LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANSWERS KEY QUESTIONS FOR RURAL

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANSWERS KEY QUESTIONS FOR RURAL AMERICANS ON RFD-TV’S RURAL TOWN HALL

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LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL ANSWERS KEY QUESTIONS FOR RURAL AMERICANS ON RFD-TV’S RURAL TOWN HALL

Rural America’s Most Important Network Celebrates Successful Launch of New Series, Rural Town Hall

(NASHVILLE, TN – JULY 27, 2015) RFD-TV News announced today the successful launch of the new series, RURAL TOWN HALL, featuring presidential candidate Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal. The closed production taping featured pre-selected questions solicited from key agricultural organizations and viewers. Audience members included constituents from agricultural non-profits and organizations such as the AARP, Iowa Pork Producers, the American Soybean Association, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Growth Energy, FFA, 4-H, farmers and ranchers. Throughout the one-hour forum the Governor outlined his vision for rural America related to questions concerning ethanol and biodiesel fuels, biotechnology and GMO’s, education, and transportation infrastructure.

“The first RURAL TOWN HALL exceeded even my high expectations. The quality of the questions that were actually asked, in person, by leaders of the Iowa Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association, Iowa Cattlemen and Iowa Pork Producers, among others, was most impressive, as were the answers given by Governor Jindal,” stated Patrick Gottsch, Founder & President of Rural Media Group. “This first program set a high bar now for the other candidates to follow. The fact that the entire hour remained totally focused on only rural and agricultural issues was enjoyed by and benefitted all, while proving that it could be done. Our national television and radio audience of active voters are going to love this series.”

Highlights from the hour-long forum included select questions presented by attending agricultural organizations for the Governor.

Monte Shaw from America’s Renewable Future and Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Association addressed the Governor concerning biotechnology and the economy specific to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and asked if the Governor would keep the RFS in place through 2022. Governor Jindal responded by stating that he supports the renewable fuels standard, but he would like to see the industry stand on its own. He went on to state that he supports the gradual phase out of the RFS and above all would like to see a “level playing field for everybody” in the energy industry. “When I was in Congress I voted for the RFS and I support the production of ethanol to diversify our fuel sources. I think all those fuels are an important part of our energy security and for growing our economy.”

Linh Ta of the Des Moines Register questioned the Governor about his disavowment of the Common Core in education and asked what steps he is taking to ensure students graduate from Louisiana high schools, ready to successfully enter the work force. Governor Jindal, who opposes the Common Core program, said education is not the Federal Government’s job. “You wouldn’t want the Federal Government defining American history standards, so why in the world would we want a one size fits all approach to ELA and math?,” stated Governor Jindal. “The best form of accountability is trusting moms and dads who know their kids needs best. When you give parents choices they’ll find the best fit for their kids and competition works.”

Mediacom’s Jeff Angelo questioned the Governor about the FCC’s announcement to start regulating the Internet according to the rules established in the 1930’s for telephone companies. According to the Louisiana Governor, he supports a free market system and says that efforts by the FCC would result in added regulation that “would be the first step toward more government interference, more government control. One of the things that has made the Internet so effective is its open nature. I fear that this is really a back door way for the government to get involved and ultimately censor [the internet]. Lets let it flourish and let the competition work.”

Iowa Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Dan Hanrahan spoke on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and posed a question concerning transportation issues related to both the cattle and agriculture industries. Hanrahan asked the Governor what ideas he might introduce to rebuild or enhance America’s roads, rails and waterways. Governor Jindal said that the infrastructure of highways, waterways and railways are an important aspect of the nation’s economy, but noted there’s room for improvement. He also specifically sited the locks and dam system along the nation’s waterways and mentioned that the money collected for infrastructure improvement should be spent where it was intended. “If it gets more expensive for commodities to go down the river, that hurts farmers, that hurts consumers, and ultimately hurts folks up and down the supply chain.”

American Soybean Association’s president and farmer Ray Gaesser asked for the Governor’s stance on agricultural biotechnology and GMOs, and whether he supported a uniform federal policy on food labeling. “With the growing world population, farmers need access to the best technology available, including biotechnology,” stated Governor Jindal. “While I’m often suspect when it comes to the Federal Government preempting state law, with GMO food labeling, a consistent federal standard would help avoid a patchwork of labeling.”

“The first RURAL TOWN HALL provided Governor Bobby Jindal and his presidential campaign efforts a perfect vehicle to reach more than 11 million weekly viewers, many of which live in rural America,” stated Rural Media Group’s Chief Political Officer, Michael LaBroad. “Our viewers vote and have a sincere interest in political activities as evidenced by their astute and insightful questions. Every candidate and national campaign committee has been supportive of this new format and expressed interest in participating. We are excited to connect the presidential candidates with rural Americans as these issues don’t just affect rural Americans, they impact the entire country.”

RURAL TOWN HALL premieres Thursday, July 23rd at 10 PM ET on RFD-TV. Produced in conjunction with Mediacom Connections Channel and the Des Moines Register, this is the first in a series of one-hour prime-time specials focused on rural American issues in advance of the 2016 presidential election. All presidential candidates are expected to participate in this important forum over the coming weeks. Encore airings of the premiere episode with Governor Jindal will air on RFD-TV and RURAL RADIO SiriusXM Channel 147 at the following dates and times.
RFD-TV:
Friday July 24th at 5 PM ET
Monday July 27th at 8 PM
Tuesday July 28th at 12 AM ET
RURAL RADIO SiriusXM Channel 80:
Friday July 24th at 7 AM and 4 PM ET
Monday July 27th at 8 PM
Tuesday July 28th at 1 AM ET
Viewers can also watch RURAL TOWN HALL online at the RFD-TV Country Club at www.rfdcc.com.

“Rural America’s impact on national elections is undeniable. This series is a tremendous opportunity for all candidates to address issues largely ignored by urban media, yet are so important to many of the citizens voting in these primaries,” stated Patrick Gottsch, Founder & President of Rural Media Group. “From day one Rural Media Group’s goal has been to reconnect city with country. We believe that this nation is at its best when urban and rural America understand each other’s issues and perspectives, to work together resulting in a solution acceptable to all.”

RURAL TOWN HALL is conducted in a town hall format in front of a live audience. The program will air in nearly 50 million homes on RFD-TV. Check local listings for RFD-TV on Mediacom.

“Every four years, Iowa takes center stage in American politics,” said Ed Pardini, Mediacom’s Senior Vice President of Field Operations. “As Iowa’s leading broadband provider, this first episode was a unique opportunity to partner with RFD-TV and address issues that are critically important to the people living in the small towns and cities that we serve.”

RFD-TV’s viewers are 28% more likely to vote than the average television network. In addition, 64% of RFD-TV viewers vote in federal, state, or local elections while 60% always vote in federal elections, ranking #2 of all cable nets (Source: 2014 doublebase GfK MRI). RFD-TV viewers have very high indexes for political engagement stating they have “Called Or Written A Politician” (162), “Identify As An Influencer” (151), “Friends Ask My Advice” (118), and “Attended A Political Speech/Great Deal Of Knowledge On The Topic” (116). Nationally, 63% of all farmers and 81% of cattlemen watch RFD-TV on a weekly basis, yet 52% of RFD-TV’s total audience resides in A & B counties. The median age of the average viewer is 62 years old.

For information about RURAL TOWN HALL or to find listing information for the network in your area, visit RFDTV.com. Additional supporting press materials and photos can be downloaded from the online pressroom HERE.

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About Rural Media Group, Inc. (RMG):
Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle. Reconnecting city with country, RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, FamilyNet, RFD-TV The Magazine, and RFD-TV The Theatre. RMG networks (RFD-TV, RURAL TV, FamilyNet, and RURAL RADIO) are distributed into more than 100-million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter, Optimum, Brighthouse, Suddenlink, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Corporate headquarters and broadcast operations are in Nashville, Tennessee.

RFD-TV:
RFD-TV is the flagship network for RMG. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle. Along with traditional country music and entertainment, RFD-TV programming includes Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Western Sports Weekly, top rodeo events such as The American, and award-winning musical entertainment such as The Marty Stuart Show, Reno’s Old Time Music, The Molly B Polka Party, and Larry’s Country Diner..

RURAL RADIO:
Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147, is the agribusiness and western lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO's program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, western sports, and living the country life in small towns and ranches. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Western Sports Round Up, and reports from CME on Commodity Wrap. RURAL RADIO also carries live western sports including PBR bull-riding and PRCA rodeo events every weekend.

For more information, visit rfdtv.com, familynet.com, ruralradio147.com.

About Mediacom Communications:
Mediacom Communications Corporation is the eighth largest cable operator in the U.S. serving about 1.3 million customers in smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. Mediacom offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services to households and businesses, including video, high-speed data, phone, and home security and automation. Through Mediacom Business, the company provides innovative broadband solutions to commercial and public sector customers of all sizes, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcc.com.

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a next-generation media company committed to strengthening communities across our network. Through trusted, compelling content and unmatched local-to-national reach, Gannett touches the lives of nearly 100 million people monthly. With more than 110 markets internationally, it is known for Pulitzer Prize-winning newsrooms, powerhouse brands such as USA TODAY and specialized media properties. To connect with us, visit www.gannett.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Michael LaBroad, Chief Political Officer, RFD-TV, o: (402) 779-8111, m: (417) 225-2225, michael@rfdtv.com
Patty O’Bryan, Director, Political Affairs, o: (402) 502-3508, m: (402) 618-6548, patty@rfdtv.com
Heather Huston, VP of Marketing, o: (615) 296-9332, m: (802)345-5262, heather@rfdtvcom
Phyllis Peters, Mediacom Communications Director, o: (515) 246-2295, m: (515) 707-7148, ppeters@mediacomcc.com

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