Politics may often seem like a dirty business, but for local TV stations it's also a very good business.
Political advertising helped propel a 13.2% growth in television station revenue last year, allowing the broadcast industry to regain much of the financial ground lost during the recession.
A study by consulting firm BIA/Kelsey, released Thursday, found that local TV station advertising reached $20.8 billion in 2012. That was still short of the 2007 high-water mark before the financial crisis, automaker bankruptcies and car dealership closures led to a precipitous drop in local advertising.
In 2007, more than $21.5 billion was spent on local TV station commercials.
The highly competitive Los Angeles TV market generated $1.4 billion in advertising spending, a 6.5% increase from 2011 levels, according to BIA/Kelsey.