as political correspondents for the network's election coverage.

A comprehensive multiplatform campaign, "Election Coverage for the Rest of Us" will provide extensive on-air and online reporting throughout the election year, including live broadcasts on election night and from both Conventions; exclusive news specials; weekly breaking news reports; an election webpage; live blog; political films from Media Lab's filmmaker community; and polls that will highlight the role of independent thought within the political landscape, providing viewers with on demand access to key stories, issues, and events throughout the election race.

As hot-button issues such as the War, environment, immigration and taxes continue to fuel candidate debates, the role that independent voters will play in next year's election has become increasingly essential. Unique from other election news broadcasts, IFC will focus its coverage on independent voters' growing role, and will send its news team around the country to cover the key issues about which these independent and undecided voters are most passionate. With uncut and thought-provoking political reports, this year-long initiative reaffirms IFC's commitment to and investment in its growing News infrastructure, as its reporting extends beyond the film industry to tackle important stories, issues, and events from popular and political culture.

"Election news coverage too often thrives on pitting the extremes of our political spectrum against each other," said Evan Shapiro, General Manager of IFC. "While this rallies the bases, it may also cause a great many potential voters to tune out. IFC News will cover the 2008 election by focusing on issues important to the majority of undecided voters and independent thinkers – those voters who will likely be the deciding factor next November and who cannot easily be defined by red vs. blue. We will go beyond the standard newscast to provide accessible on-air and online reporting on the primaries, the nomination, the general election, and more, to give our audiences an unvarnished view of our democracy at work."

IFC's "Election Coverage for the Rest of Us" campaign will serve as a "deconstruction" of the political landscape, and will provide an independently-minded audience with the necessary information to understand and appreciate America's unique electoral process. The three-tiered initiative will rollout through on-air coverage and specials, online activities at IFC.com, and a series of IFC-commissioned political polls and surveys.

On-Air Coverage & Specials:
Throughout 2008, the network will premiere five all-new exclusive IFC News Specials, which will premiere on Tuesdays at 8:30pm ET, and will focus on a key election issue or event, including updates on the campaigns and major contests, and interviews with local voters and campaign representatives.

A schedule of IFC News exclusive specials follows:

  • February: "The Mega Primary", New York;
  • June: "On the Bus: Tracking the Candidates", various locations, 1-2 days following each campaign bus;
  • August: "The Democratic National Convention", Denver;
  • September: "The Republican National Convention", Minneapolis;
  • November: "Election Day Coverage and Results", Democratic & Republican Headquarters.

In addition, beginning in January 2008, IFC News will air weekly news updates every Tuesday at 9:00pm ET through the election in November 2008. These three-minute spots will provide breaking news on candidates, events and hot-button issues, including a compelling and thought-provoking look at the death penalty.

On IFC.com:
IFC will create a special web page for "Election Coverage for the Rest of Us" on IFC.com, which will serve as a forum for visitors to discuss and post their thoughts about the Presidential race and questions for the IFC News team. The site will also feature live news updates, blogs written by IFC News reporters Rabbe and Scully, and transcripts of interviews with candidates and political commentators.

In addition, IFC will leverage the Media Lab filmmaker community as IFC News "correspondents" to further generate discussions about all things election-related, such as coverage of a candidate appearance in their hometown, or a short-film about a favorite candidate or issue. The effort will be supported with on-air promotions and a "call-to-action" via the IFC News weekly reports.

IFC-Commissioned Polls & Surveys:
On the heels of its recent political surveys – one that examined the significance and potential impact of the Nobel Prize win on the Presidential race, and another that explored the American electorate's knowledge of and outlook on the candidates and upcoming primaries – IFC will conduct several additional polls that will showcase the growing importance of independent thought within the political landscape. The network's next political poll will examine Americans' thoughts on key issues, such as the death penalty, and how these views may impact the 2008 election.

Both Will Rabbe and Sarah Scully began their careers as political documentary filmmakers at White Mountain Films. Rabbe made his directorial debut with "Winning New Hampshire", a documentary about the 2004 New Hampshire Democratic primary, which will premiere on New Hampshire Public Television later this year. Since joining White Mountain Films in 2004, he has worked on the documentary "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry"; produced a short documentary on the first Republican Convention in New York, which featured interviews with John McCain, Terry McAuliffe and Rudy Giuliani; and directed and produced "The First War on Terror", a timely analysis of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, including a rare interview with former President Jimmy Carter. While at White Mountain Films, Scully worked with documentary film legend George Butler ("Pumping Iron") on "The Endurance," an award-winning feature documentary about Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic Expedition, which was released theatrically in September 2001. In addition, she worked directly with Rabbe as executive producer of "The First War on Terror" and co-producer of "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry". She is a graduate of Connecticut College.

About IFC
The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut, uncensored and commercial-free. The network is part of IFC Companies — the only brand to operate in every area of independent film to include television, production, financing, distribution, digital, on-demand and exhibition. IFC Companies uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

Press Contacts

  • Olivia Dupuis
    Rainbow Media