Some background: Congressman David McKinley questioned the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, on April 11. At that time it was news and McKinley received a great deal of local and nationwide coverage for his questions to the CEO on how Facebook was not dealing with opioid advertising.
Almost two weeks later, here is a screenshot of Wheeling's WTRF "Top Local News" webpage at 10:30 AM, this morning, April 24:
This two-week-old McKinley story then appeared on today's noon news as the third story at 12:06 PM. (You can watch the report here -- sorry, channel 7's video would not upload properly.) The news report opens with an old C-Span video (which you can conveniently access on the congressman's webpage) of McKinley asking Zuckerberg about the opioid advertising and then quickly shifts to a short local interview in which McKinley tells the reporter that Facebook took the opioid ads down later that day. All of this was reported the next day, April 12th. There is nothing in this story that is new.
And so a two-week old story gets recycled and becomes "news" again. (At least by WTRF standards.) Is this the result of some pro-McKinley bias on WTRF's part? I think that providing positive coverage for all-things-McKinley applies to our "newspapers" but I doubt that there was any pro-McKinley bias in WTRF's decision to do this story. A different bias, one found at many small market TV stations, is likely the reason for this story: small-market local TV news favors quick, cheap, and easy-to-do (non-complex) news stories. A bonus is if the story lacks immediacy which means that it can be shown over and over. (If you watch the same local news more than once on a weekend, you're probably familiar with this type of news story.) My hunch is that someone in McKinley's office called channel 7 and told them that the congressman was in town and would love to talk to a reporter about his Facebook questions. A short interview followed and with the already existing background and video ready-to-go, a news segment was quickly created.
Incumbents facing challengers have numerous advantages in their campaigns for re-election; this ability to create or recycle news stories may be less obvious but its certainly a potent way of keeping the incumbent in the spotlight.