This study explores how agenda-setting theory works in a fragmented media environment while examining psychological motivations that drive selective exposure and information processing in an electoral context. The data suggest that regardless of motivational goals, people with a moderate active need for orientation (NFO) spent more time engaged in cross-network exposure to news media than the other groups. However, driven by directional goals, they were more apt to engage in biased information processing that increased agenda-setting outcomes on candidate attributes. Overall, this study suggests that NFO predicts information-seeking behavior, while motivated reasoning explains how people processed information. Exposure to partisan news reporting on cable television exhibited the strongest agenda-setting associations on candidate attributes.